Batgirl hits the streets in her new costume to find the fake Oracle

Nightwing #84
(Image credit: DC)

As widely expected DC is launching a new Batgirls ongoing series starring Stephanie Brown (Spoiler) and Cassandra Caine (Orphans) collectively picking up the mantle to be mentored by the original Batgirl Barbara Gordon. 

'Babs', who is arguably the heart of the Batman family of characters, has been embracing her role as Oracle more and more in recent months, as the technology from the earliest weeks of 2011's the New 52 that cured her spinal paralysis suffered at the hands of the Joker in 1988's The Killing Joke seems to be in danger of wearing out or breaking. 

image from Nightwing #84 by Robbi Rodriguez (Image credit: DC)

But she hasn't fully retired as Batgirl yet, and in September 21's Nightwing #84 by writer Tom Taylor, the first of a three-issue 'Fear State' tie-in story arc she once again dons the costume to hit the streets and rooftops, this time debuting a new variation of her Burnside costume designed by cover artist Bruno Redondo.

Despite being warned by Dick about venturing out to join the physical fight again, she insists because someone is using her Oracle tech to pose as her to endanger Gotham City, her friends, and (Bat) family. In fact, earlier in the issue, the fake Oracle directed Nightwing into a trap, which would have killed him if Batman hadn't rescued him. 

The last page of the issue by interior artist Robbi Rodriguez debuts his version of Redondo's design, which debuted on his cover to October's Nightwing #85, the middle of three connecting covers (see above) along with a design sheet released by DC.

Time will tell if Batgirl fans are witnessing the final days of Barbara as a costumed streel-level crimefighter, or if she'll continue to join the fights on special occasions like the current 'Fear State' crossover, and they'll always be something of a debate about which version of Barbara is the best version. But for the moment, she's still Batgirl and has a new look to be enjoyed for however long it lasts. 

Whether she's Batgirl, Oracle, or just Babs, Barbara Gordon is one of the very best supporting characters in one of the very best supporting casts in comic books. Check out Newsarama's list of Batman's best supporting characters.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.