Monday, June 06, 2011

Oracle vs Batgirl

Comments on this post over at Has Boobs, Reads Comics led to these comments of mine, long enough to warrant a post here methinks:
I'm heartsick about many of the changes, including Dick becoming Nightwing again, but this has me besides myself. I work with blind and visually impaired people and others who can't read standard print, including quadriplegics. I know how powerful a symbol and role model Babs as Oracle is and I know how so many people don't just get to start over or leave that wheelchair behind. I hate that DC is going backward. Just. Hate. It.
And then:
I'm not defining Oracle by her disability. I think people need role models and she's one of the very few who are positive role models for disabled people. She's a shining example of overcoming adversity and doing something special with her life, even more than when she was Batgirl. I don't want her to be a BatGIRL. I want her to be what she's been: a fully realized awesome WOMAN who has played a vital role for the DC Superhero community. Anyone can be Batgirl; after all, there have been others besides Babs (the first one I knew was Betty Kane) and Steph Brown has filled the role admirably and capably and her costume is awesome! In fact, the current Batgirl is one of the most fun comics DC publishes. And Babs, as Oracle, has been the amazing anchor of Birds of Prey. Why anyone wants to go backward from that is beyond me. Well beyond me.
Finally, Barbara Gordon has been many things over the decades: librarian, congresswoman, Batgirl, Oracle, daughter of Commissioner Gordon, girlfriend of Dick Grayson, friend to Black Canary and Huntress and Zinda, mentor to many young female characters from Misfit and Cass Cain to Stephanie Brown and Wendy/Proxy. Babs in her personal life and as Oracle has touched the lives of most of the characters in the DCU. No Batgirl has ever been able to say that. Batgirl is just another costumed crimefighter. Oracle has been so much more. That's what DC is giving up and they should be ashamed of themselves.


  1. I'm with you. Even ignoring all the many, many downsides to this move, the idiocy of it all can be summed up in a simple question: What upside does this bring? Answer: ZERO. NONE. NOTHING. This adds absolutely nothing to Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown or any other Bat-character. It represents a regression in storytelling in every conceivable sense of the word. This is the final proof that the DC honchos are trying to recreate their childhood comics and are not actually interesting in telling good NEW stories with the NEW characters they have.

  2. I will add that it adds NADA and ZILCH. I don't want my childhood created. I can reread my old comics for that. I want new things to read. I like characters who evolve and grow and mature.

  3. I'm rather surprised by this move. Barbara as Oracle is such a GOOD character...why mess with her? Especially when there are a couple of other Batgirls available. The Bat books aren't my favorites, but seems very arbitrary.

  4. I was surprised, too, though I was worried. I wish I was a bigger GL fan, like you, Sally. The GLs seem to be doing the best with the rebooting than the other characters.

  5. Big surprise there--guess who's in charge of their overall storylines? -_-