Animated webcast/home video series (2000-2002). DC Comics/Noodle Soup Productions/Warner Brothers Animation. Produced by Alan Bruckner. Directors unknown. Writers: Hilary J Bader and Paul Dini. Cast includes Adrienne Barbeau, Jennifer Hale, Bob Hastings, Diane Pershing, Stacie Randall, Arleen Sorkin and Tara Strong. 30 episodes of varying length, average 3 to 5 minutes. Colour.
This series was a spinoff from The Adventures of Batman and Robin (1992-1995), although neither of those characters. The titular "girls" are the female Villains and Superheroes of Gotham City, the latter represented almost exclusively by Batgirl (Strong). Her most frequent opponents were Harley Quinn (Sorkin) and Poison Ivy (Pershing), generally working together and often joined by Catwoman (Barbeau) to make a "bad girls" trio. All four of the main stars worked together when facing a common peril. DC's supernatural magician heroine Zatanna (Randall) appeared twice, but was soon phased out. The first two seasons were mostly adventures with a strong comical slant, mainly provided by the antics of Harley Quinn. The third season, more serious in tone, was a belated ten-part serial quasi-sequel to the film Batman & Mr Freeze: Subzero (1998) (see Batman Films). Supporting character Police Detective Selma Reesedale (Hale) is possibly the first Transgender SF character to appear in any superhero series.
The final season returned to several issues addressed in the 1990s animated television series, such as police corruption and the environmental concerns for which Poison Ivy crusades. If there was any real fault with the programme, it was that Batgirl overcame her opponents too easily, as necessitated by the episodes' brevity. The concluding instalment was dedicated to writer Hilary J Bader (1952-2002), who died shortly before the series ended. A five-issue Tie Comic was issued in 2003. The complete programme is included as an extra feature with the original home video release of Birds of Prey (2002-2003). [GSt]
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