Yeah, it’s been a while since I did a full review of a comic, but as I mentioned beforehand, Wednesday night is D&D night at Heroes’ Beacon, so I haven’t had much in the way of time. However, because I’m kinda down right now with what I’m assuming is a cold, and had to have my comics delivered to me (thanks, Mom), I had time today. So, let’s look at the end of Stewart and Fletcher’s first arc with Barbara Gordon in Batgirl #40 – Ghost In The Cowl (and yes, that’s most definitely a reference to Ghost In The Shell, complete with similar logo, lol).
So, as we learned last issue, and had further light shed on it in Batgirl’s part of Secret Origins #10, it seems the algorithm Babs made while she was wheelchair bound was designed to identify and predict criminal activity and alert operatives to deal with the situation as a sort of information broker. Babs also included a brain scan of herself to give the program a personality. So basically, a digital Oracle. However, it’s gotten a bit…confused. Seeing Batgirl no longer scaring criminals, being a force of fear, and instead becoming a bit more public, the program instead sees herself as the real Barbara Gordon and Babs as the corrupted version. Worse, using the hooq servers, she’s determined that pretty much everyone going to Black Canary’s concert (yeah, I still can’t get over that, but let’s move on) is a potential target, whether directly involved in criminal behaviour or not, and has decided to take them all out WITH A MILITARY SATELLITE! Of course, Babs ain’t taking that shit, and with help from Dinah and Frankie (her room-mate who just learned of Babs’ secret identity), as well as the GCPD keeping everyone calm, they manage to stop evil data twin Barbara from firing and shut her down. The next morning, Frankie reveals that she managed to save the algorithm and fix it so it won’t kill anyone. She also teases that she gave it a name, and makes it clear that she wants to join team Batgirl. Afterward, we get a quick goodbye from Dinah, who has been signed to a label and might be going on tour, and declares that she no longer has any hard feelings towards Babs, as none of this would’ve happened without her. So, all’s good with the team again………THANK GOD. lol
Now, let’s discuss a couple of things. First, there’s how the Barbara/Dinah situation resolved. Frankly, at this point, I’m just glad they managed to resolve this at all with at least some of either character’s dignity intact and their friendship rekindled. I still think that Di took it way too far at times, but she at least came back for Babs when she most needed her. Also, I’m still on the fence about the direction of the new Black Canary book coming out in June. However, I do take comfort that she actually HAS a solo book now for the first time since 2007, and that it’s at least something different that’ll take us down a new road with the character. So, I’m at least more open to the idea than I was when it was first announced.
As for Frankie becoming the new Oracle, or at least the new Oracle-like character……..I love it. lol Yeah, I’ve been a little disappointed that Alysia got pushed into the background to make room for Frankie, but I’ve come around and learned to like this character as well. And honestly, if we’re going with the idea of someone other than Babs being Oracle, maybe this is exactly who we needed: Someone who is smart, adaptive, and wants to help clean up the streets, but not out of any desire for vengeance or being motivated by a troubled life, but just because she wants to help. And I love the idea that we’re going back to someone who is physically handicapped, but with the twist that she wasn’t put in the wheelchair by a criminal. Hell, she’s not even in the chair yet, it’s just a condition she has that’ll eventually lead to that. And while I don’t really feel her race ever really impacts her character at all, it still adds to the roster of DC characters of varying skins and nationalities. Overall, it’s a good call.
So, my thoughts on this issue? Great. Not perfect, mind you. It DOES feel like a bit of a mega-happy ending, which could rub people the wrong way, but sometimes, we need those. I no longer have any kind of ill will for this book and its narrative. I know that there are still some that do, though, and that’s fine. Nothing is for everybody, but this book is definitely for me.