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  1. #106
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    But when most people think of him, they think of him as a guy in a wheelchair.

    But it's still using the name, which is the issue.
    Xavier is disabled in the public consciousness, I think, because of the movie. Which, once again, is why I think movies really do matter when they change things. Because more people see them, so it impacts more memories.

    It's explicitly tying the legacy of Oracle to evil, instead of the heroism that saved so many lives in the 90s and 2000s. And the two different storylines which have made Oracle an evil AI are also really bad storylines. The idea that the recent one by Castellucci is good is boggling - Babs wins by "doing what no one would expect" - which is basically by making stupid, easily countered mistakes that aren't countered because the plot requires her to win at that point.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
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  2. #107
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Sometimes I think bad storylines are good writers rebelling against stupid dictats on what they are to write.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  3. #108
    I am a diamond, Ms. Pryde millernumber1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Sometimes I think bad storylines are good writers rebelling against stupid dictats on what they are to write.
    That is the wrong approach, though. If you look at, for example, Huntress's storyline in Birds of Prey, or the very creation of Oracle, those were writers who looked at what editorial had dictated or allowed, and made a good story from it. THAT is what we should want, not deliberately bad stories.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, by Aaron Allston
    "All that is not eternal is eternally out of date." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    "There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Stephanie Brown, Batgirl, by Bryan Q. Miller
    Stephanie Brown Wiki, My Batman Universe Reviews

  4. #109
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    That is the wrong approach, though. If you look at, for example, Huntress's storyline in Birds of Prey, or the very creation of Oracle, those were writers who looked at what editorial had dictated or allowed, and made a good story from it. THAT is what we should want, not deliberately bad stories.
    I can't comment on Huntress, but with Oracle I understand that Ostrander and Yale asked for permission to use Babs and got it (since the Bat writers had no plans for herm apart from including her sitting forlorn in a wheelchair in the background as needed), no strings attached. So they took a shitty situation and made something good out of it, because they had creative freedom from that point on how to decide how Babs would act and develop.

    With the poorly written evil AI Oracle stories, the writers are constrained not so much in the starting situation but on what they must accomplish with a specific character.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  5. #110

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    There's always a Batgirl Eternal .

  6. #111
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post

    But it's still using the name, which is the issue.
    It's pretty meta, BATGIRL fighting for her own identity. Her book has been so good lately.
    Last edited by Flash Gordon; 02-13-2020 at 07:22 PM.

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    Yeah, no. The general audience doesn't know that the Birds of Prey IP existed until this movie, still don't know they're usually led by Oracle, and don't even know who Oracle is. To make the argument you're making is to seriously overestimate what the non-comics audience knows of this franchise. Oracle not being in the audience has only cost the film some tickets from the people who actually read the comics, which is a very small portion of the audience.
    Yeah, no. The general audience is far more comics literate now than ever before and you're underestimating the way information disseminates and the overall reach of Batman media. You don't need to have read the comics to know Barbara Gordon and be a fan of her as a character.

    Why call the film Birds Of Prey at all, if the name has no value other than what the marquee gives it?

    It's not an outlandish idea to say that if Barbara Gordon were in the movie titled "Birds of Prey ... Harley Quinn", there would've had more interest. The movie would've had a headliner to complement Margot's Harley and unite the BOP team characters. Even as Oracle; people know Oracle*, and especially if she's clearly presented as pre- or about-to-be- Batgirl, if there's a promise of a future Batgirl film, again, that's going to drive up interest... from casual fans of Babs or Batgirl in general, and from people who like the BOP brand the movie is trading on.


    *The Arkham video game series is huge. "The Killing Joke" is one of the most popular comics ever and though it doesn't introduce Oracle, it's her backstory. I'd say most normies under 50 know Oracle and Nightwing.

  8. #113
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    Yeah, no. The general audience is far more comics literate now than ever before and you're underestimating the way information disseminates and the overall reach of Batman media. You don't need to have read the comics to know Barbara Gordon and be a fan of her as a character.

    Why call the film Birds Of Prey at all, if the name has no value other than what the marquee gives it?

    It's not an outlandish idea to say that if Barbara Gordon were in the movie titled "Birds of Prey ... Harley Quinn", there would've had more interest. The movie would've had a headliner to complement Margot's Harley and unite the BOP team characters. Even as Oracle; people know Oracle*, and especially if she's clearly presented as pre- or about-to-be- Batgirl, if there's a promise of a future Batgirl film, again, that's going to drive up interest... from casual fans of Babs or Batgirl in general, and from people who like the BOP brand the movie is trading on.


    *The Arkham video game series is huge. "The Killing Joke" is one of the most popular comics ever and though it doesn't introduce Oracle, it's her backstory. I'd say most normies under 50 know Oracle and Nightwing.
    We obviously have very fundamentally different opinions on how much people who don't read comics care about comic book accuracy. The Birds had one bad TV series and an episode of the Brave and the Bold. The BoP name has almost no brand recognition, calling the film that wasn't to rely on the BoP name for ticket sales, it was to build the brand up. Most of the people WB are hoping to get have never heard of Oracle. Sure TKJ is popular, but despite being her origin not every casual followed up to see what happened next.

    The only argument I think you have here is the Arkham games, and I'm not a gamer so I'd rather not get into that debate.

    I don't see us coming to a consensus here.

  9. #114
    hate cant reach you here Harpsikord's Avatar
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    I just read the entire eight pages of this thread, and I have to say that there are interesting arguments and points coming from both sides, but the majority of you are ignoring the big elephant in the room:

    Yes, Steph and Cass should have their times as Batgirl restored. But that doesn't have to come at the detriment of Babs being Batgirl... and then it verges into the question of Oracle. I agree that at large Oracle had a larger role in the DCU than Batgirl ever has and probably ever will, but the thing about that is this: why does she have to either/or as opposed to both? That is to say, why does she have to exclusively be Batgirl or Oracle when she could just be both of them? It's been well established - especially since the Burnside Batgirl run by Cameron, Stewart, and Tarr - that Babs was Oracle in this continuity and that she still retains the skills that made her Oracle, and presumably the resources as well. Since dropping the Oracle codename and becoming Batgirl, "Oracle" has been used for the wrong purposes twice, and I can see every reason that Babs might have to reclaim it.

    Show her out on the field as Batgirl, doing her thing and stopping the bad guys while using her smarts and then on the low also playing mission control for others. Perhaps use the angle of the current AI but not as a villainous take, and maybe make it more of a VI than anything, in order for her to maintain both roles. She can be Batgirl and she can be Oracle rather easily, there doesn't have to be a distinction made between the two of them. I'd also put her back in the chair in her everyday life - say the chip in her back has failed, and that she's been restrained to the chair once again - but with an augmented suit ala Batwing that allows her to walk and operate as a hero as Batgirl on the low. It adds another level of comfort to her secret identity.

    And barring any of that, if we absolutely had to have a new Oracle, it should be a disabled character - ideally a disabled woman. Frankie Charles would be the first choice in current continuity, but with 5G presumably bringing everything back I'd also settle for Wendy Harris.

    "I'll always love you, Jean Grey." "I'll always love you too, Scott Summers." - Scott Summers and Jean Grey

  10. #115
    Spectacular Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harpsikord View Post
    I just read the entire eight pages of this thread, and I have to say that there are interesting arguments and points coming from both sides, but the majority of you are ignoring the big elephant in the room:

    Yes, Steph and Cass should have their times as Batgirl restored. But that doesn't have to come at the detriment of Babs being Batgirl... and then it verges into the question of Oracle. I agree that at large Oracle had a larger role in the DCU than Batgirl ever has and probably ever will, but the thing about that is this: why does she have to either/or as opposed to both?
    […]
    Theoretically Barbara can be Oracle without stay on a wheelchair, so she can do the intelligence work and participate to the action when it is necessary.
    Obviously I still prefer Barbara on a wheelchair, because see how she faced up and overcame the problem of her paralysis, make her a wonderful character (at least to me), but I don't think there are any good reason to become entrenchered in one's position or in another; on the contrary there are a lot or reasons to find a compromise good for everyone.
    «It's like kids trying to write stories for adults or something.» The World about the Alfred's dead.
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  11. #116
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    My problem with Babs doing double duty as both Batgirl Prime and Oracle out of the wheelchair is less the concept, but rather as I've noted before is the totally Doylist approach to the evolution of the character where they skip the evolution. If they gave is us a story that shows her having a situation that forces her to realise that she can do more out of the wheelchair and show her taking the time to have the surgery and rehab and reforging her relationships with her allies, rather than telling us that half of that happened (in dialogue, comics are a visual medium geniuses!) and most of her allies are either disguarded (Steph, Cass, Charlie, Wendy*, Zinda(?)) or at least depreciated (the rest of the Birds), suggesting IMO that they don't think that Babs can actually stand on her own as Batgirl if there are "rivals" so they had to get rid of them.

    * Actually, the introduction of Wendy White -- who is essentially the New Earth counterpart of the Arrowverse!Felicity Smoak, a Oracle-esque character) -- to the Birds of Prey as Proxy, would've allowed them to organically flow into a replacement Oracle that wouldn't really lose us anything, but would give us the Barbara as "Batgirl Prime" that would still serve their objective, but respect what came before if they'd put the work in.

  12. #117
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham citizen View Post
    Theoretically Barbara can be Oracle without stay on a wheelchair, so she can do the intelligence work and participate to the action when it is necessary.
    Obviously I still prefer Barbara on a wheelchair, because see how she faced up and overcame the problem of her paralysis, make her a wonderful character (at least to me), but I don't think there are any good reason to become entrenchered in one's position or in another; on the contrary there are a lot or reasons to find a compromise good for everyone.
    I'm not sure Babsgirl+Oracle is that good an idea.

    The first is that I think it'd feel like Babsgod, rather too much like Batgod: a character that can do everything.

    Second is that narratives are always about simplification, and given the way superhero stories are structured, it is the Oracle aspect that far too often be relegated to the background.

    But perhaps most important is that the wheelchair turned into an effective and worthwhile narrative symbol. It externalises the TKJ trauma, and thus protects Babs the character from it. It takes off the burden to remind the reader of Babs's past and TKJ from the writer, and thus makes it far more likely that she is depicted as a survivor rather than a victim. Or viewed from another way, the wheelchair defines Oracle, so she doesn't need to be defined by TKJ. I'm not saying it can be used without the wheelchair, but it's a far more tricky balance to strike, and so far the only writer who really has managed to do so is Mairghread Scott.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

  13. #118
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    I agree that it's not without flaws, but I think whether they always use every element, the advantage of the above scenario is that at minimum it respects what came before by showing us how the status quo changed, which can itself be a powerful pro-disability narrative in this case, rather than merely telling us that it what happened and disrepecting what came before in the process, which therefore comes across as lazy writing at best and sexist, ableist bigotry at worst.

  14. #119
    Spectacular Member Gotham citizen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I'm not sure Babsgirl+Oracle is that good an idea.

    The first is that I think it'd feel like Babsgod, rather too much like Batgod: a character that can do everything.
    What do you mean with Babsgirl, Babsdog, Batgod?
    Sometime I have problem with the forum slang.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Second is that narratives are always about simplification, and given the way superhero stories are structured, it is the Oracle aspect that far too often be relegated to the background.
    Good point and that is why I love elements like Oracle's investigations, the Robins' training, the interaction with the GCPD or Alfred who remind to Bruce he have a certain gala evening to attend: they are useful to avoid an excessive simplification of the stories.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    But perhaps most important is that the wheelchair turned into an effective and worthwhile narrative symbol. It externalises the TKJ trauma, and thus protects Babs the character from it. It takes off the burden to remind the reader of Babs's past and TKJ from the writer, and thus makes it far more likely that she is depicted as a survivor rather than a victim. Or viewed from another way, the wheelchair defines Oracle, so she doesn't need to be defined by TKJ.
    If I have understood what you mean, you explained very well what I have meant with: «Obviously I still prefer Barbara on a wheelchair, because see how she faced up and overcame the problem of her paralysis, make her a wonderful character (at least to me)».

    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    I'm not saying it can be used without the wheelchair, but it's a far more tricky balance to strike, and so far the only writer who really has managed to do so is Mairghread Scott.
    Again I'm not sure if I have understood what you mean (sometime my English knowledge betrays me), but if I do then I agree: it is more difficult find a balance among Barbara and Oracle, without using the wheelchair.
    «It's like kids trying to write stories for adults or something.» The World about the Alfred's dead.
    «Heroism is not about being perfect or always winning, but breathing hope into the hopeless.» Literature Devil about "Luke Skywalker betrayal".

  15. #120
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham citizen View Post
    What do you mean with Babsgirl, Babsdog, Batgod?
    Sometime I have problem with the forum slang.
    I use Babsgirl as a shorthand for Babs-as-Batgirl. Batgod is forum slang for the current overpowered and prepared for everything Batman, capable of doing and overcoming everything. So I formed Babsgod as an analogue to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotham citizen View Post
    If I have understood what you mean, you explained very well what I have meant with: «Obviously I still prefer Barbara on a wheelchair, because see how she faced up and overcame the problem of her paralysis, make her a wonderful character (at least to me)».

    Again I'm not sure if I have understood what you mean (sometime my English knowledge betrays me), but if I do then I agree: it is more difficult find a balance among Barbara and Oracle, without using the wheelchair.
    No, this is more how Babs is perceived and treated by the story, and not really so much by the role she plays as either Batgirl or Oracle. I began to think of the wheelchair as a symbol back with Mairghread Scott's Batgirl #27:

    Batgirl (2016-) 027-011.jpg

    Because the way that Scott calls back to Babs's history there makes Babs into a survivor of TKJ rather than a victim of TKJ, and it manages to do so by using her wheelchair and the way Babs thinks about it. With the help of the wheelchair, Scott managed something that other modern Batgirl writers has failed to do: present an experienced Babsgirl that wasn't defined by trauma, something like e.g. King tried to do in Heroes in Crisis but failed at.

    The wheelchair served to shield Oracle from TKJ, and Scott showed that it can be used for Babsgirl as well. As such, it serves a valuable narrative function.
    «Speaking generally, it is because of the desire of the tragic poets for the marvellous that so varied and inconsistent an account of Medea has been given out» (Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History [4.56.1])

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