History (Submitted by Oracle)
Barbara Gordon: 1984 - 1999
I’m Barbara Gordon. Most people call me Babs. I’m the daughter of two awesome cops: James “Jim” Gordon and Sarah Essen-Gordon, I also have a little brother, Jimmy, which we do not need to say much about and a cousin-turned-surrogate sister, Carrie Kelley. At night, after my brother and I were sent to bed, I would postpone sleep and instead listen through the thin walls of our home as my parents talked about the horrors they had witnessed that day on the job. I feel comfortable enough to say I was equally horrified and intrigued.
At a young age, I spent a lot of my time on computers and discovered I had a knack for not just their use, but deciphering code. By the time I was ten, I made myself into a self-trained hacker and would often become involved in a variety of causes, becoming a hacktivist before the word had ever been coined. Of course, I was what we called a “White Hat”, a good guy.
As teenager, I stowed away in the backseat of dad’s squad car hoping to sneak into the GCPD mainframe and hack their database (again, I was a good guy- I had good intentions, I promise) but instead I found my dad lied to my mom. He didn’t go to the precinct that night; he didn’t even get a call to a crime scene. Nope, dad went to a secret meeting with an urban legend.
I kept quiet and the next week, Sal Maroni and Carmine Falcone were both arrested by my father on charges that actually stuck. My father was promoted from Desk Sergeant to Lieutenant of the Vigilante Task Force. Within a month, the Gotham Gazette had caught a picture of the “Bat-Man” and just like that, Gotham was as obsessed with vigilante justice as I was.
I talked my dad into letting me enroll in self-defense classes. After studying Internet videos of the Batman, I realized I’d need more than just karate lessons and a few hours at the gym and so I lied about joining a few extracurricular activities in order to enroll in three other defense courses (Aikido, Stick-Fighting, Judo) in addition to Boxing at the Wildcat Gym.
Batgirl: 1999 - 2000
Batgirl began with a whimper, I’m sad to admit. I had the mask, the homemade costume (complete with cape and utility belt), and the attitude. But, it still took me weeks of rooftop patrols and back-alley stakeouts before I got a chance to prevent my first mugging… and I failed. I tripped on my way down a fire escape, but I didn’t give up. I did a sketch of the culprits and I made sure to commit their faces to memory. Later that month, I stopped a carjacking and recognized the tattoo on that guy’s neck. Borrowing my dad’s GCPD login credentials, I was able to gather that the tattoo belonged to the Badger Boulevard Ballers, a lower west side gang. So armed with this information and my unique brand of moxy, I paid the Ballers a visit.
I took a few lumps and maybe broke a rib or two, but I found that first victim’s wallet and returned it. It was a lot to go through for thirteen bucks and an expired gym membership card, but I was not going to let Batgirl start out as a joke. I believed in this… and it paid off. My take down with the ballers caught the attention of a certain duo who started investigating me. I am a bit ashamed to say I took them three hours to figure out who I was. They paid me a visit in the middle of my patrol the next night. I still remember the words of warning Batman gave me, “Stay out of this, Barbara”, he told me, I’m sure in an effort to scare me… but Bruce didn’t know me then as much as he thought he did.
As my wounds mended, I set my sights on a new gang in town, calling themselves the Red Hoods. While I was in the middle of my research during my lunch hour in the school library’s computer lab, a boy that didn’t go to my school slipped me a note and had me follow him to a chauffeured car in the parking lot where I met billionaire Bruce Wayne who told me that he was aware of my research and realized that I wasn’t going to quit. So he made me a deal. He’d give me a computer with unlimited access to finish my research, an armored costume, actual crimefighting training, and all I had to do was let my injuries heal completely before he would let me go out on patrol again. Longest five weeks of my life.
Batgirl: 2000 - 2004
When I recovered from my beating, Batman kept his promise and not only did he officially endorse me for patrol duty, he even gave me a Kevlar bodysuit form-fitted to my dimensions. I’m not sure I want to know how he got it fit so right in some areas… Anyway! So, while I was recovering, Bruce did let me take the Bat-Computer for a spin. He was really protective of his “baby” at first (and I don’t blame him), but after he saw that I was the better hacker (he hated to admit it, it was a bitter pill for him to swallow), Bruce let me do the work on tracking down the Red Hood Gang’s movements and we figured out they planned to make a heist at the Ace Chemicals plant. This was my first big team-up with Batman and Robin and we did kick some major teeth in! With the gang’s leader cornered, he pulled a knife on Batman and in the ensuing fight, the wannabe mastermind got knocked over a railing and into a vat of bubbly ooze. In the aftermath of the leader’s death, the Red Hood gang dissolved (much like their leaders body must have… still gross to think about), and we moved on to bigger fish.
As Batgirl, I saw a lot of action. The rise of much of our most notorious villains happened during my turn under the cowl, in what we called the “Long Halloween” (because it all started on Halloween night with Riddler and Mr. Freeze and kept going for several months like a parade of costumed freaks); I was present for Harvey Dent’s scarring and drastic shift into Two-Face; and I also got to join “the Super Friends” (what Flash called the “team” of him, Supes, Double Dubs, GA, BC, Bats, Robin, and myself when we teamed up a few times before Brainiac’s trip to National City helped make us official as “the Justice League of America”) and I helped found the Titans. So Yeah… I’m a really big deal.
Now for the twist, even though I walked on the wild side, risking life and limb every night fighting ganglords and crocodile men, it was not being Batgirl that landed me where I am now. No, I was targeted by the Joker simply for being the daughter of Jim Gordon, Gotham’s top cop. Can you say irony?
Oracle: 2004 - Present
Okay, yes… I am paralyzed. I live my life in a wheelchair now, all because a madman shot me in a bad to drive my father insane. It nearly worked, to tell you the truth. Hell, it nearly drove ME insane, too. But after I was done feeling sorry for myself, I realized I had a lot of work to do. First thing to do was take care of myself. I needed help and admitting that was difficult. So, I got myself into some physical, occupational, and psychological therapy. With that underway, I started to work on getting the Dynamic Duo back together, Bruce and Dick had a falling out and since I was in a coma, I was unable to talk some sense into them before they reached their breaking point. By the time I woke up, Dick was struggling with finding a new purpose in his life and Bruce was in a dark place. So first course of business, I helped get Dick set up as Nightwing in Blüdhaven, giving him a chance to carve his own path and step out of the shadow of the Bat, hoping that in so doing he would begin to see all that Bruce had offered him that he had been overlooking due to his rage.
With Dick taken care of, I then talked to Bruce, opening him up to the prospect of taking on a new Robin. I could not have predicted that he would choose a street-kid like Jason Todd to fill that void in his life, but to Batman’s credit, he saw what others never had seen in Jason before and was beginning to coax it out of the kid… and then the Joker broadcast his online torture and murder of Jason Todd and that’s when something happened that I could have never predicted… we were powerless to stop it. The Joker had devised a cyber-plot we were unprepared to handle, technologically and emotionally.
I know the very moment I became Oracle, it was the moment I saw Jason’s blood dripping from the Bat-Signal after my father allowed Batman to carry the body away. Now, just Batman has his Gotham, I have the World-Wide-Web. Now, I am not just Bat-Girl in a wheelchair, I am a critical part of the entire “capes and tights” franchise as an integral part of the operations of not just Batman’s crusade, but also those of the Justice League, the Titans, and the Outsiders… but I also the leader of my own team: the Birds of Prey! Yeah, I’m a big deal. ;)
- Computer Hacking: As Oracle, I am an expert computer hacker. With my computer hacking skills, I am able to breach the highest security systems. With the added firepower of my beyond-state-of-the-art custom-built Kryptonian computer, my skills are rivaled by none.
- Computer Operation: I can humbly admit, I am by far the most computer literate of the Bat Family, and one of the most efficient users of computers world-wide. Now, that said... if I were to have any computer related problems, it would be my typing. I am prone to typos, especially when I'm overloaded on caffeine, which is to say 'when I'm awake'. My humble brilliance in computer science has allowed me to direct the Birds of Prey by computer; hack the most well-protected systems on the planet; guard my own equipment from infiltration by the likes of the Calculator, Riddler, and Anarky; and access security cameras and footage as effective means of surveillance to aid in my detective work, among seemingly limitless other uses.
- Dance: Once upon a time, I was an exceptional ballerina.
- Firearms: My dad used to take me shooting a lot. Since there were guns in the house, he and my mother felt it was important that I knew that they were not a toy, but a tool. Bruce had a hang-up with guns but he still felt it was important I learn to operate and dismantle them as a means of understanding how to defeat them. After the Joker paralyzed me with a gun, my dad insisted I keep a gun on me and in my house in case the clown ever returned to finish me off. I am a skilled markswoman and I do not share Bruce's view on these weapons, if someone threatens me or my loved ones and there's a gun handy, I will end them.
- Forensics: Next to Bruce, I'm probably the most gifted forensic technician we have in this Bat-Family of ours.
- Genius Level Intellect: I be damn smart. I have a photographic eidetic memory and can do advanced calculations in my head. Bruce doesn't like me to point out my IQ is higher than his. People have always called me "talented", "decided", "obstinate" and "exceptional"; but they always seem hesitant to call me "intelligent", as if that would somehow offend. I take pride in my brain, but I don't like to let it define me. I've got a curious knack for numbers and cataloging information, which has helped me realize that Oracle is who I was meant to be.
- Gymnastics: Once upon a time, I was an exceptional gymnast.
- Library Science: Few people know that I am Doctor Barbara Gordon thanks to correspondence courses which I used to attain my doctorate in Library Science. At one point in my life, I wanted to be a librarian so this was more or less me simply letting the Joker not take another thing from me.
- Information Brokering: I have formed connections with numerous different superhero teams and individuals, often times assisting them when they require information and reference. I have a massive databases on various costumed crusaders and criminals alike, utilizing the information I have attained in my investigations, as well as being an integral part in the operations of well over three hundred other crimefighters.
- Investigation: Though Bruce likes to pat himself on the back whenever I come to a deduction before him, in truth I credit my father for fostering an interest in forensics and police procedure. I am also exceptionally skilled in investigative research and honestly, I probably would have won more Pulitzers than Lois Lane if I had chosen to use my skills to write stories.
- Law: In addition to my library science degree, I also have a master's degree in law and was in the process of considering pursuit of attaining a juris doctorate.
- Martial Arts: I am trained martial artist. Even before I met Bruce Wayne, I took it upon myself to have myself trained at the Wildcat Gym by none other than Ted Grant. Styles I have mastered include: Aikido, Boxing, Dragon Style Kung Fu, Judo, and Stick Fighting. Even though I am confined to a wheelchair, I've demonstrated that I'm no pushover, holding my own against Heretic.
- Multilingualism: I am fluent in English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Latin, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin, Kryptonian, Swahili, and Russian. I am currently studying Korean in my free time.
- Sensitivity: I am the most sensitive and kind person you'll ever meet.
- Stealth: More or less, I was a ninja. I mean, I still can be if you give me a second to spray some WD-40 on my wheels. ;)
- Targeting: I can throw a batarang like no one's business.
- Weaponry: I keep a loaded sidearm and a pair of escrima sticks stored in the armrests of my wheelchair as a contingency.
- Restricted Mobility: I am paralyzed from the waist down, and use a wheelchair, after being shot by the Joker. My particular paralysis is caused by an incomplete spinal cord injury on my L1 (first Lumbar Vertebra). People wrongfully assume I have no sensation in my legs or thighs, but that's not actually the case. I have partial feeling thanks to a great number of surgeries paid for by the Wayne Foundation, but I lack any motor control below my injury.
- Terminal Illness: I was recently diagnosed with a terminal spinal tumor. I... I don't know what else to say about this. It's still raw... I'm still processing all of this.
Trivia and Notes
- My favorite colors are green and purple.
- I take my coffee with amaretto creamer.
- My favorite drinks are water with lemon (boring, I know) and if I'm in need of alcohol you can't go wrong with sex on the beach.
- My favorite fruits are raspberry, cranberry, and cucumber. For veggies: vegetables: potatoes and cauliflower.
- My all-time favorite meal has to be my mom's salmon with lemon, mashed potatoes, and vegetable medley... though Dick does a pretty good job at replicating this.
- My favorite guilty-pleasure snack food has got to be popcorn drenched in butter... or maybe a simple snickerdoodle cookie.
- Hmm... It's really hard to write trivia on yourself.
- Barbara likes to refer to herself as a "ginger goddess", is extremely competitive with other computer experts (such as Kara Zor-El, Felicity Smoak, or Tim Drake), and is prone to saying "kick in their teeth" which she describes as her favorite part of being Batgirl.
- My friends point out that I've got some sort of issue with Koriand'r. That's simply not the case... at least anymore. I've made peace with my feelings about her. I won. There's no problems between us... well, except for the fact that she went all turncoat and joined up with that traitorous Helena.
- Oracle joined the Justice League in 2012 nominated Batman. But her membership is not acknowledge by ARGUS because she has never showed up to a meeting of the League in person.
- She tried to record her first visit to the Batcave. Batman quickly discovered it and took the recorder.
- She helped with creation of Caper - the superhero dating app.
- She likes to play video games and is always destroyed in multiplayer by Audrey Spears.
- Barbara is the POV of Earth-27 and author of the Oracle Files.
- The confrontation with the Red Hood Gang in the Ace Chemicals Plant is where the Joker may have been created, after falling in the vat of chemicals.
- Her Batgirl Begins costume is a nod to her new 52 costume.
- Her civilian outfit is based on Batman: Arkham Knight video game.
Links and References
- Appearances of Barbara Gordon
- Character Gallery: Barbara Gordon
- Earth-27 Presents: ORACLE - YouTube
- Network Files submitted by Barbara Gordon