Things you can learn from Barbara Gordon comics

Besides kicking ass as Batgirl, over the years Barbara Gordon has been a librarian, a member of Congress, and a first-rate hacker who – under the codename Oracle – supplied intelligence to the crime-fighting community of Gotham City. The combination of these traits has meant that comics featuring Babs tend to incorporate all kinds of interesting factoids and geeky tidbits of information, making them not only entertaining but also highly pedagogical.

For example, in ‘The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!’ you can learn about the market price of the Bay Psalm Book:

detective comics 359Detective Comics #359

And from ‘Batgirl’s Costume Cut-Ups!’ you can learn about Austrian sport habits:

detective comics 371Detective Comics #371

‘The Invader from Hell’ teaches us about Benedict Arnold, the American Revolutionary War colonel, through a story in which he seemingly comes back from the dead and kicks Barbara’s ass:

batman family 1batman family 1Batman Family #1

More recently, in ‘Son of Penguin – part 2,’ I learned that the reason I cannot understand kids today is because they are literally speaking another language…

Batgirl 8Batgirl (v3) #8

Finally, from ‘Nuclear Roulette’ (the climax of an arc in which the Joker launches a bunch of cruise missiles towards New York City), you can learn that writer Chuck Dixon, sixteen years before penning the anti-Bill & Hillary graphic novel Clinton Cash, already enjoyed taking digs at leaders of the Democratic Party…

Birds of Prey 17Birds of Prey #17

NEXT: The most gothic art ever.

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