Would you accept this Oracle substitute?

DC’s decision to revert Barbara Gordon from her integral role as Oracle in the DC Universe back to her more culturally popular Batgirl persona was a divisive one to say the least. You all know my feelings on it. But at San Diego Comic-Con last week I was introduced to a brand new character I think I might just learn to love.

Her name? Well as of right now it’s only The Horsewoman but I’m assuming we’ll learn her real name down the road. She’s a character in Paul Cornell, Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert’s new Demon Knights series (Although this character art is by Gary Frank) and she’s disabled.

“The Horsewoman is one of the seven Demon Knights, flung together by a desperate battle,” said series writer Paul Cornell on DC’s Source Blog. “She’s a mysterious rider who tries to stay apart, on a lonely journey across Medieval Europe. She can ride, but she can’t walk, supported in her saddle by magic and invention. She has an absolute affinity for all horses, and she’s the greatest archer in history. She tries hard not to care, but always ends up helping those who need her. And the little village Etrigan’s reluctant team end up defending from enormous odds is going to need her now.”

The Horsewoman could easily come off as an Oracle substitute, especially since she’s a redhead, but I see this as a really interesting spin on disability and how to deal with it in a non-modern setting. It helps that I used to horseback ride of course but it also helped hearing Cornell’s take on the series and the character at the convention (He compared it to Game of Thrones). Demon Knights wasn’t a series I was planning to pick up from the 52 releases in September but now I am. No one will ever replace Oracle in my mind or heart but The Horsewoman could be a new favorite.

Demon Knights is in stores and online September 14th.

10 Responses to “Would you accept this Oracle substitute?”

  1. readerofprey says:

    My favorite part of Oracle is that she's a former librarian (I am a current librarian) who uses her computer skills to keep fighting evil. That's the draw for me, so a more traditionally combatant paralyzed hero won't compel me to buy the book.

    She does look like an intriguing character, though, and I'm glad that she exists even if I don't plan to buy her book.

  2. Jill, I wonder about something: could Barbara Gordon still be paraplegic in the New DCU and at the same time still be Batgirl? The suit looks significantly harder and more armored than previously depicted. It might just be a new design, or it might represent that the costume is some kind of exo-skeleton to give her full mobility.

  3. She looks like a really great character… but I'll still miss Oracle.

    I like the fact that they made a character for Oracle fans, that can get her hands dirty outside of cyber space. With Oscar Pistorius generating as much hype as he did, this may be first in a long line of new portrayals of the handicapped in the media. Which could be very cool.

    If the changes to the Batman timeline are as severe as they seem, keeping the Killing Joke canon might have been awkward.

  4. BDS says:

    I saw this on the DCU Blog. She seems like a character I gravitate to as a reader. I have not had this title on my pull list either as the new books come out. I did grit my teeth and take a deal my local shop has in place. It may be something other shops have as well through DC, all 52 #1's at $52. So I am deciding to see what piques my interest and if my guesses I chose will hold.

    I second that the scooter can be made into your horse for the character. Good luck if you decide to do it. I wish I was as good a costume maker as you. I do have a Larfleeze idea similar to your Dex-Starr one….just need a second Alf Doll. I am not sacrificing my current stuffed Alf.

  5. Pixie says:

    It definitely peeks my interest. I will have to check it out.

  6. Budd says:

    how many greatest archers in history is DC going to have.

  7. Jon Hill says:

    Get yourself one of those Pantomime horse outfits and adapt it for your scooter. Job done. :D

    This character reminds me a bit of Bran Stark and his adapted riding harness in Game of Thrones. :)

  8. Teresa, i actually bought the trade a few weeks ago after someone else recommended it. It's on my to-read pile!

    Vinny, you know me all too well…

  9. I look forward to seeing how you figure out how to cosplay the horse for next year.

  10. Teresa says:

    Did you ever read Cornell's comic "Soldier Zero?" It's the comic he did for Boom! with Stan Lee overseeing it and it, too, dealt with a hero in a wheelchair. I remember when Cornell was working on it, he did a lot of reaching out to fans who use wheelchairs or are differently abled in any number of ways to give him insight into the character. So, if there's any writer you can trust to handle this character properly, it's Paul Cornell. :) He also writes great women.