View Poll Results: Batgirl or Oracle?

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  • Batgirl

    50 36.76%
  • Oracle

    86 63.24%
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  1. #16
    Astonishing Member Dataweaver's Avatar
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    Jeez, guys; can't you ever provide a poll with sufficient options? I like her being both: Oracle as her hacker handle when she's fighting the good fight online, and Batgirl when she's getting up close and personal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jcogginsa View Post
    Oracle was more of an upgrade than a downgrade in my opinion.
    Definitely. But supplementing her Oracle persona with Batgirl action would be a step up from there.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 04-26-2016 at 11:28 PM.
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  2. #17

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    I would never have suggested to anyone that they have Joker torture and humiliate Barbara Gordon and turn her into a paraplegic. Of course, no one asked me.

    But once it was done, and they started running stories with Barbara as Oracle, I really liked the character. I found her fascinating. Someone on this thread referred to her "sitting in her tower giving info to Batman," but of course her main role was in the Birds of Prey - where I considered her the primary, and best, character. It turns out I can greatly enjoy a character who doesn't swing through the city on a rope and mainly punch people, if she's well-written.

    And I know that many readers who are themselves in wheelchairs found her inspiring, and I don't think that's nothing.

    So I wasn't thrilled that they "turned her back into Batgirl" for The New 52. (For something that was supposed to move us forward, The New 52 "turned back" a lot of characters.) And I thought it was particularly odd that they implicitly kept her time as Oracle in the continuity, while hardly ever mentioning it, and de-aging Batgirl to the point where she looks like a teenager. If you're going to undo a character development like that, and make the character much younger, why not just excise it from continuity? It looks so squished and de-emphasized this way.

    The original Robin, Wonder Girl, Speedy, Aqualad, and Kid Flash all (at some time in what was the "primary DCU") grew up, gave up those identities, took on new ones, and saw other, younger characters take on the names. Now Batgirl is a somewhat intermediate case, because she was never quite the "sidekick" to Batman as Robin was. But I still see no reason why somebody else couldn't take on the Batgirl role.

    And I prefer Barbara Gordon as someone who is older and has more experience - someone I had long since stopped thinking of as a "girl."

    But that's just me. I begrudge no one their enjoyment of Barbara as Batgirl.
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  3. #18
    Astonishing Member Dataweaver's Avatar
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    I agree with all of this, with one caveat: now that N52 has taken Barbara Gordon out of her wheelchair, Doctor Bifrost's first paragraph takes on new significance. Do you now put her back into a wheelchair?

    Unless you “Bobby Ewing” the N52 and declare that the last five years were just a dream, I don't see how you get “Barbara Gordon, inspiration for the disabled” back.

    So we can get Oracle back, to an extent — that extent being Barbara as a force to be reckoned with in the digital world. What's gone is the part of Oracle that demonstrates her iron will in no uncertain terms in the form of a disability that doesn't even slow her down. And with that part gone, why not put her in a costume swinging around the rooftops and beating up badguys — and breaking into secure facilities that she can't get into by remote?
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  4. #19
    Extraordinary Member Dr. Poison's Avatar
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    I prefer Barbara as Batgirl but I don't understand why she can't be both.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Sitting in a tower and feeding Batman info... was really lame for BOTH of the characters.
    Of course in Birds Of Prey she lead her own superteam, hunted down international crime organisations, fought Brainiac, and occasionally beat up bad guys with her fists.
    Oracle was JLA material, Batgirl didn't even make it into the Teen Titans.

    You shouldn't judge a character by what some lazy writer does with her in another character's book. Oracle was massively more powerful than any version of Batgirl.

  6. #21
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Of course in Birds Of Prey she lead her own superteam, hunted down international crime organisations, fought Brainiac, and occasionally beat up bad guys with her fists.
    Oracle was JLA material, Batgirl didn't even make it into the Teen Titans.

    You shouldn't judge a character by what some lazy writer does with her in another character's book. Oracle was massively more powerful than any version of Batgirl.
    Nicely put.

    One is a woman who overcame a terrible tragedy and used her intelligence to become a powerful force for good and great role model for disabled people.

    The other is a second rate Batman knock-off who's in it for shit and giggles.

    There's no contest for me. It doesn't mean I think they should go back though. Firstly they should go forwards not backwards and secondly they screwed it up when they kept Oracle as part of her history
    Last edited by dancj; 04-28-2016 at 04:33 AM.

  7. #22
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I prefer her as Batgirl, but I love several Oracle stories as well.

    Really though, the old continuity should have just come to a close, and the New 52 should have given us an early 20s Barbara with the Killing Joke never happening. New canon, she doesn't have to follow the same path. People would still be pissed, but I think it would have gone over slightly better. I find the notion that Barbara is doomed to end up in a wheelchair no matter what continuity she's in kind of messed up. They certainly shouldn't put her back in it now.

  8. #23
    Invincible Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    Easy question: I think of her first as Batgirl.

    I was born in the early 1960s, and among the early Batman comics I got as a kid was:


    I watched the Batman TV show with Adam West when it was originally run on ABC.

    I loved when she and Dick (as Robin) would both star in Batman Family.


    So, as interesting as it might have been when John Ostrander's Suicide Squad took a broken Barbara Gordon and remade her into Oracle, she'll always be, first and foremost, Batgirl (or, at worse, "former Batgirl") in my mind.

  9. #24
    Astonishing Member dan12456's Avatar
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    Oracle. As Oracle she was the best at what she does, its the only role where she can be elite. As Oracle she could be on par with members of the Justice League in terms of importance to the universe (not saying she was always written that way but she could be).

    As Batgirl she will always just be a mid tier street leveler, it's such a downgrade.
    Last edited by dan12456; 04-27-2016 at 09:03 AM.
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  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Jeez, guys; can't you ever provide a poll with sufficient options? I like her being both: Oracle as her hacker handle when she's fighting the good fight online, and Batgirl when she's getting up close and personal.

    Definitely. But supplementing her Oracle persona with Batgirl action would be a step up from there.
    Eh, I don't think being Batgirl adds much to the character.

  11. #26
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    Batgirl was a new beginning from the stagnation that Oracle faced. Oracle was amazing, powerful, and JLA tier. Yet her time in JLA was unfortunately short lived, and it came to a point where the only place for Oracle was supporting the new Batgirl. At some point Oracle stopped progressing. Batgirl is younger and less experience, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. Babs can grow from there and we can get things like her Burnside run. There's a sense of progression there again with Babs as Batgirl that stopped being there with her as Oracle. Which isn't on Oracle, but more so DC and their inability to try different things with Oracle. So while i adore Oracle, and miss Oracle, i don't miss that and do see the advantages of Batgirl.
    Last edited by Godlike13; 04-27-2016 at 12:14 PM.

  12. #27
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    So, as interesting as it might have been when John Ostrander's Suicide Squad took a broken Barbara Gordon and remade her into Oracle, she'll always be, first and foremost, Batgirl (or, at worse, "former Batgirl") in my mind.
    I'm in the process of discovering Ostrander's Squad (being 6 years old in '88), the ending of the 3rd trade ROGUES hinting towards Oracle. Very excited for trade number four (coming this summer) and seeing Oracle's first steps

  13. #28
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    Oracle.

    No contest.
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  14. #29
    Incredible Member cgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Bifrost View Post
    So I wasn't thrilled that they "turned her back into Batgirl" for The New 52. (For something that was supposed to move us forward, The New 52 "turned back" a lot of characters.)
    Well yes, as you are certainly aware the New 52 essentially restored the pre-COIE status quo for a bunch of characters, the best example being Superman. That's probably why I was mostly happy with it. Obviously some wires got crossed with eg the Teen Titans so let's not go there, but generally I'm happy with the restoration of "my" Batgirl.

    Anyway, I disliked Oracle for the simple reason that what she did was ridiculous. If you know low-level details about computers and networking, and I do, then every time she "hacked" into eg a security camera, it was cringe-inducingly awful. In fact, every time she used a computer for anything, it was absurd. I know it's comics and most people are thinking it's all so technical and cool but in terms of taking me out of the story, you might as well have Bat-Mite show up, snap his fingers to fix whatever mystery is afoot and then sit down to a nice game of Yahtzee with Batman.

    By the way, this is one reason why I can't take many of the Marvel movies seriously: they often hinge on strong artificial intelligence (eg Jarvis and pretty much everything in Tony Stark's lab), which, were it treated even halfway realistically, would completely transform human existence in ways we are only starting to come to grips with.

  15. #30
    Moderator joybeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    Batgirl was a new beginning from the stagnation that Oracle faced. Oracle was amazing, powerful, and JLA tier. Yet her time in JLA was unfortunately short lived, and it came to a point where the only place for Oracle was supporting the new Batgirl. At some point Oracle stopped progressing. Batgirl is younger and less experience, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. Babs can grow from there and we can get things like her Burnside run. There's a sense of progression there again with Babs as Batgirl that stopped being there with her as Oracle. Which isn't on Oracle, but more so DC and their inability to try different things with Oracle. So while i adore Oracle, and miss Oracle, i don't miss that and do see the advantages of Batgirl.
    She didn't really stagnate, and a good writer can always bring new life into a character, particularly one that is as unique as her. In Miller's Batgirl, she was as much of a protagonist as Stephanie, just like Dick and Damian were in Morrison's Batman and Robin. She had her own supporting characters, her own relationships, her own point of view, and a great character arc in which she's inspired by Stephanie after seeing so much of her younger self in her. Even the title could be interpreted to refer to Barbara's legacy as much as Stephanie's alter-ego.

    The great thing about the concept of legacies is that you build off an older character's existing history while also developing a younger character for newer readers. Miles Morales is one of the finest examples, as he represents an awkward teenaged Spider-Man for a new generation, while Peter Parker holds onto to all of his own history and does whatever Dan Slott wants him to do. And at the same time, Miles's character arc isn't restricted to having to go through the same beats as Peter does.

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