Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 350
A new and exciting story of Barbara Gordon
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
THE ORACLE CODE visits Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl and Oracle) in her teens after an accident that paralyzes part of her body. Now using a wheelchair, Barbara enters the Arkham Center for Independence for physical and mental rehabilitation. Though she is supposed to be healing, too much is happening at the center for Barbara to relax, from missing patients to the strange sounds. As Barbara tries to solve the mystery around her, she might find that the even bigger mystery is herself.

As a huge Barbara Gordon fan, I was so excited to read this title from DC Ink, especially since Marieke Nijkamp tells the story. Mijkamp takes what readers love about Barbara, her tenacity, her cleverness, and her courage, and gives her a fantastic new story. I love how sharp and biting she can be, while also being caring, loyal, and brave as she stays at the Arkham Center. The fellow patients around her as a complex and three-dimensional as she is, even if Barbara is slow to open up to them.

In addition to the excellent depiction of a beloved character, the disability representation is one of my favorite parts of THE ORACLE CODE. It feels authentic and real, never veering into “inspiration porn” territory or treating Barbara’s circumstances like the worst tragedy imaginable. It examines the emotional struggles of what society deems being disabled to mean versus what it actually means. Though there isn’t a wide range of representation in comics, disabled superheroes do exist, and Barbara/Oracle’s story is a great addition to the canon.

With suspense, tentative friendship, and a powerful ending, THE ORACLE CODE tells a new and exciting story of Barbara Gordon.
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