I have just finished The Oracle Code in a single sitting and enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. This was also my first YA graphic novel from DC and was rather impressed. The art from Manuel Preitano was outstanding and really added layers that were definitely needed to help tell the story. The main art style is fresh and crisp. Thick and very defined outlines. Then there were “stories” and these sections were often more washed out and reminded me of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. These sections are very contemporary but in a past tense kind of way. Does that even make sense?
The narrative was penned by Marieke Nijkamp and she did a great job with a reimagined Babs Gordon. Maybe reimagined is the wrong word. If you were to read Killing Joke and then followed it up with The Oracle Code you would find inconsistencies but you can work around them. This is a young adult graphic novel so they aren’t going to go down the graphic wormhole that is The Killing Joke. There is also no Joker. However, this does focus on the time period when Babs is adjusting to life in a wheelchair at a live-in rehab facility. She is also having to face her own insecurities about life which only leads to more pieces of a puzzle.
Okay, I might be a bit of a Babs fanboy. I am still reading the first volume of Birds of Prey (10 issues left!) and have grown attached to that version of her. This book is a viable representation of the younger version of the Babs that I know and love. Now, here is my criticism. This is a very empowering book, especially if you are a teenager and in a wheelchair. Babs is inspirational in this. I imagine if I was in that position and this was my first exposure to this character I would want more of her. While there might be a sequel to this book, I would want more adventures sooner than later. If I were to go to the comic shop and find the book that features Babara Gordon and see that she was walking, well, that might throw me for a loop. It is my understanding that these YA graphic novels are to help expose and gain a new audience. In that front, this book kind of falls flat. Sure, there are many back issues of Oracle ranging from S. Squad to Birds of Prey but there aren’t any current books for the new audience.
I give this book 4 out of 5
Have you read this book? If so what are your thoughts?