Friday, March 27, 2009


I read Battle for the Cowl: Oracle 1 last night and enjoyed it. The art was wonderful. Babs, and everyone else, looked real, and the emotions really came through in the art by Lopez, Pasarin, and Bryant. I liked that for once, someone thought to show how difficult it can be to be disabled, in this case, paralzyed from the waist down. Sure, we've seen how hard it has been for Babs to get around and to defend herself. The Hunt for Oracle did a great job with that. But this showed some more of the everyday sorts of things that have become a challenge. The simple act of taking a shower, for example, was beautifully depicted. Babs has to use her hands to lift her legs in order to pull off and on her jeans and underwear. She needs to sit in the shower and needs something to grab onto to get in and out of the tub. The little things we take for granted are big things for Babs to deal with. Kevin Vanhook showed a real feel for Babs so far.

All of which are why I've never wanted her to regain the use of her legs. It's so important for there to be disabled characters to be role models for disabled readers. Babs, as Oracle, shows you can succeed despite being unable to walk. She had to remake herself after she was shot, from an active costumed crimefighter to a more sedentary hacker to the costumed crimefighting community and as leader of her Birds of Prey. Being disabled is the one minority anyone can join at any time. And without warning.

And much as I see her as confident and don't like her bouts of doubt, I can see that as realistic, too. Things went bad and she took the failure personally. Anyone can doubt themselves and someone with physical limitations might very well suffer occasional blows to her confidence.

The scene with her father rang true, too. After all, I'm a grown daughter of a father still living.

As for the story, Calculator has made himself a major player in the DCU, someone I no longer can dismiss as a lightweight villain.

While I don't want to see Babs walk again (yeah, I know, I sound cruel), I'll accept it if it makes sense in the story and for Babs. What I don't want is for her to be Batgirl again. She's not a girl and that would be a step backward. She can't be Batwoman, because someone else has filled that role. I'd like to see her remain Oracle, but still able to don a costume and go into the field as needed. She'd need another name, though, because she can't compromise Oracle's hidden identity.

I have high hopes for this mini in the midst of the Battle for the Cowl storyline and so far, I'm impressed. I hope I won't be disappointed by the outcome, but as long as the resolution is logical and well done, I probably won't be able to complain. Much. ;)


  1. I'm pretty much with you completely on this one. I liked Babs as Batgirl, but it would be pretty ridiculous for her to revert to that stage,she's moved so far beyond dressing up and leaping around on rooftops that it's not funny.

    And while I can understand her angst and frustration, she's such a wonderful character as Oracle, she's overcome or at least compensated for problems that other superheroes never even have contemplated. She's also far FAR more effective as Oracle than she ever was, or could ever hope to be as just another costumed hero, which to be frank, are pretty much a dime a dozen.

    So, let's let her work through her problems and bring back Birds of Prey, dagnabit!

  2. Oh, yeah, Sally. I want BoP back! And Oracle is unique in the DCU. I'd hate to lose that.

  3. I am complete and unwaiverably pro-functional-legs Babara Gordon Batgirl on this one.

    My response here got too long and turned into its own post.