A tribute to Oracle: Tony Bedard and Bryan Q. Miller
Scroll down to the bottom of this post. This page sums up what I loved about the DCU. The characters evolved. There was history. The teen sidekicks grew up, some to develop their own identities (Arsenal, Troia, Oracle,) and a few to assume the mantle after their mentors had gone (Wally West, Dick Grayson). In turn, they trained a new generation of heroes—Mia Dearden. Cassie Sandsmark. Cass Cain and Steph Brown. Bart Allen. Damien Wayne. Looking at the intelligence and wisdom in the eyes of Barbara Gordon as she forges a relationship with a new Batgirl and takes another step in her own development is beyond cool. And it’s something I’m going to miss as the DCnU kicks in next month and the ”classic” generation (Clark, Bruce, Diana, Arthur, Hal, Barry), with the exception of all the (male) Robins, a de-aged Barbara Gordon, and some unrecognizeable Teen Titans, becomes the only generation.
The world has a past and a future. We don’t throw our hands in the air because the centuries of human history make life “inaccessible.” When we meet people we like, who are interesting to us, we naturally want to learn more about them and the history they have. An understanding of their past makes us appreciate them more and helps us enjoy the changes that come as time moves forward. That’s one thing that have made superhero comics unique among other media. It’s a shame that’s now seen as a liability.
This past week we saw, after twenty two years, what is probably the last appearance of Oracle for the foreseeable future. As a send-off for this great character, I’ve been doing a series of tribute posts that include thoughts and memories by some of the creators who have written Oracle through the years.
Yesterday I included memories by Scott Peterson, who wrote her first standalone story, Devin Grayson, who wrote the character, Joan Hilty, who edited Birds of Prey, and Greg Rucka, who has written the character in a book and in comics. Today I bring you two of her most recent writers; Tony Bedard who wrote her Birds of Prey (at left is from a page I own of his Birds of Prey #119 with art by Nicola Scott) and Bryan Q. Miller, who wrote her in the most recent volume of Batgirl. Their thoughts follow.