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Arrow’s Latest Batman Reference Might Not Mean Anything (Unless It Does)

by  in CBR Exclusives, TV News Comment
Arrow’s Latest Batman Reference Might Not Mean Anything (Unless It Does)

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Next of Kin,” the latest episode of Arrow.


Not to be outdone by Oliver’s mention of Bruce Wayne, Felicity Smoak has made a Batman reference of her own. In “Next of Kin,” the latest episode of Arrow, the hacker-turned-vigilante namedropped another member of the Batman family: Oracle.

During a break from the mayor’s office, Oliver paid Felicity a visit at her apartment, where she was busy trying to come up with names for her new company with Curtis “Mister Terrific” Holt. On a large whiteboard, she scribbled down any name that came to mind. When Oliver stepped into her apartment, she asked him what he thought of the name “Bit By Bit” and wrote it down — right underneath the word “ORACLE,” written in red. The word could be spotted for the rest of the scene; in fact, it was pretty much the only word legible on the board from a distance.

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Of course, in the comics, Oracle is a codename once used by Barbara Gordon. After she was paralyzed by the Joker and had to retire from being Batgirl, Barbara took on the name Oracle and became a crucial member of the Birds of Prey. Using her computer genius and her photographic memory, she helped the Birds of Prey out in much the same way as Felicity does for Team Arrow.

For some time, Arrow fans speculated that Felicity might take up the Oracle name herself. When she was paralyzed by a stray gunshot in the Season 4 mid-season finale, this seemed even more likely. However, she ultimately took on the name “Overwatch,” which has stuck through to the present day. She also eventually recovered from her paralysis thanks to technology created by Curtis and Palmer Tech, further divorcing her from Oracle comparisons.

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The reference to Oracle in “Next of Kin” will probably stay just that. Seeing as viewers believed Felicity would eventually become Oracle, it’s likely just a fun nod to the fans as opposed to confirmation that Barbara Gordon exists in the Arrowverse. However, seeing as Bruce Wayne was namedropped just last week, we certainly shouldn’t rule it out.

Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, Arrow airs Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland and more.

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