Why A Batgirl Movie Won’t Be Complete Without Oracle

Yesterday, DC Comics and Warner Brothers announced they were adding a Batgirl movie to their upcoming lineup, and that it will be directed by Joss Whedon. While Whedon is revered by the “nerd community” for his work on the iconic Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the widely loved Firefly, two shows that I love, I’m nervous. Recently, Whedon directed the Avengers movies and came under fire for the portrayal of the Black Widow and the Maximoff twins. (While I understand that they couldn’t mention the twins parentage, or that they were mutants, due to copyright reasons, it’s still disappointing.) While Whedon is known for creating strong female characters, I’m nervous about him heading another superhero movie, when the criticism was about his portrayal of a female hero.

There are rumors that they will be reaching to Gail Simone’s 2011 Batgirl run for material, and that excites me. I adore Gail and this specific run, but I’m afraid they’re going to cut what made the run so special, at least in my opinion.

Gail’s run had a particular focus on Barbara’s mental health in her first few months back as Batgirl. It addresses her PTSD, specifically relating to doorbells and guns pointed at her lower abdomen.

What’s that you’re saying? “Olivia, those are two weirdly specific things.”

I have two answers:

a) Not really?

b) You must not know about Oracle! Let me educate you!

In 1988, Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke was released. Originally intended as a one-shot comic outside of the normal continuity of the DC universe it ended up being adopted into the main universe. In the story, in an attempt to get to her father, who was being targeted in turn to get to Batman, after opening the door, Barbara Gordon was shot, rendering her legs paralyzed. A year later, in 1989, Kim Yale and John Ostrander introduced a world class hacker working with the Suicide Squad.

And thus, Oracle was born. (This is an incredibly simplified version of what I would like to say, but hey, another post for another time.)

Oracle became the go-to information broker/hacker for the Suicide Squad, Justice League, and any other team looking for help, and later, Barbara, along with the Black Canary, formed the Birds of Prey.

Barbara spent 22 years, from 1989 to 2011, as Oracle, until the 2011 relaunch of the DC universe, the New 52, retconned her time as Oracle. I’m not sure how they got away with this because Oracle had such a wide reach on the entirety of the DC universe.

Oracle trained both of the following Batgirls, Cassandra and Stephanie, as well as many members of the Birds of Prey. She continued her relationship with Dick Grayson, aka Nightwing, and remained a prominent member of the Batfamily. She’s fantastic, one of the most

She’s fantastic, one of the most famous female superheroes, and one of the most critical. The retcon of Oracle removed a crazy amount of development for Barbara and DC as a whole. She’s complex, she’s smart and kickass, she gets the job done. She’s the perfect candidate for the interesting main character of a kickass movie.

Oracle is important to Barbara Gordon, and to me for that matter. She’s been through a lot, and she’s still able to keep fighting and keep supporting others.

Barbara Gordon wouldn’t be the beloved character she is today without having been Oracle, and excluding that time from her story would thin out the character, and the potential for a great movie.

I love Barbara Gordon, and I’m hoping this movie does her justice.

A Quick “Review” of Homecoming Trailer #2

It’s been about 2 days since I sat in the lobby of my school and watched the new Spider-Man Homecoming trailer, and I’ve seen it about six times now. And for context, I was sitting there squealing, and my classmates were watching me.

So let’s dive in!

Right off the bat, seeing Peter discover new things his suit, and shouting “Cool!” is so charming and, to me, at least, quintessentially Spider-Man. It’s compelling, dorky, and adorable. And honestly, I’ve used those three words to describe Tom Holland as Spider-Man quite a few times. He’s young enough (and looks it) to pass as a New York City high schooler, and, as far as I’ve seen, has the chops to bring my favorite character back to the screen for a third time in my objectively short lifetime, and I hope his talents includes sticking power.

The whole of the trailer could be described as charming as well, from seeing Peter struggle to change in a New York alleyway to he and Ned whispering about Captain America in gym class. Friends for Peter is something I’ve felt missing in the past few Spider-Man movies. He only ever really has two friends, and they’ve been an almost-girlfriend, MJ or Gwen, or Harry Osborn, who, by now, we know is at some point going to turn to the dark side. Ned, played by Jacob Batalon, seems like a good friend, a fellow dork, someone to geek out about Star Wars (see Peter’s LEGO Death Star) and suffer through the hallways of Midtown Science with Peter. Also, seeing Ned in the Spider-suit just filled me with a wonderful feeling. Michelle, played by Zendaya, is seen for only a moment, making me question how big of a role she plays, and the insane amount of hate Marvel let her endure before announcing that she wasn’t playing Mary Jane Watson. But that’s another topic for another time…

The lack of a recognizable love interest is very interesting to me, as many superhero stories, not just Spider-Man, tend to rely on the recognizable. But this time, instead of a MJ or Gwen, or even a Felicia or Carlie, we have Liz Allen, a little known and little remembered “minor love interest of both Peter and Flash Thompson.” (According to her Wiki page.) The use of Liz, and Ned, for that matter opens a very interesting door into the corners of the Marvel universe that I hope they explore (but let’s be real, they won’t.)

Most exciting, in my opinion, and this is my opinion, was our first glimpse of Michael Keaton as the Vulture! I love Michael, and seeing him return to the realm of superhero movies (sorry Birdman, you don’t really count) delights me! I’m also so glad they chose the Vulture, rather than a more recognizable Spider-Man villain like the Green Goblin or Doc Ock. I’m so excited to see more of the Vulture in the trailers to come, and I’m pretty sure we were even given a sneak peek of Electro in this one!

Overall, this has heightened my already considerable excitement for Spider-Man: Homecoming, from the friends to the villains, and I’m so so so ready for this movie to come out! July 5th come faster!