Publisher: DC Comics
Author: Marieke Nijkampe
Artists: Manuel Preitano
Released: March 10th, 2020
I received a copy of The Oracle Code through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Oracle Code is the latest graphic novel in DC Comic’s Young Adult line. And honestly? It’s pretty brilliant, if I may say so. Barbara Gordon’s tale has been specifically altered, not only to fit the age group, but to fit the story being told.
Barbara has always been curious, a fact that has only become more obvious as she’s gotten older. She’s learned to be more independent as well, though perhaps that is the reason why she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But this is Barbara Gordon we’re talking about. Not even a horrible accident will keep her curious nature shut down for long. Sooner or later, a case will come along that will demand to be solved. And that is where the Oracle steps in.
The Oracle Code is a fun and delightful read, providing a different take on Barbara Gordon’s time as Oracle. While it is intended for a younger audience, there really is no reason why an adult couldn’t or shouldn’t appreciate this story as well.
Any fan that has read Batgirl or Batman comics in the past likely knows exactly what events led to Barbara becoming the Oracle. Those events did not happen here. Instead, the entire plot was changed to be more palatable to a younger audience. The fact that Barbara herself is younger as well as required the change. But honestly? They did a great job making the adjustments they did.
Here they’ve taken the core elements that makeup Barbara and Oracle, and they’ve transitioned it to something new and different. It worked so much better than I would have guessed if I’m being completely honest.
Barbara felt so real in this story. Marieke Nijkamp did an excellent job of portraying a preteen going through such an experience. It really read like Babs. It also read like a girl going through trauma, including all of the bumps and trials that come with it.
Meanwhile, Manuel Preitano’s artwork really carried the story even further. I loved the creative use of colors, as well as the general way in which Barbara and her friends were portrayed. Though I’ll admit that I’m especially fond of some of the final scenes.
I know that this is likely to only be a one-shot, but man would I love it if this became a longer running series. Seeing a younger Barbara wheeling all over the place as Oracle sounds pretty cool, and thus I would love to see more of it. Can you blame me?