By now you should have heard the news that Barbara Gordon will be returning to her Batgirl guise in September. The relaunched Batgirl #1 will feature the currently wheelchair bound hero back on her feet. From the tiny bits of information we have about DC's planned revamp of all their titles, we know that some characters will be tweaked while others appear to be completely re-imagined.
What fans of Barbara Gordon (and her current Oracle identity) want to know is, will her character and everything that has made her who she is today be completely erased? While it may add to the storytelling possibilities with the character, many fans have expressed their disappointment if Barbara suddenly has the use of her legs again.
While anything is possible when it comes to comic book characters, the possibility of Barbara Gordon being able to walk again really shouldn't come as a surprise. We won't know for sure what will happen and how Barbara will be able to walk once more as Batgirl until we get closer to September but just because Barbara will become Batgirl once again doesn't mean everything we know is going to be erased and her time as Oracle will be over.== TEASER ==
Barbara first appeared in Detective Comics # 359 and immediately was shown as Batgirl. Her crime-fighting career was seemingly cut short in 1988's The Killing Joke when she was shot through the spine by the Joker.
Since then, Barbara overcame her new situation and continued fighting evil as Oracle. Rather than rely on physical abilities to put the villains behind bars, Barbara evolved into a brilliant and resourceful hero using her incredible computer skills. She assisted Batman, the Birds of Prey and even the Justice League. Despite having the recent Death of Oracle storyline in Birds of Prey #s 7-10, she still continued fighting evil as usual, just in an even more discrete manner.
Now with the news of her return to being Batgirl, readers fear that her entire evolution since being shot will be forgotten and rewritten. This doesn't have to be the case. What is it that makes Barbara Gordon who she is today?
As Oracle, she's shown how intelligent she is. There is no reason she can't retain her brilliance and computer skills. She could still do everything she does as Oracle when she's not wearing the Batgirl suit.
Of course the main thing is, what about her paralysis? Not that being in a wheelchair is something that defines a person, it has, in a way, influenced Barbara. In real life, there are no easy way outs for those that require a wheelchair. Having her miraculously regain the use of her legs would be a disservice and insult to those that can relate to her. As some have observed, it doesn't necessarily look as if she's wearing a normal Batgirl suit. Why couldn't it be possible that she would have some sort of cybernetic enhancements that would allow her to be on her feet? That is essentially what Flash Thompson is doing using the symbiotic Venom entity. Soldier Zero (from BOOM! Studios) is also transformed courtesy of an alien suit. Barbara could have a special suit of her own that allows her to become Batgirl once again.
When Editor-in-Chief, VP of DC Comics, Bob Harris and Executive Editor of DC Comics, Eddie Berganza were interviewed and from what others have said, her change will be explained through her stories. We shouldn't be opening up Batgirl #1 in September and find Barbara on her feet as if she was never shot. Those that love and respect Barbara for overcoming the odds stacked against her don't have to be concerned that everything will be erased. I feel it is completely possible for her to still require a wheelchair as Barbara but have some sort of Waynetech suit that gives her the mobility that Batgirl would require. This would give fans of Barbara the best of both worlds. She'll still have her paralysis but will also be able to return to rooftops and fight the evil flooding Gotham City.
Because we see heroes die and return from the dead as if it were nothing, having a wheelchair-bound character be able gain some technological enhancement to continue fighting crime should not be unbelievable. Let's have Barbara put on the cape and cowl once more but have her continue to be the great role model that she has become in the last twenty-three years. She can still be the smart and savvy "Oracle" while also wearing a cape and swinging from building to building.
Most importantly, we should have faith that writer Gail Simone will handle the character she's written so often in the way that she deserves to be written.