Here's your exclusive first look at Batman's newest sidekick. Nope, it's not Robin — he's so five minutes ago.

Instead, the Caped Crusader will be joined by Batgirl when Season 2 of The Batman begins in the fall. (The first year is still airing on WB Saturdays at 10:30 am/ET, with repeats on Cartoon Network on Saturdays at 8:30 pm/ET beginning April 2.)

As in previous TV and comic-book incarnations, this Dark Knight Damsel is Police Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara. But in a new twist, she's just a teenager who turns to fighting crime with cape and cowl after her father puts the kibosh on her plans to become a police detective.

Batgirl's fighting style will be heavily influenced by her background as an Olympic gymnastics hopeful. "She has this nice, explosive little-kid dynamic," says producer and art director Jeff Matsuda.

At first, Batman doesn't approve of a youngster getting in the middle of Gotham City's depraved underworld. "But he also knows he can't stop her," Matsuda says. "Later on, we'll probably have that moment where he accepts her, but in the beginning, it's more of a stay-out-of-my-way deal."

Matsuda based the Batgirl character's design on the '60s live-action Batman series, especially the striking purple hue made famous by Yvonne Craig. He also cops to being influenced by "the cartoons I grew up on," including Battle of the Planets and Thundercats.


For an exclusive first look at Batgirl's first archenemy, Poison Ivy, pick up the April 3 issue of TV Guide magazine, on sale Thursday.