by Rob Houston
For some, the Birds of Prey movie was inspiring. Four females giving it to the man. Being badass for females everywhere to look up to. Though for some it was not a true Birds of Prey movie due to a missing founding member, Barbara Gordon. Though this is not the Batgirl Barbara Gordon. This is The Killing Joke Barbara Gordon who was shot and paralyzed by the Clown Prince of Crime.
Which turned her into a computer science hacking badass named The Oracle, that smart disabled geeky female comic book readers finally had someone to look up to and cosplay as.
The last time we saw The Oracle was in a post credit scene at the end of The Killing Joke animated movie, which was met with mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Though it gave us hope for a Oracle origins and Bird or Prey animated spin off.
Though with bad press and angry fans of not just The Killing Joke, but the Birds of Prey show on the CW in 2002. Fan of The Oracle would have to wait for DC to have a reason to take a chance on her again.
With the popularity of disabled characters in TV such as American Horror Story, Speechless, Atypical, The Good Doctor, 3%, and movies like Peanut Butter Falcon. DC was ready to give Barbara a new story for DC’s young adult series of graphic novels. I was happy to see this graphic in the absence of her role in Birds of Prey. Now the disabled people have a chance to be represented again for a new generation.
The Oracle Code_ is a coming of age story written by New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends) and artist Manuel Preitano. To my surprise Marieke is disabled, and not just that she is also a queer female. Marieke is the perfect person to capture the struggles of a teenage Babs, who finds herself paralyzed after trying to stop a crime, not as Batgirl, but renegade hacker.
What is it like to start your life over? How do you manage losing the ability to walk, when you use to jump from rooftop to rooftop? Having to deal with PTSD of the horrific event that changed your life. Being put in a rehab facility when all you want is to stay in a place that is familiar to you.
These are things that people in the disabled community are dealing with right now. Young people who have been shot due to the violence of their surroundings. Though not a lot of people have the luxury of being put in a group home or rehab facility. So my hope is that they still can relate to the story of finding themselves with the limitations that have been thrust upon them.
Besides being inspiring to disabled women everywhere. The story is a very paint by numbers Nancy Drew type mystery. With an enemy that has a “I can give you back your life” trope. Though being disabled is not a disease that needs to be cured is the final anthem. This is a story many will see themselves in, and I hope they will find the courage to be their own hero in the life they have now.
I hope this sells well. So that DC finally takes another chance on The Oracle character. So she can finally have her own movie, TV, or animated series as a main character. DC Comics did right by the disabled community hiring Marieke. They need to hire her again along with other disabled writers, and actors to play the cast of new disabled characters in this new universe that is representing all kinds of disabilities, genders, and sexual orientations.
DC has given the disabled community a reason to celebrate. So go show them that you want more representation in their movies and TV shows by buying The Oracle Code_. The better the sales, the better our chances in seeing a disabled female portraying this version of Barbara Gordon.