Review by: Metamorphic

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Avg Rating: 3.8
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Written by GAIL SIMONE

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

I was and am an Oracle fan. I need to get that out there up front. Because I met the idea of Babs’ return to Batgirl with a lot of skepticism and cynicism.

So while I’m trying to keep an open mind about the book, there’s a part of me that keeps going, “Yeah…but…”

You see, taken on its own merits, this book is good. Really good. Babs’ voice is pitch perfect and that’s because Gail Simone obviously loves the character – and has since Birds of Prey. It’s the fact that we’re inside Barbara’s head that makes this work. She’s confident, then less so. She’s conflicted… then certain. In other words, she’s absolutely human. The exchange with her father that shows what she wants to say versus what she does say is a wonderful moment because it shows that internal conflict that is the real driver of the book.

And the art? Adrian Syaf hits every note. The action is fluid but the expressions and body language in the less-action oriented moments are powerful as well.

So here we have a wonderful series, well-written with great art… and I’m still uncertain about it. Because I don’t know how Barbara was healed yet.

Maybe that shouldn’t make a difference. But it does for me. I’ve always said I’d be cool if Barbara walked again so long as it’s a good story. For me, it HAS to be good to make up for the loss of one of the best examples of a well-written character with a disability. When Babs was written well, it was about what she COULD and DID do versus what she couldn’t. That’s a powerful and positive thing and losing that saddened me.

And the constant talk of miracles is what’s making me nervous here. If Babs was healed by something mystical or soemthing of that sort of nature… well, I honestly may drop it. Because I think I’d feel cheated. Again, it’s going to come down to what actually happened.

But for the moment, I’ll try and keep an open mind and that “yeah…but… voice” at bay by enjoying the comic for what it is: a darn good read.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. I’m with you in that I have a central problem with this book – but unlike you, not even the wonderful art and Gail Simone herself can distract me from it.

    First off, the New 52’s imploded continuity really shows its warts here. We’re told on page 3 that this book is set “three years after” Barbara is shot by the Joker – and then on page 13, Barbara says she only “first met” Dick Grayson “a few years ago.” Somebody please explain how that can be, if indeed we are also told that Babs and Dick met while working as Batgirl/Robin under Batman? Either Babs has long history with Dick/Bruce or she doesn’t; DC, please pick one.

    Secondly, I realize that what we’ve got right now is a Babs who’s only just getting back into the cowl, so she’s naturally *a bit* unsure of herself, but… I cannot believe any Barbara Gordon would be this bad of a crime-fighter. She lets trains get blown up, she lets people get killed. She still can’t stop this bush-league villain after three whole issues! And her inner monologue is so dripping with whiny self-doubt (or, when not, it’s replaced with annoying false bravado) that I’d almost suspect Babs was suffering from menopause and not a “recovering paraplegic” (as editor Bobbie Chase describes it). I cannot see how Batman would ever, ever let this woman endanger herself trying to fight crime with his logo on her chest.

    Lastly – and this is my biggest problem with this BATGIRL title – Barbara Gordon isn’t and has never been as interesting a character with the cowl and she was as Oracle. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I don’t care if DC’s public relations dept. spends the rest of time claiming that Babs is more marketable with a bat on her chest; that’s just a nostalgia-fueled spin phrase tossed around for lapsed fans who don’t buy comic books after stunt events wear off. I know that a bunch of 40 year olds have soft spots in their hearts for Yvonne Craig and her tight purple Batgirl suit. But while these guys grew out of comics and (read my lips) will never come back?? The fans who have stuck around have witnessed tougher, more threatening and more believable women like Kate Kane and Cassandra Cain fill the role of Batgirl – and we’ve witnessed tougher women like the grown-up Barbara Gordon find her believable role as Oracle.

  2. (sorry, I know Kate Kane is Batwoman and not Batgirl; I meant fill the *metaphorical* role of Batgirl)

  3. Well, I’m not 100% sure I agree about the timeline – mainly because “few” is a pretty nebulous term. And I am okay with the self-doubt/false bravado as I feel she SHOULD be rusty (to say the least) not to mention at least marginally concerned – even on a subconscious level – about her injury. I can see your point on that though.

    But I’m still waiting to be convinced this was all worth losing Oracle over. And I’m not convinced yet – especially when (as you say) we have a character like Batwoman out there in an excellent book.

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