You’re probably looking at this cover and wondering: who is that woman? Does Batgirl have a new costume? All right, so maybe you’re better informed than I am and you know exactly what’s going on. I thought that when I first saw this cover.

Despite appearance, no, Batgirl has not added gold to her wardrobe–this title is one of the many Elseworlds titles that DC Comics releases periodically, inviting their writers and artists to take their favorite characters and tweak their stories. Allowing the creators to think outside the classics stories’ lines has led to some excellent topsy-turvy ideas. In this case, we are introduced to three Bat-men fighting the same immortal villain in three different times: one a knight of the Crusades, one a variation on the modern Bruce Wayne, and one a daughter of the Wayne line in the far future. Each segment manages to remain faithful to the Wayne spirit, so to speak, but also plays with the well-known tropes we all love. The artwork shifts beautifully to suit each age. I can’t resist a tale that helps me consider about a familiar tale in a new suit – just what would it be like if Batman were Batwoman?

Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty
ISBN: 9781563893902
by Mike W. Barr
Art by Gary Frank and Cam Smith
DC Comics 1998

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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