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  1. #46
    Astonishing Member Dataweaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by km_sus View Post
    In general, I'm very opposed to any sort of regression or "going back" for a character. Once the cat's out of the bag there's no trying to put it back. It's why I don't like characters like Tim becoming Robin or Barbara being Batgirl again (even though she's been Batgirl again for ten years). And since someone else said it: yes, I am a Cass fan - but I don't think she should go back to being Batgirl. She's fine as Black Bat, she just needed a better costume.



    What I'm getting from this and this:



    ... is that Barbara needs an evolution of some kind.

    I know there's a knee-jerk reaction when I say that Barbara should leave Batgirl behind, but I'm still not saying that she just go back to Oracle. If there's one thing I'm excited for in Taylor's upcoming Nightwing book is the possibility that Barbara might actually forge out a new identity and role in the bat family. If Oracle is outdated and Batgirl isn't unique, then she needs something new.

    I know it's obvious that I don't like Barbara as Batgirl, but "outgrowing" Batgirl doesn't need to be a bad thing. I just think that Barbara doesn't need Batgirl anymore.
    Setting aside the antipathy for Barbara as Batgirl, I do think there's room to do more with Barbara as Oracle. They could, for example, make her the first netrunning superhero. Comics are a visual medium, and having someone shit around in front of a computer screen and talk about what she's doing can only go so far. But if you present her online activities as if they were taking place in a Tron-like digital landscape, turning a hacking session into the visual equivalent of a night patrol of Gotham City, you could do something about that impression that Oracle is “just Batman's secretary”.

    It needn't even be literal netrunning in the classic cyberpunk sense; you could make it clear to the reader that the “cyberspace scenes” are purely metaphorical, merely a way to present in a visually interesting manner what Babs is doing when she's hacking. That said, making her an actual netrunner who can interact with the digital world through some sort of virtual reality and/or augmented reality interface could be interesting, too. Maybe even leverage the “miracle cure” that have her back the use of her legs as the basis for a “net-jacking” interface.

    That said, I wouldn't take away the Batgirl thing. Oracle works well as an online persona; but there will be times when Barbara needs to get physical. In the Birds of Prey, that's where Black Canary and, later, Huntress came in; they did the physical work that Babs couldn't because of her wheelchair. But as a solo heroine, she'd need to do that sort of stuff herself. And “Batgirl” works well for that side of things.
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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Venus View Post
    Barbara as Batgirl forever becomes stagnant and rudderless as a character. Her transformation Oracle puts more emphasis on her skills as a librarian and hacker.
    And Oracle was less stagnant in the end?

    Every character will get kind of stagnant after 20 years if there is no big shake up of the status quo, and there isn't put much effort into the title.
    Last edited by Aahz; 01-14-2021 at 04:57 AM.

  3. #48
    A Wearied Madness Vakanai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by km_sus View Post
    Why exactly is it "silly"? Personally I always viewed Barbara becoming Batgirl again as a step down. Keep in mind that prior to Flashpoint, Barbara had been Oracle for just as long as she had been Batgirl, meaning she had "outgrown" the role for quite some time. Yes, I know the circumstances in which she was forced to stop being Batgirl was cruel - and while Barbara had it the worst, she's hardly the only Bat character to be callously outed from their role: Jason, Tim, Cass, poor Stephanie wasn't even a Batgirl yet before they decided to violently kill her off.

    The Batgirl mantle isn't even "hers" in the first place. Batgirl has always been a legacy mantle. Barbara wasn't the first Batgirl and she wasn't the last. Not comparable to Bruce imo.

    Honestly I find it unsettling that characters like Steph and Cass are required to "move on" from the mantle, but Barbara is allowed to stay Batgirl because she's "iconic". If the only reason Barbara should be Batgirl is because she's the most recognisable, then it shows me there's not much reason for her to be Batgirl. That's the crux of my argument anyway; Barbara hasn't had many good stories since she became Batgirl again. I know, it's all subjective, but aside from Simone and Scott who tried to carry over traits from the mature and independent woman Barbara had become, her older personality was slowly eroded away through editorial interference - the Barbara as Batgirl of today isn't really recognisable as the person she was ten/fifteen years ago.

    I'm confused when people say that Oracle's role is outdated anyway. I feel that no one in the family right now provided what Oracle did. I'm not saying we should put her back in the chair or that she should stop crimefighting - and I know that Barbara fans want her to stay in the spotlight and not fade away into the confinement of a clocktower, but I'm speaking honestly when I say I don't know what benefit Barbara has by staying Batgirl. Editorial clearly has no idea, as showcased by the past ten years of stories - and what I'm beginning to find out is that everyone likes the idea of Barbara as Batgirl, but no one really knows what to do with it.
    It's silly because it's not something that needs to be "grown out of". Simple as that.

  4. #49
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    Tim is gonna be Robin into his late 20s Babs is fine
    She doesn’t want to be Batwoman

  5. #50
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vakanai View Post
    It's silly because it's not something that needs to be "grown out of". Simple as that.
    I think it depends on the story.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rac7d* View Post
    Tim is gonna be Robin into his late 20s Babs is fine
    She doesn’t want to be Batwoman
    I don't know if she ever explicitly said that.

    I do remember that King story where she's complaining to Batwoman why she's a "girl" while Kate's a "woman" but that interaction really didn't make sense coming from Babs.

  6. #51
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    If there was one continuity that was consistently followed, I'd be bugged if they rebooted or retconned that character to an earlier version. With the Justice Society of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes, there was a very long continuity--and that's why I don't like when they broke from them--I wanted to see further developments, not more reboots.

    But with Batman, you can't really make this argument. They keep changing the continuity and the characters--at least since the 1970s this has been going on--so reboots and retcons are the norm.
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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I think it depends on the story.

    I don't know if she ever explicitly said that.

    I do remember that King story where she's complaining to Batwoman why she's a "girl" while Kate's a "woman" but that interaction really didn't make sense coming from Babs.
    Kate has offered to step down from the position

  8. #53
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rac7d* View Post
    Kate has offered to step down from the position
    Oh yeah, I think that was in the Simone run where Kate beats the tar out of her .

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rac7d* View Post
    Kate has offered to step down from the position
    Kathy did also offer her the mantle back in the 70s when Barbara was a congress woman.

  10. #55
    Ultimate Member Ascended's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by km_sus View Post
    Editorial clearly has no idea, as showcased by the past ten years of stories - and what I'm beginning to find out is that everyone likes the idea of Barbara as Batgirl, but no one really knows what to do with it.
    For what it's worth I'm with you. I posted a more even minded opinion earlier and that's my "official" stance, but in all honesty.....I know Babs-as-Batgirl has its fans and I'm not trying to diminish Babs in the role, but I really don't see what it adds to the character today. She's not often involved in the big DC Crisis style events like she was as Oracle, has a smaller role in the Bat events, doesn't pop up in random books every few weeks. Doesn't work with the League, or anyone else outside of Gotham really. Her sales aren't any better or stable than the BoP's usually were, her stories generally aren't as good and certainly aren't as unique.

    And the idea that Oracle is pointless now is....kinda odd. Have we not spent years dealing with the dangers posed by cyber attacks to elections and businesses and individuals? Have we not, just last month, had to deal with a massive hack that has potentially put billions of dollars and millions of people's private data in danger? Have we not been discussing for the last few weeks our rights as citizens in a digital space?

    Oracle is just Bruce's secretary? No. Oracle is the person who can access every defense network on earth, every military drone, every nuke, spy satellite, anyone's information and location, every phone and everything on it. That's not a secretary, that's an Omega level threat. Is it boring to look at in a comic book? Only if the writer and artist are bad at their jobs.

    I'm not saying Babs has to go back in the chair and pretend it's 2005 again. But pretending it's 1968 doesn't seem to really be working out all that well either and outside of nostalgia I don't see the appeal.
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  11. #56
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    The Oracle in your mind isn’t the Oracle that’s on paper. Oracle is the person that supposedly can access every yadda, yadda, except for the bad guys tech, or can’t even find anyones location even when it’s literally written on a wall. All she has done so far is relay information and organize Batfamily communication. That’s a secretary.
    Oracle had a short stint on the JL with no follow up, wasn’t often involved in DC Crisis events (she got one panel in Finale Crisis telling people how she did something no actually got to see), and had to depend on popping up in others books and sharing narrative cause she couldn’t get her own. This false picture about Oracle is no good. It’s how the character ends up in Batgirl as a supporting character, or a prop for others. It’s nostalgia vs nostalgia. While they might not have a clue about what to do with her as Batgirl, they have no better idea what to do with Oracle either. BoP has moved on from her, they clearly aren’t interested in making it into anything more then what it was, and really she is most likely gonna end up as a supporting piece to the enviable Batgirls project. Which is hardly some important omega level role.
    Last edited by Godlike13; 01-15-2021 at 07:04 PM.

  12. #57
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    The Oracle in your mind isn’t the Oracle that’s on paper. Oracle is the person that supposedly can access every yadda, yadda, except for the bad guys tech, or can’t even find anyones location even when it’s literally written on a wall. All she has done so far is relay information and organize Batfamily communication. That’s a secretary.
    Oracle had a short stint on the JL with no follow up, wasn’t often involved in DC Crisis events (she got one panel in Finale Crisis telling people how she did something no actually got to see), and had to depend on popping up in others books and sharing narrative cause she couldn’t get her own. This false picture about Oracle is no good. It’s how the character ends up in Batgirl as a supporting character, or a prop for others. It’s nostalgia vs nostalgia. While they might not have a clue about what to do with her as Batgirl, they have no better idea what to do with Oracle either. BoP has moved on from her, they clearly aren’t interested in making it into anything more then what it was, and really she is most likely gonna end up as a supporting piece to the enviable Batgirls project. Which is hardly some important omega level role.
    I mean, I feel like you're painting a far more negative picture of Oracle compared to how she actually was, but I know we disagree about her use in other books so I guess it all comes down to perspective.

  13. #58
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    I think people have forgotten how Oracle actually was. How stagnate and downright bad her situation got. As readers were content for her to support Batgirl in Batgirl, and probably will be again. When Oracle is good, Oracle is good. But the actuality of Oracle was far different then the romanticized idea, and even now Oracle is not being used well. Ignoring what she is doing because of what she could be doing.
    Last edited by Godlike13; 01-17-2021 at 04:16 PM.

  14. #59
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    I think people have forgotten how Oracle actually was. Has stagnate and downright bad her situation got. As readers were content for her to support Batgirl in Batgirl, and probably will be again. When Oracle is good, Oracle is good. But the actuality of Oracle was far different then the romanticized idea, and even now Oracle is not being used well. Ignoring what she is doing because of what she could be doing.
    I mean, I've been re-reading Steph's run and the last leg of Post-Crisis in general and I thought she still came off pretty well, but to each their own.

    That preview page of Babs in Oracle mode by Jorge Jiminez looked pretty great.

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I mean, I've been re-reading Steph's run and the last leg of Post-Crisis in general and I thought she still came off pretty well, but to each their own.

    That preview page of Babs in Oracle mode by Jorge Jiminez looked pretty great.
    That’s not the point. Regardless of how she came off, the very placement is the problem. Imagine making Nightwing a supporting character in Robin and trying to claim that makes him an important omega level player lol. This is what’s disingenuous about Oracle. Too many readers are content with Oracle as we knew it cause really is gets her out of the way. Readers will criticize her being Batgirl, and claim her less important, but then defend her as Batgirl support for Batgirl.
    Last edited by Godlike13; 01-17-2021 at 04:52 PM.

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