ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. Twitter: @ExtraTremeerial | Email: [email protected]
Eleanor Tremeer

Three movies in, with Wonder Woman premiering soon, the DCEU is really just beginning, and it's an exciting time all around — whether you're wondering just how the franchise can recover from its thus-far poor critical reception, or you're eagerly awaiting the Harley Quinn movie that seemed too good to be true.

With a comic empire that spans over 75 years, Warner Bros. have a huge sandbox to play in when it comes to deciding which elements of the DC Comics will make the transition to the silver screen. The next few years of DCEU movies will decide the future of the franchise, and Margot Robbie's pet project might just introduce some of the most interesting characters in all of DC history.

Oracle directs the Birds of Prey. [DC]
Oracle directs the Birds of Prey. [DC]

Robbie's movie is forging ahead with Christina Hodson writing the script, and the most recent update confirms that the Clown Princess of Crime will be going up against the Birds of Prey. Revamped for the New 52 and Rebirth, the Birds of Prey are a fascinating and bombastic superhero team — and they're all-female, fulfilling Robbie's desire to bring DC's superheroic women to the big screen.

The team has had three incarnations, with characters like Huntress, Starling, Katana, and even Poison Ivy as sometime members of the team. The founders, however, always stay the same: Black Canary and Barbara Gordon are the heart of the Birds of Prey. And that's where this gets really, really interesting for the DCEU.

Oracle In 'The Batman'

The story of the Birds of Prey doesn't actually start with the founding of the team — it begins in a small apartment in Gotham, as Barbara Gordon hangs up her Batgirl cowl for a quiet evening in. But her plans for the night, and the rest of her life, are shattered when Batman's nemesis comes a-calling.

The Joker shoots Barbara Gordon in 'The Killing Joke'. [DC]
The Joker shoots Barbara Gordon in 'The Killing Joke'. [DC]

The events of the ever-controversial comic The Killing Joke left Babs crippled, but not beaten, honing her already formidable hacker skills to become Oracle — known as the "most powerful information broker in the world." As her technological control spread, Babs realized she needed someone to run missions for her. First working with the Suicide Squad, Oracle later turned to her old friend Black Canary, and together they formed the Birds of Prey.

So far, the DCEU has so far used forward-planning to its advantage, setting up movies like Justice League through cameos in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. It seems probable, even likely, that we'll see the same kind of set-up for the Harley Quinn movie in Ben Affleck's .

The easiest way would be to show Batgirl's history of fighting crime alongside Batman through flashbacks — then cutting to Babs in present day, as the much darker, wheelchair bound vigilante Oracle. Bonus points if the movie features this awesome workout sequence, to rival Bruce's in Batman v Superman...

This doesn't even need to be much more than a cameo, although it would be nice to see The Batman explore the relationship between Bruce and his allies, and Babs' injury at the hands of the Joker would go a long way to explaining Batman's disillusionment in Dawn of Justice. But even catching a glimpse of Babs would provide a grounding for Robbie's Harley Quinn / Birds of Prey movie, not to mention fueling the flames of fan anticipation.

Oracle Needs To Return

Of course, this is just one version of events — specifically, the pre-Flashpoint canon. Before the New 52 continuity reset, the story of how Babs went from Batgirl to Oracle was one of the highlights of DC's run in the 1990s.

Turning a popular teen girl superhero into a morally ambiguous hacker was some really interesting character development, and Oracle's story resonated with fans because it was filled with hope. Aside from Professor X, Oracle was pretty much the only paraplegic superhero, and as she increased in power, so readers were told that it didn't matter whether they could leap across rooftops or not — anyone could be a hero.

Oracle's always one step ahead. [DC]
Oracle's always one step ahead. [DC]

Then Flashpoint happened, and Babs became Batgirl once again. This caused no end of controversy, with many arguing that DC erased what was vital to Oracle's role: The representation she gave to disabled comic book readers.

Unfortunately, although Batgirl's comics in both the New 52 and Rebirth have so far been excellent, no replacement has been offered for the void Oracle's erasure left. The DCEU could go a long way to restoring the role Oracle played, giving a new generation of fans a symbol of hope.

Oh, and seeing an updated version of Oracle using modern technology like social media algorithms and data mining to track criminals and fight crime would be really, really cool. This would add an interesting flavor to the Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey movie that would otherwise be a straightforward superhero/villain fest, with Oracle's manipulation leading us to question the nature of technology — and how none of us can be hidden from the eye of Big Brother (here known as Oracle).

After her surgery in the New 52 'Secret Origins', Babs dabbles in hacking. [DC]
After her surgery in the New 52 'Secret Origins', Babs dabbles in hacking. [DC]

Batgirl's New 52 Secret Origin gave us a glimpse at how awesome, and terrifying, an updated Oracle would be, leaving us wanting much more.

Essentially, if the Harley Quinn movie really will feature the Birds of Prey, there can be no such team without Barbara Gordon. And specifically, without Babs becoming Oracle after her injury — although other versions of the story do exist, this is an origin with a poignant emotional pull, as well as one that could be easily set up in The Batman. So let's just keep our fingers crossed that this is what Warner Bros. are planning.

Tell us in the comments: Do you want to see Oracle in The Batman?

[Source: The Wrap]


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