Thursday, November 19, 2015

Discovering A New Superhero To Love

Ever since playing Arkham City and Arkham Knight on the Playstations (still playing the latter), I've come to fall in love with Oracle, otherwise known as Batgirl in the past. However I hated how her past story took such a dreadful turn. This ended up turning me towards research (Wikipedia and Batman wikis), and finding out when, why, and how Oracle stopped being Batgirl. 

Barbara being shot in the spine by the Joker, and being paralyzed because of it, put a damper on the whole Batman storyline because I realized I would never be able to play as Batgirl. And it sucked just thinking of it like that. Don't get me wrong, I respect anyone with a disability, but I was just so disappointed in the fact that it happened. I really wanted to play as Batgirl, and I would have loved to see her in action. Plus, why is the girl the one to suffer such a major tragedy? You don't see this happening in male superheroes.

With all of this on my mind, I thought to myself "There must be SOMEONE out there who thought the same thing," and luckily, there was! Thank you for Gail Simone, for not only getting Batgirl back in action, but doing it correctly.

Batgirl (Volume IV): The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone
Publisher: D. C. Comics
Release Date: July 17th, 2012
Source: Library
Date Read: 11/14/15
144 pages

The nightmare-inducing brute known as Mirror is destroying the lives of Gotham City residents seemingly at random. Will Barbara be able to survive her explosive confrontation with this new villain, as well as facing dark secrets from her past?

So this isn't necessarily going to be a review, but more of me gushing about how this set everything right again.

Some Background: Barbara Gordon is the commissioner's daughter, and because of her relationship with Batman, she's part of the team, but still works alone. However, after getting shot by Joker, she becomes paralyzed. Since she can only help mentally, she becomes Oracle, helping Batman with everything related to IT. This is where the video games leave off in her story.

Enter in Batgirl, The New 52. Here, Batgirl/Oracle/Barbara recovers the ability to walk due to neural surgery. After three years of being in a wheelchair, she is  Now you might think, "But why Val why? What's the point of the struggle when there is no disability? How is this fair to anyone else with this disability?" Actually, this aspect of the story was done very well. Throughout the first chapter, Barbara is constantly battling with herself. Why should she have overcome her disability, while others couldn't? She describes this as "Survivor's Guilt".

This very first chapter goes into depth on this as well. The villain, Mirror, doesn't believe in miracles. Due to his past, he believes that everyone deserves what could have happened to them, in other words he wants a world where no miracles exist. Therefore, he aims to kill everyone who doesn't deserve the miracle they got.

Obviously, Barbara is on this list, and this villain is a reflection of what she is battling inside. So yes, even though she does regain the use of her legs, she still suffers from PTSD (of guns and gunshots) and also feels extremely guilty for it.

Also, love seeing Barbara move out of her father's home and be independent. It's going to be interesting seeing how all the relationships develop throughout the series!

How do you feel about disabilities being cured in fiction? Does it take away from diversity? Is it not fair for others who are suffering from a disability?

What are your thoughts?

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