Your Mileage May Vary

by  in Comic News Comment
Your Mileage May Vary

Oracle: The Cure #1 has come out and given all the potential implications this story has for Barbara Gordon, it’s probably natural that people are talking about it.

Esther Inglis-Arkell believes that the series will end with Barbara as Oracle, uncured:

While I may not be much of a second-lifer or skull-exploder, I do know my Babsology, and more importantly, my superheroes. The series is called The Cure. The first issue chronicles the villain’s desperate, yet evil, attempts to save his desperately ill daughter. It also makes much of the hero’s misery over her grievous injury. Babs is going to have to choose whether to heal the girl or heal herself. Being a hero, she’s going to heal the girl. There is a way that set-ups like these go. In fact, this is the way that this set-up has already gone in Birds of Prey.

And so, of course, I’m hoping it goes the other way. Part of this is because of my shameless bias for Batgirl Babs. Part of it – let’s say that I’ve had it up to here with stories that come complete with forgone conclusions. My heart drops a bit each time I see summaries that go along the lines of: “Will Batman kill the Joker this time?” “Is this the end for Lois and Clark?” “Is Batman dead?” The answer is always ‘no.’ Always. Without exception. We know it the moment we pick up the solicit.

Rich on the other hand expects a cure for Barbara and a return to Batgirl:

Now granted, there’s no firm confirmation that the Cure in this mini’s title is for Barbara’s paralysis, as Calculator is also trying to get a cure for his daughter, the Teen Titan’s Wendy – but I think we will be seeing the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.

This just feels like a regression. Barbara Gordon has, for the past twenty-plus years, been one of the most interesting characters in the DCU. Hell, in comics in general. She’s shown that having a physical disability doesn’t need to stop you living your life or being a hero – I mean, I’m not sure but I’d imagine that she’s been a role model of sorts. To have that taken away by what seems to be an editorial need to have a recognizable Batgirl feels a little like a slap in the face.

While Diamondrock thinks the cure itself won’t matter, and Oracle will be Oracle:

But then, that question is only important to a degree. After all, if Barbara does regain the use of her legs that has absolutely no impact on her ability to be “Oracle.” A “cure” is only important if they’re planning to make her Batgirl again.

And would they really do that? Would they take a woman who is one of the strongest and most powerful characters in the whole of the DC Universe and make her call herself Batgirl? Especially when there’s a Batwoman running around? Can you really see a woman like Barbara Gordan taking on the mantle of Batgirl again?

So what do you think?