It still really bothers me to this day that Barbara was used as a plot device in order to create rage for Batman. The fact that the character fought back against the fridging that she received through “The Killing Joke” and found inner strength to fight back as Oracle saves the narrative for me. Without that piece of it…I find the whole concept of using another female character to incite rage in a male character to be a disturbing trend to say the least.
That being said, that drawing of Barbara as Batgirl is absolutely stunning. I love when an artist really focuses on her gorgeous red hair. Barbara Gordon is one of the most beautiful women in the entire DCU.
I still remember how I first found out Babs got shot. I was just starting to get into comics. I started out with Superman because of L&C, but I had always liked Batman, and loved Batgirl, and so asked the comic book store guy if there were any Babs/Batgirl books. And he told me Babs wasn’t Batgirl anymore. Surprised, I asked why. And he told me point blank that she’d gotten shot by the Joker.
I swear, I was unable to speak for at least 30 seconds. I felt like part of my childhood got taken away when he told me that, and I felt utterly dejected. And I know I looked as much as I walked out the store.
A few months later, I finally worked up the nerve to read “The Killing Joke.” Saying I was pissed after reading how and why Babs got shot would be putting it mildly.
So that’s why, even though she was fabulous as Oracle, and I really did love her as Oracle, there is a part of me that was forever heartbroken about how she ended up in that wheelchair in the first place. And so - at first - wasn’t overly mad about her becoming Batgirl again in the reboot. (Though I totally understand those who were and where they were coming from). That it had nothing to do with her life and bravery as Batgirl, but because she was used as a plot device for Batman (and Jim Gordon).
Anyway, yeah, this picture is beautiful. I too have always thought that Babs was the most uniquely stunning and most beautiful of all the super heroins in the DCU as well.