Hey, That's My Cape! ORACLE Says Goodbye to the DCU


This is the end, my beautiful friends. Whether you want to believe the DC relaunch will fail and things will return to the status quo or not, the change is happening and it’s truly a turning point. It kinda feels like graduation to me. Is the DCU growing up? No, actually many of them are getting younger, but they are moving on to a new chapter of their lives. They are facing the unknown, just like we are and just like a lot of us were when we graduated from high school or college.

I’ve talked a lot about the DC relaunch in this column, in other forums online and with friends. I’m kind of talked out to be honest. Now I want to see what’s going to happen. So in order to give myself a break, I thought I’d hand the reins over to the Valedictorian of the DC relaunch. I’m talking of course, about Barbara Gordon. Of all the changes being made in the DCnU, Barbara is definitely shouldering the biggest so I thought it only appropriate to have her give us some perspective on the changes.

And for all of you out there who take life way to seriously, this is me, having a lot of fun. If you’re allergic to fun I suggest you stop reading now.

Here we are. The end. Or the beginning depending on how you look at it. We’re graduating from the DCU, only in this case the U doesn’t stand for university, it’s for universe. Yeah, just slightly larger.

My name is Barbara Gordon. Some of you know me very well, others know me simply as the chick in the wheelchair. I’m going to put secret identities aside right now because well, there’s a chance none of us will remember this anyway. I’m Oracle.

Bet you didn’t see that one coming, did you? Well, get over it, I’m not only smarter than all of you, I could also have you unconscious in less than three moves. But don’t worry too much, as long as you’re not evil, you should be ok. And besides, I’m not here to start a fight, I’m here to say goodbye. Goodbye to all the good times and the bad, goodbye to a universe that’s been our home for so very long.

We’ve had a good run though, haven’t we? Sure, a lot of stuff has gone down through the years but that’s life, isn’t it? Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people but we do the best we can with what we’ve been given and while I can only speak for myself, I think that’s what we’ve done.

They say change is good. Who’s “they?” Personally I like change but I like it to happen at my own pace and on my own terms. Unfortunately that’s not where we find ourselves and “they” have decided it’s time to shake things up. Is it scary? Absolutely. Emotional? You bet. But is change always a negative thing? One day, the Joker decided to “change” me and you know what? The joke was on him. He didn’t beat me, he turned me into who I am today and that’s a person I’m extremely proud to be. But I’ll never stop fighting. You knock me down, I’ll get up a new way each time. And each time, I’ll stand taller.

You remember when Superman died? That was a huge blow for all of us. Superman is a symbol of hope for everyone, someone to look up to but you know what? So are each and every one of you. And yes, I mean you. Us “superheroes” don’t do it for the glory (I’m looking at you Booster) and many of us find ourselves uncomfortable in these roles but even you non-metas out there have someone who looks to you for hope or strength. You may not know it, but they do.

So what does this mean for us? Does the big change mean we won’t be inspiring anymore? Does it mean we’ll stop fighting for justice? Will our old selves cease to exist? The answer to those questions is a resounding NO. We’ll still be heroes. We’ll still try and do what’s right even if things don’t always go as planned. Because at our core, that’s who we are.

But I refuse to ignore our legacies. Some of us have built up reputations that will last for longer than we can possibly imagine, others were just getting started. People will remember us, even the seemingly most insignificant member of our universe has someone who finds us special. As a computer genius who’s run into a supervillain called the Calculator more than a few times, I can tell you, numbers are important. But they don’t define us either and with a few strikes on my keyboard the numbers can change. The world can change. And that’s where we find ourselves now. And maybe for some of us it will make us better. For example, the Legion of Superheroes. I have an eidetic memory and I can’t even keep them all straight. Maybe now I will.

And then there’s Dick Grayson. One of the great loves of my life. He may not be perfect but he always had a seat waiting for him at the table of my heart. One thing I am looking forward to in this big change looming in front of us is his return to his old persona of Nightwing. It was right for him to pick up the mantle when Batman left us and I couldn’t have been more proud of the work he’s done but on a personal level? Totally turned off. Couldn’t have imagined for a second kissing him in the Bat suit. It would have been like kissing my dad! Gross! (Sorry you had to hear that, dad. Love you!)

But enough about my personal life. This is about all of us and the next stage in our lives. Some of us are getting new clothing, some are losing mantles they’ve earned while others are gaining back mantles they once lost. Like many others, I’m going to be younger when all is said and done. Some women might jump at a chance like that but not me. Growing up was hard but I think I managed to do all right. It’s going to be annoying to have to go through it all again but perhaps I can make better choices for myself this time. Or maybe not, because that’s life. People struggle, people make mistakes. If they didn’t, we’d have nothing to tell stories about, would we?

I’m not one to cry but this is a very emotional time and I’m sure a few tears will be shed. Don’t forget what we did here. That’s most important. Keep the good we’ve done locked away for a rainy day and try and move past the mistakes we’ve made. We’ll meet new people soon, maybe they’ll even turn out to be remembered just like we are some day. I can only hope so because it’s a privilege to be remembered for doing something positive in the world.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger but in our universe sometimes what actually kills you makes you stronger. And even though none of us are being “killed,” let’s hope that’s the case as we move into the next stage of the DC Universe. Remember the past but look to the future. I hope to see you there.

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