Batgirl is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics -- the most popular of which is Barbara Gordon -- depicted as female counterparts to the superhero Batman. Originally created by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff, the first incarnation of the character, the "Bat-Girl" Betty Kane, debuted in Batman #139 (1961). Following the promotion of Julius Schwartz to editor of the Batman-related comic book titles in 1964, the Bat-Girl character was removed from publication and replaced by the "new" Batgirl Barbara Gordon in 1967. The new character was introduced in Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino's Detective Comics #359, entitled "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl".
The Barbara Gordon version of Batgirl made regular appearances in Batman-related comics from 1967 to 1988. The official retirement of Batgirl took place in Batgirl Special #1 (June 1988), which was published a few months after Barbara Gordon's shooting by The Joker in the graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (March 1988). Editor Kim Yale and comic book author John Ostrander later reinvented Barbara Gordon as Oracle, the premier information broker of the DC Comics Universe and leader of the Birds of Prey organization.