Superhero comics are always in flux.
Story arcs come and go, new characters are introduced; and for the most part things just keep chugging along, regardless of past successes and failures.
This phrase is of course a reference to the ongoing cyclical nature of superhero life and death.
Unfortunately, it’s relevance is rapidly evaporating, as Bucky’s death has since been retconned, and Jason Todd’s has been overwritten as a result of some sort of bullshit multiverse continuity overlap.
To my knowledge, Uncle Ben remains the only member of this exclusive fraternity to truly remain dead.
The point I’m trying to make with all of this, is the fact that superhero characters tend to receive major changes to their characterization quite regularly, making characters that reliably remain in a certain state somewhat of a rarity.
From the day the Joker put a bullet through her spine, thereby rendering her a wheelchair bound paraplegic; Barbara Gordon has never regained the use of her legs.
This was back in 1988.
Despite this, her relevance and usefulness in the Bat-Family of comics, and in fact the majority of the DC universe, has remained unaffected.
In fact, I think few could argue her presence and standing in the cast has actually grown since she made the transition from Batgirl to Oracle.
Over the years I’ve really grown to like Barbara Gordon as Oracle.
Despite her disability, her character has continued to arc, and she has emerged as one of the more consistently interesting (and well written) characters of the DC canon.
To my knowledge she’s one of the very few paraplegic characters in superhero comics, right next Professor X, who I might add; actually did regain the use of his legs at one point.
In case you couldn’t tell where I’m going with this, DC has announced that, as part of their upcoming universal reboot; they are going to be reinstating Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.
Given that this is part of the reboot project, this of course means Gordon’s gunshot wound will effectively be erased.
I’ve been very proud of DC for having had Oracle remain disabled, (a fate Batman managed to escape within a year or 2) and it would be very hard for me take it seriously if they were ever to reverse her condition.
Rebooting her character arc is nowhere near the same as reversing it, but even so; it kind of bothers me that they’d be so audacious as to even attempt it.
I understand her relevance to Batman’s history, but plenty of other characters have worn the Batgirl costume over the years; such that I think I’d actually prefer it if they cast someone else in the role.
Truth be told, I think my main objection to all this, is the fact that in getting back Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, we’ll be losing her as Oracle; a character and role I think I actually prefer.
Maybe it’s just me, but ever since Cassandra Cain’s tenure as the girly bat-person, my respect for the character has kind of crapped out.
Anyway, this has been a rant, I apologize.
DC better get their shit together though, and fast…