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ORACLE #1 (OF 3)

Price: $2.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.0%


Anome03/30/09YesRead Review
Jedimasterrob200103/28/09NoRead Review
areyouthatguy03/26/09NoRead Review
jmstump03/25/09NoRead Review
akamuu03/25/09NoRead Review
Avg Rating: 3.3
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  1. I’m interested. But, wheelchair cheesecake?

  2. I think the cheesecake may just be Guillem March’s cover (can’t wait for Gotham City Sirens!)

  3. Don Kramer is definitely not a cheescake artist.  He was the guy who drew Tomasi’s NIGHTWING.

  4. Also, that cover really isn’t all that cheese cakey… like, at all.

  5. @conor: I know this goes against your ideals but….look at the preview for this comic (like on ign)…

    Yeah this is gonna be cheesecake

  6. That’s okay, I’ll read it on Wednesday.

  7. @conor: That’s fine, I knew you werent gonna look at it…..Let’s just say Page 4 is something to oogle at 🙂

  8. This will be a flip through. I like Barbara, but I don’t know about this. It is a good week to be a Gordon, though. :-p

  9. Out of all of these Battle for the Cowl mini-series, I’m most interested in this one. Oracle has always been one of my favorite characters in the DCU.

  10. I still don’t understand this whole "cheese cake" insult. When did men stop liking to look at T&A? I missed the memo.

    Anyways … will Oracle be walking again by the end of this series?

  11. Don Kramer is for sure not a cheesecake artist, although I agree the cover looks a little suspect.

    I’m on board for this, but I’m really hoping Babs stays as Oracle and doesn’t return to the Batgirl cowl as a lot of people have been saying.

  12. Oh come on Conor just because she’s in a wheelchair doesn’t mean it’s not cheesecake. All of Guillem March’s stuff I’ve seen looks very cheesecakey (I believe he drew for Playboy) and I personally like it (which is why I’m buying Sirens).

  13. @miyamotofreak: I don’t consider this particular cover to be overly cheese cakey (what does Barbara being n a wheelchair have to do with it?).

  14. Barbara Gordon is the original Batgirl after the Clown Prince of Crime the Joker crippled her for good so then she becames Oracle the Leader of the Superhero group known as the Birds of Prey and now she is having her very own comic book series as Oracle the crippled woman who fights crime I’m gonna get me a copy of this comic book so I’ll know how she’s gonna fight crime with a crippled leg and a wheel chair.

  15. From "Judging (DC’s May) Books By Their Covers" ->

    "It’s interesting, Guillem March draws all his women with prodigious breasts, yet Nightwing apparently is a eunuch.

    Seriously, though, this Azrael cover is pretty strong overall. March IS more fun to see when he doesn’t have any women to draw (well, that depends on what you want to see from the women he draws – the man does have a fine reputation at drawing erotica, so if that’s what you like, I guess it WOULD be more fun for you if he drew women).

    While off on a bit of a tangent, what strikes me most about March is the fact that he’s a very good storyteller. Very good. Not only that, but I’ve seen advertisement work from him, and it’s also very good – including very nice drawings of ladies. So why, then, when he draws women on superhero covers, they all look like they’ve stepped out of the pages of Eros Comix?"

  16. My favorite artist for drawing women in a way that, to me looks totally non-exploitative but gorgeous: Joshua Middleton. I love what he’s doing with the supergirl covers! I even bought a Supergirl comic for the cover only. Never even read the thing.

    Anyway, different strokes eh?

  17. Not argueing JJ, but I’m honestly curious here … I’m trying to understand how people don’t like "cheesecake". Comics are full of muscle bound men in tights & thats OK, but when it’s hot women it’s a bad thing? I don’t understand.

  18. @jumping jupiter I’m curious as to why you think "wheelchair cheesecake" is something to be bemoaned? Can’t the Wheelchair bound look and feel sexy as well? I’m also a bit confused by your use of cheesecake, because that cover is not how I would define it. There’s no gratuitous bending over, skimpy clothing for suggestive posing. Maybe a bit much cleavage for Barbara, but who knows. 

    @evil09 There are several disabled heroes throughout comics who do just fine in their war on crime. Cyborg to name one. The Black Racer. The Doom Patrol, to  an extent. No reason to believe Barbara can’t defend herself. Despite her legs, she’s still a trained fighter and Nightwing has given her escrima. 

  19. @kwisdumb and conor: The cover is cheesecake because it’s March and his style of women is cheesecake defined.

    Plus again, if you looked at the preview online you can see why this is cheesecake inside the issue.

  20. @WadeWilson

    Speaking for myself, it just perpetuates a stereotype that doesn’t seem to fit a lot of us anymore. I don’t like being pandered to with the assumption that if you put a busty woman with a low cut top in a comic I will buy it. I could honestly care less what cup size they decide to draw Barbara, Poison Ivy or Ms, Marvel with, until it gets ridiculous (like it has with Ms. Marvel).

    Yeah Marvel is the one that seems to have really taken this to a new level. I mean look at her outfit in her series or New Avengers. Her costume no longer even covers her ass, it has morphed into a thong. How do you fight like that? It reminds me of the old Jeff Foxworthy joke of going bowling in a thong and tearing yourself in two.

    Personally, I don’t think the cover looks that bad, it looks like the same Barbara that’s been drawn in Birds of Prey for the past 4 or 5 years. But then again I haven’t seen the interior. If it involves (A) Barbara in the bath (B) A pose like Ms. Marvel bending over in front of Mockingbird, or (C) gratuitous underwear scenes, then yes I would say it would deserve a nice big Cheesecake Factory award.

  21. @Wade: Oh we’re gonna have these discussions on cheesecake a lot more….when they do the Top Cow video show it’s gonna be nothing but cheesecake.

  22. @Wade:  Basically what Parker said.  I don’t like cheesecake because it perpetuates stereotypes, and doesn’t help my case when I try to explain to my girlfriend, or anyone else that comics aren’t for adolescent boys.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like an attractive woman as much as the next guy, but I don’t like gratuitous sexuality in my comics.

  23. getting it for the art

  24. @TNC: I’m not judging the cover by the reputation of the artist, I’m judging it on its own merits.  I don’t think this particular cover right here is an example of a cheese cake cover.

  25. @conor: So the big cleavage Barbara is sporting there….not cheesecake?

  26. @TNC: Nope.  As cleavage goes, it’s not that bad.  It’s definitely not exploitative.  The mere appeareance of cleavage doesn’t equal cheesecake.

  27. @conor: Maybe we should have a measuring technique when it comes to too much cleavage?


    …..Okay this convo is getting weird…

  28. This cover, may not be cheesecake, the next two are pretty much yes.

    I’m not saying there isn’t "male cheesecake". But I seldom feel that males are objectified in comics. On the other hand, historically, women have been the victims of objectification much more often than men have. Thus, I’m more sensitive to the issue. I don’t see it as too big a deal but personally I like to boycott comics which depict women in a way that I personally feel lacks respect for women and their bodies. I prefer to steer clear of what my conscience says is exageratedly sexualized imagery. I also steer clear of "male cheesecake".

    Here’s the way I see it. The cover is not too bad, but does hint at what sort of content we can expect. The preview substantiates that hint with a shower scene that seems to exist for no reason but to tittilate. One could argue that it’s there to establish the difficulties of being physically challenged. But I wasn’t born yesterdya. I know what I see. What foes in my eyes affects my brain and I jealously guard my brain.

    I’m not judging anyone for liking it if they do but I know what it is to my eyes, so I do waht feels right to me. It’s a subject I’ve been interested in for some time but I’m n ot militant about it or anything. I didn’t mean anything in this thread as a polemic.

  29. OK, I see what you guys are saying. I wouldn’t buy a comic because the women in it are showing cleavage & bending over in sexy poses (that’s what porn is for) but, if it’s there I’m not complaining. It doesn’t worry me at all. Mostly all of the men in comics have action figure type, cut up, over muscled bodies, so I don’t see why the women would be drawn any more realistic.

    I don’t really see who is being exploited or objectified when it’s in comics though. If it’s actresses in movies/TV I can see it’s them being exploited, but in comics, they are just drawings of fictional characters.

    The thing is, I totally agree with all you guys definitions of cheesecake, I just don’t see it as a negative or have any problem with it.

  30. @WadeWilson: The men might be overly muscled but they are generally not sexualized.

  31. Just a fun bit of edification for us all… "Cheesecake" actually has no real meaning in terms of the content of the art. In other words, it’s what you make of it! It literally is just a turn of phrase someone used to describe a pin-up once as being "Better then cheesecake." 

    Webster’s defines it, "informally," as photographs of minimally attired women. It has since come to mean more than that, obviously, but it’s curious that word is purposefully vague because, well, it was an offhand comment that’s been propagated. I will admit, having looked at the preview pages, we slip into some territory beyond cheesecake though. And the cover to #2 is downright embarrassing to DC.

    Though… it’s funny we’ve having this conversation about a book staring a character who was created solely to be a cheesecake character!

  32. @Wade: I’m not hoping to perpetuate this G-Mo style but you seem to be genuinely curious about the other point of view so…

    No, a drawing of a fictional character does not objectify a specific person. Depending on how you see it, it objectifies an entire gender. It’s like an attitude. "hey cool, tits! Oh there’s a person attached too so, bonus." Personally I prefer the attention to be drawn to the person, that person’s character as a priority. I feel that’s a more noble/respectful pursuit. Now, if a story is about a sexual subject, that’s another ballgame. But that’s not what we’re talking about is it?

    I suppose you could graph it. ->

  33. I totally see your point JJ (I like the graph lol) & I am seriously not taking the piss or trying to argue, I am genuinely interested.

    I fully agree that drawing attention to a person’s character is more noble & respectful (& more interesting) than focusing on the exterior. But, if there is an interesting character who can also be nice to look at — cool, 3 thumbs up.

    To be honest I don’t see how drawing women (or men) in a sexy way objectifies as ENTIRE gender. It’s not saying that ALL women (or men) are easy on the eyes, but some are. Maybe I’m misguided or missing the point (it happens a lot) but I just don’t see how a drawing of cleavage is anything but harmless. I mean, it’s just drawings in a comic book, we’re not talking about Hustler here.

  34. I didnt buy this but I did flip threw it…..yeah none of this was cheesecake?


  35. @TNC I don’t think anyone claimed the book is entirely devoid of cheesecake. As a matter of fact I said the shower scene is beyond that it. it borders on inappropriate. And I feel like the intention of the writer was to depict the difficulty of Barbara getting in the shower, though that doesn’t come across quite that much in the captions either. However, the art that appears later on in the "Second Life" pastiche, while certainly cheesecake, is intentioned. Indeed, Barbara makes a comment about it. Having studied Second Life a good deal, I can say you certainly find many women (and many men!) walking around like that. For what it’s worth, it’s a passable critique of Second Life, but one that is primarily there to show off the artist’s ability to try and mimic Amanda Connors. (The image of Cheese-Fiend saluting Babbage strikes me as something Connors has drawn before. And the art looks like a bad rendition of Power Girl in a Barbarian gear!) I’ve already commented on how embarrassing the cover to next issue is.

    However, cheesecake was not the only curious thing about the art. I felt like there were three sets of artists here. The artist that did the front section of the book and the second life section, the artist that did the Calculator pages, and the artist that did the Oracle pages. I know it’s all the same artist, but it doesn’t seem 100% consistent page to page. And I was really at a loss when the character "Chaos Larry" had cartoon eyes under his glasses when everyone else is drawn "realistically." It was like having two panels of Archie comics pop up randomly.

    As for the story… well, there wasn’t much of one. I can’t believe this is the mini-series and Jim Gordon’s was the one-shot. I’ll pick up issue #2, because I’m slightly interested to see if this is going where I think it’s going. (Odds are it is, the unsubtle "Gee my legs hurt when they shouldn’t seems to be more than hinting at it.) 

  36. I gave this book a 3/5 (‘Good’). I like the art, but I will admit that the shower scene was a little cheesecakey, and I definitely could’ve done without that. I can look past that though.

    All in all there wasn’t really anything exceptional, but nothing terrible either. The one thing I will say is that I don’t buy that Oracle wouldn’t know Calculator’s real name right off-hand, especially if she was already suspicious. 

    But, like I said, 3/5, and a perfectly fine book. Hopefully the rest of the series continues this trend or improves.

  37. I just read it and don’t see a problem with it. She’s dirty from hard lining wires, she grabbed a shower. Looking at the shower scene it wasn’t done distastefully. They showed what she as a handicapped women would have to do to simply have a shower.

    As long as actions fit a character I don’t care. Black Canary asking Oracle if she wanted to be pushed was stupid. Barbara never lets anyone push her and has stated that she’ll never have handles on her wheel chair, which is another common mistake by artists. It’s a character point that shouldn’t be forgotten. 

  38. This book was garbage on the highest level.

  39. This book is the first time in recent history where a comic literally made me feel sick as I read it.  What a poor poor depiction.

  40. I am taken aback by how overwhelmingly unpopular this book was. Twitter is vibrating with rage.

  41. Having reread it, and in light of my other readings, I revised my number grade for this issue. I’m also revising my earlier stance that I would "Check out Issue #2." This will no longer be the case. The book is just bad. And I don’t like saying that, I pride myself on not reading books I would grade below a 3. But this is not the Barbara I know and I love. How are we to believe the World’s Best Hacker doesn’t know what Second Life (or reasonable facsimile there of is).

    I also noticed that there were two sets of artist on this show, which explains away some of the inconsistencies of this issue’s art, but not all of it. 

  42. Exploding heads rule!

  43. yeah I dont have a problem with this. I mean, we don’t really see anything that we don’t already see in other super hero gals when in costume. even if barb were stil wearing the bat cowl of hers, we could still imagine the same movements with what we see of her in a tight bat suit. and still know what each body part looks like.

    and if you dont think that the men are objectified, then you have been listening to your feminist gal pals too much. cus they most definatley are, but they are for diff reasons. they are the muscualr oversexed men that alot of guys wish they gould be but never will be, and then its the fabio fantasy esque thing that some females are into but will never really have. even naturaly muscular (not body building competitiors) does not look like that and guys packages when in tights dont stand out like that. go see a ballet with a dude in it you will see my point. the dudes are objectified, they just dont show skin. its pretty much the same thing with their feminine counterparts. but they show skin. its fictional drawings, its really hard to objectify and exploit something that doesnt really exist. and if this is exploitative in nature then what are those romance novels besides trashy?

    also, they are only sexualy objectified if, you find the imagery sexy or there is a sex act happening with no context like in a porno. barb undressing for a shower does not really objectify her, sure it may be a little racy but its only sexal objectification if A) the artist is intending that, and shows it via gratuitus scenes B) you are objectifing that imagery/girl all on your own C) it is exploitative. barb  was not being exploited, she was taking a shower and we saw no more of her butt or breasts tha we do if she were cloathed in costume or out.  basically did he draw anything that was gratuitus or not? there were no, i want to say campy, t and a seens except for the pose where we are in second life which was on purpose, its a comment on second life.

    just because this artist is good at drawing erotica (i wouldnt know found that out from one of the posts above) does not mean you should look at everything he does with that bias, and sorry but it seems like alot of you are. i read this, reread it and i simply do not see what yall are talking about. 

    now as far as babs not being babs idk, havent really followed too closely to be able to pick up on much. but that jla bit where black canary asks to push her is odd…..


    just my view on the issue, thought why not through my two cents in I have nothin better to do right now. 


  44. I don’t understand why people hate this so much? I thought this was an OK issue, the art was great & the story was decent, even if wasn’t spectacular. Can the people who hated it & said Barbara was so out of character please elaborate? I didn’t think she was badly written.

    I hope it’s not all about the 4 panels of semi-nudity, where we see nothing?? If so … wow.

    I’m just glad Oracle is back in Gotham!

    @Prax – She did know what Second Life was, that’s what Cheese-Fiend compared Alta Viva to, to explain what it was. There is a million Second Life clones out there, how would Oracle know every single one? She’s busy saving the world 😛

  45. @ wade – well put – i agree on almost all points. another one of those bizarre perfect storms of internet angst that builds up.

    the argument on the objectification of men seems a bit off for me; boys and girls are not the same in a social/sexual context, and sexy drawings of boys in tights really dont fulfill the same function as sexy drawings of girls in tights

  46. like i pointed out the men are objectified for diff. reasons, so yes the fullfill a diff function. was simply pointing out that if you think that men are not then think again.

    but really there is no overt sexual objectification in comics, atleast the mainstream ones i read, anymore. mostly its just making gals look disproportionate, and that only becomes sexual if you find whatever it is overtly sexual and for the most part in order for this to fall inot any sort of negative objectification it usually has to be exploitative, this is definatly not that.  like for example if a female in a wheel chair undressing to take a shower and all you really see is how this act could be difficult, does it for you, you know turns you on, then yeah that is sexual but not in general. again these are fictional characters that aren’t even being portrayed by real people,  if this were tv or movies…….eh.

    but yeah i dont see what is so bad about this book i thought it was good.

     if someone thinks babs is out of character please elaborate so the rest of us can understand what you mean. again black canary asking babs if she can push her in the JLA book was not only out of character for black canary but illogical cus there are no handels on her wheechair to use to push. 

    whats so wrong with puting a scene in that shows the difficulties she faces while contrasting it with her strenghts despite her disability? thats what this book was for me.

  47. Did anyone notice the cover for the next issue? Now that’s straight up cheese cake


  48. @edward: That cover reminds me of a girl I once knew….

  49. What was that kids tv show where a kid had a secret room in the house where he spied on his family? The cameras were eyeballs. An eyeball is in the cover… weird.

  50. @TNC: no joke. my best friend used to date a girl in a wheelchair…. she could have done better

  51. @wadewilson:  My seething rage that came from this book didn’t have anything to do with the partial nudity.  The scenes threw me off but weren’t something that came into factor.  I think anyone who reads Batgirl Year One will start to understand why I disliked this book so much.  Also Barbara being as plugged in as she is now doesn’t know what a game like Second Life is, I find that incredibly hard to believe as well.  I really feel like they "dumbed" the character down in this book.

  52. So… are we gonna talk about the book… or just the boobs on the front cover? Just curious.

  53. @Anson: You said boobs for the latter so….the choice is obvious 🙂

  54. @jstump – I hear ya & see where you’re comin from but I didn’t see her being dumbed down. Like I said before — She did know what Second Life was, that’s what Cheese-Fiend compared Alta Viva to, to explain what it was. There is a million Second Life clones out there, how would Oracle know every single one? She’s busy saving the world.

  55. @jstump: You’re right. Let’s talk about the boobs inside the book.

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