If you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you probably know how I feel about Gail Simone and Barbara Gordon (this is a good indicator if you've forgotten). Put bluntly, I love them both. Barbara is my favorite Bat-family member, and Simone is one of my favorite writers, period, and certainly my favorite comic book writer. Simone writing Barbara is inevitably one of the best titles on the rack at any given time. Birds of Prey is an epically fantastic series.
But this is not Oracle!Babs. This is Bat!Babs. Obviously I have no idea what tack they're planning for this relaunch, but I will say right now: it better be fucking awesome. There is no room for fuck-ups here, DC, no room for well-it-might-get-better. Because the cynic in me says that DC planned this knowing how many female fans Simone has, how many women read her books and how many women read Bat-family books, and how loyal they are to both this creator and this character in particular, and are banking on this, banking on female fans buying Simone's books as surely as a Republican presidential nominee banks on getting the conservative Christian vote. We are the base here, we are the job security, we are the dollars that can be counted on during what will certainly be a trying time for DC's books. Our loyalty and fandom and our femaleness, yes, those female geeks that everyone argues about: these things are being used against us.
We are being used, period.
Because in all fairness, DC shouldn't be getting my money for this title. Not immediately, not right off the bat, not automatically, and chances are if Simone wasn't attached, they wouldn't be getting it at all. But they will be. Because I trust Simone and because I love Gordon, and I hope that those two things will come together to create something else that I can love. I hate that DC is taking away a significant member of its (paltry) diverse cast, especially since the trope of "wheelchair user can walk again" is a hated one in all media, and I hate that DC is apparently jettisoning a fantastic Batgirl (Stephanie Brown), and who knows what will happen to Cassandra Cain, Charlie Gage-Radcliffe, and Tim Drake, since Damian Wayne as Robin and (most likely) Dick Grayson back as Nightwing are confirmed.
But I can't abandon Barbara.
After some consideration, I have come up with a reasonably plausible and palatable reason for why DC might be going down this road. In the current Flashpoint event, Barry Allen theorizes that Reverse-Flash is fucking with him yet again and has rewritten history. Given that Flashpoint leads into the revamped DCU in some way, it is not impossible that, once September comes, we will find that the universe has been snapped back to the way it should be...but isn't quite the way it should be. Ergo, Barbara was never shot, everyone is younger, etc.
This may or may not be what they're planning, but it's the best scenario I've been able to think of. In the most hopeful case, eventually this false universe would ALSO snap back to what it was, or begin to change enough so that characters like Oracle, Cass, and so forth could exist again. But I'm not that hopeful.