Off My Mind: Oracle's Death & Barbara Gordon's Future

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Posted by G-Man (30625 posts) - - Show Bio
We've just seen the death and return of Batman. In this week's Birds of Prey #7, the four part Death of Oracle story begins. Are we going to see the death of another Bat-character? No. Or at least not a literal death.  
 
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.
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#1 Posted by longbowhunter (6751 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm assuming this might have something to do with that internet 3.0 thing Bruce mentioned in the Batman: The Return one-shot. Babs is a cool character. I'm anxious to see where this is heading.
#2 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

Can't wait to see what happens.

#3 Posted by Baron_Emo (3570 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity. 

#4 Edited by NightFang (9866 posts) - - Show Bio
@Baron_Emo said:

" I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity.  "

I hope not because Barbara only became interesting after losing her legs and I think making her walk again would be insulting too paraplegics.
#5 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

interesting
#6 Posted by Baron_Emo (3570 posts) - - Show Bio
@NightFang said:
" @Baron_Emo said:

" I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity.  "

I hope not because Barbara only became interesting after losing her legs and I think making her walk again would be insulting too paraplegics. "
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.
#7 Posted by sora_thekey (8152 posts) - - Show Bio

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!

Moderator
#8 Posted by saiyan_earthling (5378 posts) - - Show Bio

We can only wait and see.

#9 Edited by johnny_spam (2031 posts) - - Show Bio

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. 
 

Batman: The Return
#10 Posted by Icarusflies (12458 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, I don't care what happens to Oracle as long as the Calculator is okay.

Moderator
#11 Posted by Jake Fury (18116 posts) - - Show Bio
@Icarusflies said:
"Honestly, I don't care what happens to Oracle as long as the Calculator is okay. "

He's a bad man! :P 
 
#12 Posted by Icarusflies (12458 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jake Fury: ….You probably have some sort of point, but what it is escapes me. :P
Moderator
#13 Posted by UnsolvedParadox (262 posts) - - Show Bio

I figure she'll expand globally as part of Batman Incorporated, like Chloe and Watchtower did in Smallville. Perhaps she becomes its CEO?

#14 Posted by ComicMan24 (147042 posts) - - Show Bio

I am curious to see what happens. Although I wouldn't mind seeing her walking I don't know if DC will do this.

#15 Posted by Fhiz (474 posts) - - Show Bio

way to fail to mention what happened in The Return with Babs.

#16 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio
@Baron_Emo said:
" 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!
 
'nuff said!
#17 Posted by Amish_Joe (6 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, that is a lot to chew over. 

#18 Edited by dadarkknight36310 (94 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fhiz: Yeah I think she will assume the mantel of batgirl again inside the internet lol, Thank ghost in the shell me avatar. If you remember in the movie avatar the main character was confined to a wheel chair until but when he was using his avatar he could walk. I think the picture Bats showed Babs in the return was her new avatar. Then again it could be the suits he and damion wore in the same issue that will allow her to walk lol Who knows we will have to just wait and see lol
#19 Posted by Crazy Pan (708 posts) - - Show Bio

I dunno what she'll do but I like that one pic...SHE SEES INTO OUR SOULS.... O___O!!!

#20 Posted by Mumbles (846 posts) - - Show Bio
@johnny spam: 
 
she's keeping it real.....real dumb,lol
#21 Posted by DMC (1550 posts) - - Show Bio
@NightFang said:
" @Baron_Emo said:

" I would like to see her regain her ability to walk and don a new identity.  "

I hope not because Barbara only became interesting after losing her legs and I think making her walk again would be insulting too paraplegics. "
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?
#22 Posted by kaliforniaa (104 posts) - - Show Bio

OR, she could have gradually been regaining use of her legs and she will be able to become a new sidekick to Batman. Yes, it is somewhat of a fantasy, but this is comics, other people have come back from paralysis in comics as well, so why not?

#23 Posted by chowy (64 posts) - - Show Bio

There are 2 Batmans, 2 Flashes, why not 2 Batgilrs/woman?

#24 Posted by danhimself (22278 posts) - - Show Bio

called it

#25 Posted by Icemizer (181 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

#26 Posted by umbrafeline (5300 posts) - - Show Bio

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

#27 Posted by yankeemanf (192 posts) - - Show Bio

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

#28 Posted by Durakken (1593 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

#29 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio
@chowy said:
"There are 2 Batmans, 2 Flashes, why not 2 Batgilrs/woman? "

U make a good point there.
#30 Posted by jubilee042 (1353 posts) - - Show Bio

i want the original batgal back

#31 Posted by Band Lone (1789 posts) - - Show Bio

A new persona? What's she gonna call herself now? Wheels? O_o

#32 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio
@Icemizer said:

" 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. "

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." 

@chowy
said:

" There are 2 Batmans, 2 Flashes, why not 2 Batgilrs/woman? "

Because making the same mistake over and over means you don't learn.
#33 Posted by Duo_forbidden (1161 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope this story arc is just a way for her enemies to think that she's dead. I rather Barbara still be Oracle.

#34 Posted by sparty-dbq (775 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

#35 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

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. 

#36 Posted by HometownHero (38 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

#37 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio

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. 

#38 Posted by Pokeysteve (8028 posts) - - Show Bio

Love Barbara and no matter where they go with her character it's nice she getting some recognition. She's one of those great characters people seem to take for granted. 

#39 Posted by Bestostero (5618 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm very interested in seeing where this all goes

#40 Posted by Jordanstine (907 posts) - - Show Bio

With Superheroes coming back from the dead, left and right, these days... you would think that curing one paralegic's legs should be as easy as a simple flu shot in comics. 
 
Eh.
#41 Posted by buns134 (318 posts) - - Show Bio

hopefully not actual death
#42 Posted by aouric (188 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

#43 Posted by Sawcesome (131 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh wow.  I'm gonna have to pick these up.

#44 Posted by squidracerX (28 posts) - - Show Bio

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.

#45 Posted by Primmaster64 (21138 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman Beyond is an alternative universe...earth 12 to be exact

#46 Posted by Krakoa (550 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd love to see Barbara rocking a big ol' mech battle suit, and using that to kick ass while simultaneously being the info broker. If that makes a lick of sense.

#47 Posted by mickoreo_LZ (250 posts) - - Show Bio

Always been a big fan of Barbara Gordon. The second best Batgirl (Cassie Cain = #1), and probably the most important member of the Bat-family. Whatever changes they make to her character I hope they are for better and not for worse

#48 Posted by batman_is_god (1185 posts) - - Show Bio

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.
#49 Posted by MSBoyd23 (112 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't rule her literal death (or as literal as a comic book death could be) out just yet. I don't trust Savant and Calculator really wants her dead. There have to be some things he's planning on doing that Babs hasn't accounted for

#50 Posted by Jekylhyde14 (746 posts) - - Show Bio
@batman_is_god said:
" 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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