Comic Legends: Was Barbara Gordon Nearly Healed Right After Killing Joke?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and fourth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the weekly three legends.

NOTE: If the CSBG Twitter page hits 11,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow the CSBG Twitter page!


Barbara Gordon was nearly healed right after The Killing Joke.


True Enough for a True

As you all know by now, The Killing Joke came out in 1988 and Barbara Gordon was paralyzed after being shot by the Joker in an attempt to torture Commissioner Gordon until Gordon snaps...

Before the graphic novel came out, DC hired Barbara Randall Kesel (then Barbara Randall) to wrap Batgirl's plots all up before she was written out in The Killing Joke...

The fascinating thing, though, is that Randall almost wrote the NEXT step in Barbara Gordon's life.

In an amazing interview between Barbara Randall Kesel and Sue of the awesome DC Women Kicking Ass, Randall Kesel noted that she actually sold DC a pitch on a story for the next step in Barbara's life...

DCWKA: Did you know exactly what would happen to Barbara in the Killing Joke? What was your reaction when you found out? How did you find out?

BRK:I did: TKJ was in progress before I started on the Origin and the Special. I was torn—I really admire Alan’s work, but I hated seeing Batgirl stay down. I actually followed it up with a proposal for a new heroic identity for Batgirl (working with Dan Mishkin, I think?) that would have used the technology available in the DCU to let her walk and fight: basically, she’d have armor withimage Promethium joints and Star Labs tech that would let her use her photographic memory to program in her former movements: she’d still be paralyzed without the armor but able to patrol and fight (guardedly, part of the psychology of recovering from the attack that paralyzed her) while wearing it. That got accepted and then axed in favor of the Oracle storyline. Which is a damn good use of her character, but it’s still creepy that DC women seem to stay damaged and dead while the men… sigh.

Fascinating stuff.

By the way, the featured image is from Batman: The Return. I dunno what other image to use for a squelched pitch, ya know?

Thanks to Barbara Randall Kesel and Sue for the great information! Be sure to read the whole interview! It's really good.

Check out some entertainment legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Did MTV Cancel the Reality Show Fear Because a Contestant Died During the Filming of the Series?

2. Was a Shakespeare Expert Really Called in to Rule on the Genital Authenticity of a Statue of a Character from a Shakespeare Play?

3. Were Dr. McCoy’s Medical Instruments Really Just Fancy Salt Shakers?

4. Was Rodin’s First Major Sculpture Really Just a Plaster Cast of a Model?

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this week's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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