For years, Oracle was the moniker of Barbara Gordon, who became the central intelligence resource of DC superheroes after paralysis ended her career as Batgirl. Barbara eventually regained the use of her legs and became Batgirl once more, and with multiple changes to continuity, Oracle evolved into something different. Something sinister. The current Batgirl arc, written by Cecil Castellucci with art by Carmine Di Giandomenico, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Andworld Design, has Oracle returning as a robotic menace in the vein of Marvel’s Ultron, a being created by a hero to do good, but ultimately tainted by its analysis of a world found wanting. Oracle’s power is enhanced by the offer Lex Luthor is giving villains as part of the “Year Of The Villain” event, and the android’s next target is a familiar one: its creator, Batgirl.
In this exclusive preview of this week’s Batgirl #39, Oracle runs a simulation to determine how she can wipe out her enemy. These pages highlight the creative team’s flair for the dramatic, opening with a splash page of Batgirl caught in Oracle’s mechanical tendrils. Di Giandomenico makes strong use of diagonal panel borders to add dynamic energy to the layouts of the ensuing fight scene, and when the action stops, the panels fall on a more traditional grid to emphasize that tonal shift. Bellaire changes the application of color to add texture to the linework, using clean, flatter rendering on the characters to make them pop against speckled backgrounds. This fight might just be a simulation, but the liveliness of these pages promises an exciting showdown when Batgirl and Oracle meet face-to-face.