DC Puts a New Spin on Robin and Batgirl's First Meeting

Warning: contains spoilers for Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1!

The relationship between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon is one of DC’s best. The two first met when he was still Robin and she was Batgirl and they have been both the best of friends and passionate lovers. In Batman: The Long Halloween Special #1, on sale now in print and digital, DC puts a brand new and humorous spin on their first meeting.

The two first met in Batgirl’s first appearance in 1967’s Batman #359, but it would not be until later that they developed the chemistry they are known for today. The two formally began dating in 1999’s Nightwing #38, while Barbara was working as Oracle; the relationship would last for several years, and the two remained friends afterwards. Despite the relatively recent nature of the relationship, later creative teams have established that the two had feelings for each other much earlier in life, and this gets a unique twist in Batman: The Long Halloween Special. This one-shot, released to coincide with the legendary story’s 25th anniversary, features Batman, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, Robin and others at earlier stages in their career. Set after the events of that story, the special sees Batman not only fight to take down the Calendar Man, but also come to terms with what has happened to his friend Harvey Dent. The one-shot is written and drawn by the original creative team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale; they are joined by Brennan Wagner on colors and Richard Starkings on letters.

Related: The Death of Nightwing is Still One of DC's Most Controversial 

Commissioner Gordon and Batman are meeting to talk not only about the Calendar Man’s crime spree, but also their former friend Harvey Dent. Gordon then asks if his niece Barbara can go trick-or-treating with Robin. Initially, Batman says nothing, but on Halloween, he shows up at Gordon’s door with Robin. Both are in costume, but since it is Halloween, no one pays them any mind. Barbara, dressed in a forerunner to her classic Batgirl outfit, is beside herself with happiness. The two make the rounds, gathering candy, until the Bat-Signal flashes in the sky, calling Robin to duty. Batgirl takes his candy.

As mentioned earlier, other creative teams have changed the story of how Robin and Batgirl first met, but this take ranks as one of the most unique. However, it also honors the characters. Dick and Barbara did not instantly become lovers—it was nearly 30 years before they finally got together. They are much too young here to truly be romantic, but they are obviously going to be great friends, and readers can see that here. The playful chemistry and banter are already in place. Furthermore, it hints at the heroic career Batgirl will have—when she sees Robin and Batman for the first time, she is unfazed, and is not intimidated by them in the least.

Dick and Barbara's history together is a long and winding one, one that developed organically over the years. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale putting their own spin on Robin and Batgirl meeting in Batman: The Long Halloween Special makes it that much sweeter.

Next: Nightwing and Batgirl's Greatest Fear Revealed by DC Comics

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