Batman:The Animated Series Wiki

Shadow of the Bat Part I is an episode of the first season of Batman: The Animated Series. It is notable for being the first appearance of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.

"Shadow of the Bat, Part I" was the 57th produced episode and the 61st episode aired.


When Commissioner Gordon is framed for taking bribes from Rupert Thorne, his daughter Barbara pleads with Batman to show up at a rally being put on in the commissioner's behalf. But when Batman disappears after finding the person behind the frame-up, Barbara matters into her own hands as Batgirl.


During a midnight operation in Gotham City, Rupert Thorne's plans are thwarted when the Gotham City Police Department arrive at the place and arrest Thorne's men, while Thorne himself tries to escape via the rooftop before being stopped and captured by Batman with an inverted takedown and left hanging from the light pole.

In the city, everyone wonders why there has been so many anonymous tips that lead to the capture of various criminals around the city.

Gordon Arrested

Gordon is arrested

Meanwhile, at the house of James Gordon, Barbara practices her gymnastic routine while talking to her dad about the good job that the new deputy commissioner Gil Mason has been doing with the latest captures and Jim suggests Barbara to consider the man as a possible mate, but Barbara refuses to talk about it, when suddenly someone knocks at their door. Gil Mason is outside the house with some officers and an arrest order for James Gordon for accepting bribes from Rupert Thorne. Barbara tries to talk to Mason, but the man has a job to do.

The next day, Barbara tries to convince District Attorney Janet Van Dorn to help bail James Gordon out of prison, but Dorn believes that the evidence is conclusive and Gordon is in fact guilty of all charges. However, Harvey Bullock believes in the innocence of Gordon and so does Mason, who has organized a public rally to support Gordon and they ask her to assist, in order to make a difference. However, Barbara knows about someone else who can truly make a difference by showing up.

Bruce learns about Gordon's imprisonment and decides to act. That night, Batman sneaks into the evidence room of the GCPD Headquarters and finds the documents that involve Gordon with Thorne and analyzes them just in time to sneak outside again, without no one noticing. Later, Batman goes to the Gotham City Jail and sends a radio communicator inside Gordon's cell, so they can talk. Batman explains to Gordon that the supposed evidence against him is a forgery and that he will find a way to prove the truth. Gordon asks Batman to make sure that Barbara is safe and out of the whole business.

As asked by Gordon, Batman goes to his place and tells Barbara what her father told him. Barbara asks Batman to appear at the public rally, but Batman refuses and advices her to stay safe before leaving her in a desperate state. Barbara doesn't like the situation and she claims that Batman will be there, one way or another. However, Batman decides to investigate the case disguised as Matches Malone and asks Robin to appear at the public rally instead of him.

Batgirl in Shadows

Batman appears?

Robin arrives at the rally in time to listen to Mason's speech in support of Gordon and he decides that it's time to make his appearance, but before he could step into the spotlight, the figure of Batman appears and gets the attention of all the people in the crowd. Robin is shocked to see Batman when he wasn't supposed to be there. However, when Batman disappears into the shadows, it is revealed that it wasn't Batman, but Barbara disguised as Batman all along. She peaks around the corner to see how the people reacted to Batman's appearance and before anybody could move, a car appears out of nowhere and drives towards the stage where the police officers are standing before they start shooting at them. Barbara tries to help and climbs the banner over the street but it loosens and drops on top of the car and causes it to crash. Two thugs come out from it with guns and they approach the fallen Barbara with the intention of shooting her. However, Robin disarms the thugs and they start running away from the scene. Barbara and Robin follow the thugs, one each, and in the pursuit, Summer Gleeson grabs a camera and records some footage of the mysterious "Batgirl". Barbara catches the thug she started following, knocks him to the ground, unmasks him and before she is able to tie him up, the man knocks Barbara aside and runs away. Police sirens approach the place and Barbara decides to escape as well, leaving Robin clueless of the identity of Batgirl.

Robin Batgirl

Robin meets Batgirl

Later, Dick returns to Wayne Manor and watches the TV news on the incident at the public rally and notices something strange. Gil Mason ducked and covered behind the stand before the people in the car started shooting, and thus Dick deduces that Mason is somehow involved in the whole thing.

The next day, Barbara decides to take a look at the police records until she finds the files on the thug she unmasked the last night. After learning the identity of the man, Barbara goes to Mason's place to tell him about what she just discovered, but when she enters Mason's place, she is surprised to see the thug she identified, is inside the house and talking "business" with Mason. The thug leaves and Barbara tells Mason that she also has to leave.

Moments later, Matches Malone plays pool in an dark tavern and he notices a nervous man talking in the pay phone. It is the same thug that was at Mason's place. Malone does his best to read the man's lips but can't deduce a word the man's speaking. As the man leaves the tavern, Malone follows him. After a while, the man enters a building that is half destroyed and half preserved. Malones takes out a Batrope and tries to sneak inside the building by one of the windows. However, the windows are electrified and Malone falls unconscious after the shock blast.

At that moment, Barbara is at home, wondering who could help her now that she knows that Mason might be involved and Batman won't help her. She stares at her makeshift cape and cowl and decides that she can make a difference.

Batgirl Ready

Batgirl is ready

Malone recovers consciousness and is confronted by Two-Face and his gang. Two-Face flips his coin to decide whether to let Malone live or die, and unlucky for Malone, the scarred side comes up and one of Two-Face's henchmen attacks him.

Later, Batgirl takes some gear and equipment she might need and is ready to work.


Actor Role
Kevin Conroy Batman
Robert Costanzo Harvey Bullock
Bob Hastings Commissioner Gordon
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Alfred
Greg Burson Mad Dog
Mari Devon Summer Gleeson
Melissa Gilbert Barbara Gordon
Loren Lester Robin
Tim Matheson Gil Mason
Lynette Mettey Janet Van Dorn
Richard Moll Two-Face
John Vernon Rupert Thorne