Birds of Prey's Barbara Gordon Oracle Is Comic Book-Accurate – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The Birds of Prey show wasn’t the most accurate comic book adaptation, but its portrayal of Barbara Gordon/Oracle was better than any other.
The Birds of Prey may be DC's premiere team of female superheroes, but they certainly haven't had the best of luck in engaging or accurate adaptations. The best example of that was the short-lived 2002 Birds of Prey TV series on The WB, which utilized many of the characters in name only. Despite this less-than-accurate nature, the show's take on one heroine was quite well done.
Barbara Gordon was expertly played by Dina Meyer in the series, coming straight out of the comics in a show that otherwise seemed to want nothing to do with the source material. From her history to her characterization, she would be and remain the best live-action version of the hero yet. Here's why the "Batgirl" of Birds of Prey was the best part of the show.
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In the iconic but controversial storyline Batman: The Killing Joke, The Joker shot and paralyzed the now adult Barbara Gordon. This was a huge turning point in the character's life, as she was now wheelchair bound and no longer able to ever become Batgirl as she had been. She would remain a firm member of the Batman Family, however, assisting them in a useful new way. Taking on the identity of Oracle, Barbara Gordon became a computer whiz liaison to Batman and other Gotham City vigilantes. In this capacity, she would gain far more influence than she ever had as Batgirl, with the DC Universe as a whole turning to her for information and intel.
A big part of Barbara's life as Oracle was her founding the Birds of Prey. This initially Gotham City-based group was made up of Oracle, Black Canary, and later, the Helena Bertinelli version of Huntress. The Birds were very much a second family for Barbara where she didn't have to live under the shadow of her time as Batgirl, and the removal of this aspect of her continuity in the New 52 was a huge sore point. Thankfully, her time as Oracle was faithfully replicated in an otherwise highly inaccurate TV series.
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For all the changes it made to its other two starring heroines, the Birds of Prey TV show did justice to Barbara Gordon. The show's backstory faithfully followed the comics, even recreating her being shot and paralyzed by the Joker. From there, she acts as the heroine Oracle and trains Helena Kyle, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. She had apparently formed a "Birds of Prey" duo with the Black Canary in the past, later doing the same with Dinah's daughter and Helena Kyle/Huntress. From her mannerisms to her character's history, this Oracle was straight out of the comics.
Nearly two decades later, a new version of Barbara Gordon as Oracle would appear on the HBO Max series Titans, played by Savannah Welch. On Titans, this version of Barbara was changed quite a bit from the comics. She was still a former Batgirl who had become Oracle after being shot and paralyzed by the Joker, but the incident also saw her leg amputated (matching Welch herself, who is an amputee). She doesn't seem to form the Birds of Prey in this continuity, and Oracle is merely a computer that's reactivated by Barbara instead of Barbara herself.
Needless to say, the version seen on Titans is the less accurate take on Barbara Gordon compared to the Birds of Prey series. Vast divergences from the comics is par for the course for both shows, which is why Dina Meyer's take being so well done is still surprising. With the cancelation of the Batgirl movie and even the comics moving away from the disabled version of Barbara, Dina Meyer will likely remain the best version of Oracle outside the comics.
Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing. A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.


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