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Batgirl Dies of a Broken Heart

December 8, 2011

Batgirl

(Here is another installment from my series TV Character Obituaries.)

GOTHAM CITY – Longtime crime-fighter, Batgirl, was found dead at the public library with her face buried in a volume of The Sonnets of Shakespeare. A black Sharpie was in her right hand that had apparently underlined the passage:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

In the margins, she had written: “Robin must have been gay all these years not to have noticed a smoking piece of ass like me!”

She was referring to Batman’s loyal sidekick, Robin, the Boy Wonder, or, in the opinion of Gotham’s Brotherhood of Mutated Crooks, The Boy Blunder. Batgirl and Robin had enjoyed many a flirtatious moment while, in the late Sixties, they were punching out bad guys to the accompaniment of crashing horns and cymbals, and giant cartoon balloons signifying aggressive expressions like “Pow!” and “Whammy!” and “A Decent Blow But Nothing to Make Muhammad Ali Reconsider a Career as a Florist!”

They even dated for a time while Batman was away at a spa in Germany rehabilitating a torn quadriceps muscle that had been the result of karate-kicking The Riddler, who had taunted the Caped Crusader by asking, “Riddle me this, Batman, when is a man like a gimp? When he doesn’t stretch properly before trying all that Kung Fu shit!” Batgirl was so in love with Robin that she found it impossible to concentrate when Catwoman had left her to die in a complex Rube Goldberg murder trap that involved a buzz-saw, a chair from The Merv Griffin Show and a bad reproduction of Whistler’s Mother – and was only saved when Robin showed up with a shirtless man named Aaron – all of which only deepened Batgirl’s love for the forever unattainable Boy Wonder-if-he’s-straight.

Batgirl was born Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner, James Gordon, who, as lead detective in a town full of notorious criminals, each with a cheesy persona, like Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, never inferred that the female heroine, Batgirl, was the same girl with whom he had brunch every Sunday. The Joker never got over how this was no different than a parent dressing up their kid for Halloween and then, the instant the mask covered the eyes of the child, losing all idea as to the identity of this strange young creature standing in their living room holding a trick-or-treat bag.

Barbara Gordon was a longtime employee of the Gotham City Public Library. Of late, she was mourning the proliferation of computers at what was supposed to be a place where one read books – and had been getting even more depressed when teenagers gathered around a computer terminal googling her alter-ego, and then gushing about “how hot Batgirl was in her prime!”

Yes, Batgirl was no longer a nubile girl. Her Bat-suit was been let out more times than Warren Buffett’s wallet. Maybe this was why the love of her life, Robin, had, toward the end, limited himself to shaking her hand whenever they met to battle evil in Gotham or to look at old photo albums of them brawling back in the day with Mr. Freeze or King Tut – talk about “Pow!” right in the love-sick heart of an aging crime-fighter.

(Check out my website: http://www.authorjamesfjohnson.com)

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