So, with the upcoming Battle of the Cowl solicits, and in particular the Oracle mini-series, cancelling of Birds of Prey, and DC dodging the question of who’ll be Batgirl after Battle for the Cowl, its led to a lot of speculation that Barbara will be regaining the use of her legs, and reclaiming the Batgirl identity from Cassandra.
Now, while I’m not keen on this potential development (after all, it could be one big misdirection), I got to thinking about the character of Oracle.
I’ve always been a big fan of the character, and especially the idea of Oracle. The idea of a character who’s a central knowledge base for DC’s main heroes. If they’re stuck and need information, then they contact Oracle. And also as a mythical bane of the non-super villains, striking them through cyberspace. Its been a great concept and worked really well (and may continue to do so if the Batgirl stuff is misdirection). Granted, this is partly due to the great use of Barbara in the role, showing her continuing the good fight, but in a new way.
However, I was thinking. Let’s assume for a moment that the above does come to pass. Barbara becomes Batgirl once again. But what about Oracle? A concept like that is too good to waste. But its also an opportunity to decouple the identity from the Bat-franchise.
But who could be the new Oracle? Well, I was thinking (wait for it)…
We know Ted’s back from the dead. Now, granted there’s an element of confusion, with convention hints pointing at him being a Black Lantern, but the events of Booster Gold (and comments by writer Geoff Johns) indicate he’s clearly alive after all the time travel mucking about of the Blue and Gold arc. However, let’s just assume that regardless of the route, he’s back.
Ted’s good friends with Barbara, and helped her out during the Birds of Prey series. Countdown to Infinite Crisis put a lot of emphasis on Ted’s detective skills and really brought out that element of his character. Something that could serve him well as an information broker for the hero community. Ted also has contacts and friends across the entire community from his days on JLI, so he could provide a broader-ranged Oracle, unlike Barbara who often only showed up in Birds of Prey and the Bat-titles (although Grant Morrison did use her during his JLA run). By this I’m meaning, Ted’s Oracle wouldn’t necessarily be in a regular book. Rather a resource other writers could use as and when they wanted. And finally, Jamie is currently the Blue Beetle, and that’s a great character I don’t think should be torpedoed by Ted’s return.
Of course, the problem with this is that you’re breaking up the Blue and Gold team. With Booster serving as the DC’s resident time travelling superhero, it wouldn’t really make sense to have them as a permanent team. Rather, we’d have to settle for Booster dropping in on Ted time-to-time for chats and team-ups.
Ted could also form quite a different Oracle. Whereas Barbara relied heavily on cyber-sleuthing, Ted could be more of a traditional detective when it comes to his information gathering. There’s not a lot of point having an Oracle that’d be a carbon copy of Barbara in the role.
Anyway, that was just a mad idea I had. It’ll be interesting to see what happens during Battle for the Cowl to Barbara and the Batgirl and Oracle identities, but with DC’s move to focus on the more recognisable interpretations of characters, then I think Barbara becoming Batgirl again is going to happen.
Of course, with that being my mad theory for who could be a new Oracle, the next question would be what would happen to Cassandra if she’s not Batgirl anymore.