- A lot of Batman fans maybe be familiar with Barbara (Babs) Gordon's Batgirl. She was the first Batgirl (not to be confused with Betty Kane's Bat-girl), and is often the on-screen Batgirl of choice.
- Barbara was paralyzed from the waist down in the infamous The Killing Joke. Her forced retirement from the Batgirl mantle has always triggered mixed feelings, and she's often the top three Women-in-Refrigerators.
- Barbara returns to DC comics after the events of The Killing Joke as Oracle, where she continues to fight crime in a less overt manner. She often provides much needed expertise and assistance to other vigilantes, including Batman.
- As Oracle, she is also one of the first major depictions of disability in DC comics.
Barbara's return to Batgirl:
- The New 52 Batgirl series is the first Batgirl title with Barbara as Batgirl. After a glossed over miracle cure, she can now walk and picks up her cowl again.
The lost of Oracle:
- Though it's great to finally see Barbara with her own Batgirl title comic, and her struggles to be Batgirl again. And it definitely doesn't hurt that she was written by Gail Simone. It seems the lost of Oracle was greater than the return of Batgirl.
- The Batgirl mantle has been carried by a few people at this point, specifically Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown, both of which are in the New 52 and Rebirth continuity. To put it pointly, Batgirl is replaceable.
- Oracle is not, and has not been replaced. In a world where information is the best tool and weapon in fighting crime, Oracle's role is more important than Batgirl's, which is basically one of might.
- Oracle was a show of determination and will. Barbara may have been forced to retire as Batgirl, but she chose to continue fighting against crime. Loosing the use of her legs didn't affect the use of her mind.
Any other fans of Batgirl/Oracle have thoughts on this? Is re-empowering Barbara as Batgirl, minimizing her contributions as Oracle? How do you feel about the representation of disabilities and/or women in comics in general?