Oracle II

Created by Gardner Fox & Carmine Infantino

NAME + ALIASES:
Barbara Gordon, Batgirl I, aka "Amy Beddoes"

KNOWN RELATIVES:
?? Gordon (parents, deceased), James Gordon (adoptive father)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Birds of Prey, Justice League of America

FIRST APPEARANCE:
As Batgirl: Detective Comics #359 (January 1967). As Oracle: Suicide Squad v.1 #23 (January 1989).

+ History

Upon her parents' deaths, young Barbara Gordon was adopted by her uncle, Gotham City Police Comissioner James Gordon. A long-running admiration of the Batman drove her to assume the guise of Batgirl.

Writes to the JSA. studies jujitsu. too short for FBI. has pre-law dgree. works in library. breaks into JSA headquarters. Meets Jason Bard. Dad is Captain Gordon. (Batgirl: Year One #1) Wildcat pursues her, Canary can't meet her. Dr. Fate warns of triumph and tragedy for her. Lance is dead. meets Batman and Robin after Killer Moth episode #2 Batman saves her from killing herself when she takes a leap off a building, takes her to cave. Robin gives her equipment #4 Moth teams with Firefly. #5 meets new Black Canary, on a JLA call after the villains. She sees her dad's former office. they're captured #6 They escape, BC returns to satellite. Bard forced to retire from police for injury. #7 joyrides with Robin, trashes her bike. He kisses her. Take down Blockbuster. Gordon finds red hair at scene, ransacks her room but finds nothing. #8 Batman takes her to cave, officially sanctions her, shows her his face, his storye. They stage meeting with Gordon with a fake Batgirl so she can be seen alongside Barbara. (#9)

(Detective #359) In her time as Batgirl, she aided the original JLA once (JLofA #60) before eventually curtailing her adventuring in favor of higher education. Batgirl's career ended when the Joker shot her through the spine. (Batman: Killing Joke, 1988)

But Barbara's spirit was stronger than this setback. She quickly set about her rehabilitation and began employing her background as a librarian. She crafted a new identity as Oracle, a covert information broker. Oracle's debut was stunning: she successfully hacked into the computers of Amanda Waller's Task Force X. (Suicide Squad #23) Though she was initially perceived as a threat, Oracle was quickly recruited to work for the Squad. In her early career, she operated secretly, but eventually she revealed herself to the Squad as "Amy Beddoes." Oracle became an integral part of Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad and served through it's end. (Suicide Squad #23-66)

At some point after this, she also began orchestrating independent missions. Much like her work in the Squad, she turned to super-operatives for help. The first of these so-called "Birds of Prey" was Power Girl, whose first mission was so traumatizing that she vowed never to work with Oracle again. (Birds of Prey #42) Only once since then has she responded, in order to save Black Canary's life. (#12)

Barbara knew that establishing a rapport with one operative would be best, and out of the large pool of potential candidates, she chose the Black Canary. (BoP Secret Files #1) Canary had the right resume: a past with the JSA and JLA, and a life that — at the time — was directionless at best. Canary was game, but not, in the beginning, privy to Oracle's identity; the pair spent some time working out the kinks. While online, Babs also struck up a friendship with someone known only as "BB." Once they met, she discovered that this was in fact Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. (#15)

As Oracle's prowess grew, so did her stable of enemies. It was inevitable that one would eventually trace her to her clock tower headquarters in the Gotham City. In this case, Canary saved her from the clutches of Blockbuster. (#21)

Barbara has shown many signs of a forgiving nature not so prevalent in her own mentor, the Batman. After Black Canary was kidnapped and severely beaten by the man called Savant, she recruited Savant into her service, challenging him to clean up a particulary surly Gotham neighborhood. (#74) It took even more grace for Oracle to call in the Huntress to rescue Canary from Savant. Relations were always tense between these heroines because of the Huntress' past sexual relations with Nightwing, Dick Grayson.

Babs had known Dick since they were both young but now years later, she gave in to the romantic tension between them. (#8, Nightwing #38) It was difficult for her to let her guard down with him and the relationship did not last long before Barbara ended it.

Soon after the Huntress joined Oracle's team (#69), her Gotham City headquarters was destroyed and compromised. She'd finally had enough of the baggage that Gotham held and so decided to take the show on the road... or more specifically, the air. Oracle recruited a fourth partner, Zinda Blake, also known as Lady Blackhawk. (#75)

Barbara Gordon continues to battle the demons about her paralysis, her love life and several secrets which she has hidden from her partners. Most significanly, Oracle was recently invaded by Brainiac, who was seeking a new host body. Oracle won out against the villain but was left with the ability to directly interface with computers.

Oracle also continues to serve as-needed with the Justice League. She became and active member of the JLA at Batman's request (JLA Secret Files #2, 8.98) but soon changed her status. She now serves as a reservist and advisor. (JLA #43)

Barbara also serves as the mentor to the new Batgirl (III), Cassandra Cain. (1st app. Batman #567) Ironically Batgirl II was the Huntress. (Shadow of the Bat #83) As ever, the Huntress displeased the Batman while operating as Batgirl, and he handed the mantle over to Cassandra. (Legends of the Dark Knight #120)

Notes

Before the Crisis, Barbara was Jim Gordon's biological daughter. Recently, Barbara speculated that Jim could indeed be her real father, but chose to abandon the issue because a part of her is afraid that she'll discover he is not her father. (Batman: Gotham Nights #??)

Barbara's identity was revealed slowly in the pages of Suicide Squad. Her first appearance in #23 was on a computer screen only. Issue #26 showed a Batgirl doll at her side, and she was fully revealed in #38.

The original Oracle was a cosmic being that helped the Justice League in Justice League of America #100 (Aug. 1972).

The original "Bat-Girl" was Betty Kane, who debuted in Batman #139 (1961). She was the partner of the original pre-Crisis Batwoman (Detective Comics #233, 1956). Following the promotion of Julius Schwartz to editor of the Batman-related comic book titles in 1964, the Bat-Girl character was removed from publication and replaced by the "new" Batgirl Barbara Gordon in 1967. The new character was introduced in Gardner Fox and Carmine Infantino's Detective Comics #359, entitled "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl".

In the DC/Marvel Amalgam universe cross-over (1996), Barbara Gordon was known as the Black Bat.

+ Powers

Despite her paraplegia, Oracle is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant and athlete. She continues to train regularly in acrobatics, martial arts, and swimming.

Recently, she became the host for Brainiac. Once she fought him off, she was left with the ability to interface directly with digital places. A surgery performed by Dr. Mid-Nite supposedly removed all traces of this infection and hence, these abilities.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

   

» SERIES:

  • Batman: The Killing Joke, graphic novel (1988)
  • Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey #1, one-shot (1996)
  • Birds of Prey: Manhunt, 4-issue limited series (1996)
  • Birds of Prey: Revolution, one-shot (1997)
  • Birds of Prey: Wolves, one-shot (1997)
  • Birds of Prey: Batgirl, one-shot (February 1998)
  • Birds of Prey, ongoing (1999-present)
  • Oracle: The Cure, 3-issue limited series (2009)