WARNING: This article contains great spoilers from Detective Comics # 1048 and Batgirls # 2, both for sale from DC Comics now!
Batman has always been Gotham’s most important hero, committed to completing his crusade against crime, whatever it takes. But since Batman left Gotham, one has quite slowly claimed her position as the city’s most important hero, and he helped train her.
Since her introduction, Barbara Gordon has been an incredibly important part of the bat family. Her years as a Batgirl cemented her as an important part of Batman’s war on crime. They also showed that she was one of the wisest characters and most skilled heroes who has ever worn a mask, capable of defeating villains that even her mentor had a hard time with. But it is her time without a mask that has made her an invaluable asset to Gotham and any hero working inside the city. Like Oracle, Barbara became every member of the Bat family’s “girl in the chair.”
She provided them all with the tactical information they need to defeat Gotham’s many villains and coordinated actions between them so that they are in the right place at the right time. Even Batman relies on her information from time to time. In addition to working as their communicators and tactical support, Barbara has also matured to mentor many of the family’s younger heroes, especially the two who took, who became Batgirls after she left the mantle.
IN Batgirls # 2 (by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad, Jorge Corona and Sarah Stern), Oracle acts as the pseudo-leader of the titular Batgirls. She acted as their tactical advisor, technical specialist and even provided them with their very own Bat mopeds. From their interactions, it is clear that she likes her two young protégés a lot, and they like her a lot. They do not always follow her advice, but she is always there for them when they need her. Oracle was also central in the investigation of the Saints, an extremist offshoot of the deadly magistrate. They work under the command of Seer, who is anti-Oracle, and show how important her duty as the Bat family’s communication support really is. Viewers blew up their former headquarters, effectively closing most of the Bat family’s communications between them, leaving them in the dark. Oracle, which has always been the problem solver, had found ingenious low-tech ways to get around their limitations and bring them back in touch with each other.
Meanwhile, “The Tower” (by Mariko Tamaki, Ivan Reis, Danny Miki and Brad Anderson) is out Detective comics # 1047 and # 1048 showed how Oracle coordinated Bat-Family so they can effectively take on any challenge they face. Oracle helped Batwoman and Nightwing investigate the mystery surrounding the new Arkham Tower and its chief physician, who had apparently found a miracle cure for Gotham’s criminals. While the series flashed back and forth in time, the few scenes that have shown Oracle show that she does what she is best at, guided her allies in the midst of Gotham’s madness so they can solve the problem. When the criminals inside the tower escaped, she guided Nightwing through the tower while Batwoman and Cassandra Cain monitored the situation from the outside.
Now that Batman is absent from Gotham, someone had to go up and take the role of the leader of the city’s crime fighters, and Oracle was the perfect person for the role. She helped the city in her time as a street fighter, but it is her time as the Bat family’s tactician that has made her Gotham’s most important hero. Without guiding her hand and leading them through the dark streets of Gotham, the city guards would fight blindly.
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