Barbara Gordon's Greatest Battles Have Been Fought As Oracle, Not Batgirl

Warning! Spoilers for Wayne Family Adventures Episodes 49-50.

DC Comics’ Wayne Family Adventures examines how Barbara Gordon’s greatest battles have been fought by Oracle instead of Batgirl. As Batgirl, Barbara fights against criminals on the street. As Oracle, Barbara is removed from the field and is responsible for connecting the Bat-Family to crimes that endanger civilians. Pressured by the weight of all the lives in Gotham, Bab’s fight as Oracle in Episodes 49 and 50 is arguably more difficult than as Batgirl because it is just her in front of a computer.

When DC partnered with Webtoons to create a standalone webcomic on the Bat-Family, the goal was to develop free comics that focus on the characters’ dynamics rather than their crimefighting. Episodes 49 and 50 focus on Barbara’s dynamic with her alter ego, Oracle, who was created after Joker paralyzed her as Batgirl. Frustrated after realizing she was only considered essential due to her associations with Batman and Commissioner Gordon, Barbara creates a super-computer named Oracle to become an information network source for superheroes. Unlike her role as Batgirl, Barbara suffers even more mental exhaustion and burnout as Oracle because only she can take on the mantle. These difficulties are anchored by the human reality that she needs the Bat-Family’s support, as seen when Nightwing comes to her aid.

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In Episodes 49 and 50, Barbara is delivering intel to multiple Bat-Family members. As Oracle, Babs delivers vital intel to Batman, Red Hood, and Spoiler consecutively without a moment’s break, remarking how “Gotham sure likes to keep them busy.” The work begins interfering with Barbara’s civilian life when she stays up all night and continues to work through her morning routine. She also forgets to send a lab report to Batman, and misdirects Red Robin during a chase. Reprimanding herself, Barbara says “get it together! They’re counting on you!” and admits that “if she stops to take a break, and someone gets, hurt, it’s on her.” When Dick visits, he allows her to take a short break and offers advice on her struggles, mentioning how “we all deserve to take care of ourselves… it’s okay to let go for a while.”

Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson bond.

While Barbara shows she is better as Oracle, her exhaustion can be seen when she says Gotham likes to keep her busy, emphasizing how her job never ends. When it affects her daily life and she says “get it together! they’re counting on you!”, this negative self-talk suggests that Barbara needs to put her job before herself because she does not want to let anyone down. Furthermore, her hesitancy about taking a break at the cost of people’s lives indicates that Barbara has a hard time managing her stress and guilt in a healthy way and instead channels it into a desire to do her job as Oracle perfectly every time. Nightwing’s reminder acts as a mental reliever for Barbara because his support reminds her that she cannot be perfect all the time. By saying “it’s okay to let go for a while,” Dick is telling Babs that it’s okay to let go of her stress, guilt, and ideal perfectionism because she has to adjust to her new normal without Batgirl and take breaks to help herself.

In the Wayne Family Adventures webcomic, Barbara Gordon faces greater challenges as Oracle because she can only rely on herself to get the job done, unlike her role as Batgirl. However, the Bat-Family’s support reminds her that she is an imperfect human who needs breaks to manage her emotions in a healthy way. Whether she's Batgirl or Oracle, even Barbara Gordon need to destress from her work life once in a while!

2022-07-27T22:06:47.000Z

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