Off My Mind: Oracle's Death & Barbara Gordon's Future
It is clear on what Barbara Gordon's plans are in BoP #7. Something is going to change with her. She needs to get rid of her Oracle identity. Yes there is always the chance of her character getting killed off but DC wouldn't do that.
Looking back, Barbara made her debut in Detective Comics #359 in 1967. Because everyone thought she was a plain Jane librarian, she decided to make a Batgirl costume for a masquerade party and shock everyone at the end by revealing her identity. On the way there, she comes across Killer Moth attacking Bruce Wayne. Barbara tries to save Bruce, who runs off to change unseen into his Batman costume. This began her career as Batgirl.
In 1988's The Killing Joke, Barbara gets shot in the spine by Joker and becomes paraplegic. The next year in Suicide Squad #23, she secretly becomes Oracle and helps out the government. It's been twenty-years since she's been shot. Are we going to see a major change for Barbara in this current storyline?
== TEASER ==
What does the death of Oracle mean for Barbara Gordon? Does this mean she's no longer going to use her computer skills to help Batman and the Birds of Prey? Is she tired of sitting in front of a computer everyday?
When Oracle: The Cure came out in 2009, I wondered if it was time for her to regain the use of her legs. With all the miracles we've seen in the DC universe, there really isn't a reason she shouldn't be able to besides the fact that her wheelchair has become a big part of her character.
Barbara clearly has a plan to do away with the Oracle persona but what is she going to do afterwards? There's no way she'll simply give up the fight against crime. In Batman #700 when Damian is Batman, she's seen still in a wheelchair. In Batman Beyond, she is able to walk. Are these futures set in stone? Grant Morrison has said yes but things can always change.
If she does somehow regain the use of her legs, she can't become Batgirl and there's already a Batwoman. At some point she needs to join the Gotham City Police Department. Since she's been in the super-hero game for so long, it would be difficult for Barbara to take a step back and join the police force. Sure the GCPD play an important role in the safety of the citizens of Gotham but Barbara can do so much more than the average police officer. It'd be great to see her in a more active role. The cover to Birds of Prey #9 suggests that she either will be needing a new wheelchair or possibly that the time has come where she won't require it any longer. I'm all for Barbara getting a new hero identity. She has so much to offer and it's time for her to get back into the action.
" @Baron_Emo said:You are right. It wouldn't be worth that kind of insult. I suppose just because I'd like to see Barbara walking again, doesn't make it the wisest choice for DC.I hope not because Barbara only became interesting after losing her legs and I think making her walk again would be insulting too paraplegics. "
" I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity. "
If Bruce is going to be training each individual International Batman, then who will coordinate the already Bat-People in Batman Inc.?
I think that since she has experience in organizing the super-powered then she would be perfect for her to take a full-time job organizing Batmen...
For that she would need to leave the Birds of Prey... by, I don't know, faking her death maybe?
Also, I haven't read BoP #7 so my comment is speculation only!
I really hope Internet 3.0 is more then just an online role in a universe where the dead come back to life Steel can replace his hand with a robotic one after losing it and Damian can have a replaceable spine it makes no sense why this one character refuses to get her legs back.
" I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity. "I hope not.
She's become as much as an icon BECAUSE of the wheelchair.
She's a great "inspiration" (as in, do'nt necessary do the same stuff like kickin' badguy's ass from the wheelchair as she does, just try to overcome your fears and obstacles)
and one of the few good heroic character that is in a wheelchair.
She may started out as Batgirl and I can understand some people wanna regress to that status but it's plain stupid! Just read stories set in the past like Batgirl, Robin or Nightwing YEAR ONE!
Nobody wants to make Dick Grayson go back to the Robin costume either.
She's as much as a good motivation for people in wheelchairs as Black Panther or John Stewart can be as african-american superheroes.
Making her regain the controls of her legs would be, like, turning Black Panther white!
" @Baron_Emo said:But what about those (in the real world) who overcome that and are able to walk again? Either trough rehabilitation or technology. So why can't the same happen to Barbara?I hope not because Barbara only became interesting after losing her legs and I think making her walk again would be insulting too paraplegics. "
" I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity. "
The identity of Oracle will no longer be needed. Since Bruce announced that he is funding Batman, Barbara will take on a public role at Wayne Industries as the supplier of information to all of the heroes in the DC universe. she will no longer need to hide in the tower or basement or wherever but will have a nice new office at Wayne Industries. She will be running a department of people suppling information to all of the heroes Bruce recruits to join Batman Inc. She will of course have certain special clients that only she deals with.
She will of course have certain special clients that only she deals with.
@Icemizer: when you say certain special clients you mean those kind of clients ;-) or those pertaining to batman
the only person who knows whats going to happen to barb is the writer. so i say we shake him up, string him by the ankles and make him talk
maybe she will regain the use of her legs and take the batgirl mantle up again or join the police force to go in her father's footsteps...if she becomes a police officer itll be one step closer to the future where damien is batman and babs is commissioner and babs hates him
Commissioner is a position that is chosen by the Mayor. She never has to join the GCPD to become commissioner.
She could just use the wheel chair as a cover like Tim is doing or she could just get reinjured, either way it doesn't mess up the future for her to get healed now.
Aww man, that's what I was gonna say. It's the most sensical possibility that Barb becomes C.O.O. or VP in charge of something intelligence/coordination related of Batman Inc. I wouldn't be surprised if that involved her cyber-batgirl, I just hope they don't call her "Avatar."
" The identity of Oracle will no longer be needed. Since Bruce announced that he is funding Batman, Barbara will take on a public role at Wayne Industries as the supplier of information to all of the heroes in the DC universe. she will no longer need to hide in the tower or basement or wherever but will have a nice new office at Wayne Industries. She will be running a department of people suppling information to all of the heroes Bruce recruits to join Batman Inc. She will of course have certain special clients that only she deals with. "
Because making the same mistake over and over means you don't learn.
" There are 2 Batmans, 2 Flashes, why not 2 Batgilrs/woman? "
I know this is a silly thing to mull over considering it's a comic book and far, far stranger things have happened, but if she regained the use of her legs, she'd have to go through years of physical therapy before she could so much as stand on her own.
Love babs but future's are never set in stone, hyper time and all that jazz. I mean there's no logical reason for her to have remained paralyzed all this time, other then the fact that it's made her such a great character. I don't quite see the big picture here. But my initial reaction is one of distaste for this idea. Her role as oracle has made her integral to the DCU's hero community. Her leaving that role would leave a HUGE void. I don't read birds of prey so I may be off, but from what I've read of her as Oracle in other DC titles over the years this looks like a very out of character decision that I didn't see coming. I'll see how it pans out, but I don't have high hopes for it.
I think her getting her legs back is just a little... convenient. So many big things happen in both DC and Marvel's universes that later just get reversed, like saying "We can make any decision we want, and if we don't like it, we'll just retconn it later!" I loved Barbara as Oracle. She was the brains behind the operation, the all-seeing eye that saved lives without ever having to throw a punch (Well, once in a while, but it wasn't TOTALLY necessary). The point is, this is a thin line that DC is walking, and if not handled delicately, this could blow up in their faces, much like Bruce's announcement that he's been funding Batman. I have trust in DC, but I can't help but wonder if maybe they're starting to simply run out of ideas.
It'll be bittersweet to see the end of the Oracle era. Watching Barbara's transformation from a wounded Batgirl to one of the most important and respected resources in the superhero community has been one of the highlights of Modern Age DC comics. From when Joker shot and crippled her under Alan Moore; to when John Ostrander gave her a new purpose in Suicide Squad; through her years of becoming established with the Bat Family and the Birds of Prey under Chuck Dixon and co., Barbara has helped prove that paralysis is an obstacle that can be overcome. It's made her an icon to the handicapped and has given us stories with some truly wonderful human characterization. Oracle will remain one of my favorite things about Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC.
That being said, it's probably time for a change. At this point, Oracle is no longer the best kept secret in the superhero world but is definitely a known quantity. Cliff Carmichael tracked her down, Prometheus tracked her down, the Calculator has tracked her down, and it seems like every other Oracle story has her getting tracked through the web. It's also almost become a given that if a hero is talking into a radio or headset that Oracle's on the other end of the line. We've had over a decade of things like this. I think it's time for Barbara to move on and reach a new milestone in her life. It'll shake things up and perhaps even give her a new dimension as she matures. I hope she keeps the wheelchair since she has done some real-world good as a fictional inspiration to the paralyzed. However, if they do give her the ability to walk again then I hope its done tastefully. I seriously doubt anyone at DC means offense to the paraplegic community. I think they have something else in mind for her than a return to the Batgirl costume anyway... I welcome a change for Barbara.
Well all I can say this... It's long overdue and it would be nice to see Babs get back in the mix of things with Bat family. It will be hard to see her as a new character other than Batgirl, but the interesting part is to see her dawn a new costume and a different perspective to fighting crime.
I think she was great in the wheelchair. Just like Professor X, i am not into his character as much anymore when he is walking around. It seems "dishonest" to me. And it brings up that whole "this world is so magical and full of powerful and smart people why are people still suffering from cancer and spinal injuries?" conundrum, if she gets cured than everyone should be "cured" right? Between Mr Terrific, Dr Fate, and the various Gods running around why is anyone still suffering from diabetes if you can travel time? So if the heroes can cure all of this then DC is officially a Utopia. I don't like that. There needs to be boundaries and conflict and drama.
Also, the DC universe NEEDS, needs, needs an information specialist person. They used to just call up to the JLA Watchtower and get info from whomever was on duty, but that monitor duty seems to have taken a major back seat. And that's good, why waste the super tough Martian Manhunter in your call center? Babs is better at it and it suits here. Heck Oracle is in the DC Universe Online game :) Plus I liked the whole "Oracle vs Calculator" thing going on.
After Batman "died", everyone played musical titles. I can't say I am surprised by this.
I really liked her as Oracle though, and I see no reason for her to change it. Of course, gotta keep the restless ones interested with status quo shake ups rather than good stories.
" After Batman "died", everyone played musical titles. I can't say I am surprised by this. I really liked her as Oracle though, and I see no reason for her to change it. Of course, gotta keep the restless ones interested with status quo shake ups rather than good stories. "I'm sorry, but as G-Man pointed out, it's been around twenty years since Barbara was put in the wheelchair and started being Oracle. How on Earth is it "restless" to change continuity after two decades worth of stories? How does resistance to change make for good stories? As I said, I enjoyed Barbara's time as Oracle, but she had a life before Oracle and it's not impossible for her to have a life after Oracle. Why not let them take a shot at it?
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