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NoOneSpecial writes...

So this post is going to be about Barbara and the sequence of how she becomes Oracle in your series.

For starters, one change I greatly enjoyed is the fact you made Barbra lose her legs in the LINE OF DUTY. I mean this in a good way, but rarely do we see the heroes get hurt in significant way that impedes them. For Barbara, getting hurt on a mission like reminds us that this is dangerous work yet she does it regardless of the risk. I never liked the way it is handled in Killing Joke, as just reduces Barbra to feeling like a mere victim. And I know that serves the main theme of that story, i.e random tragedy, but it always felt like a bit of disservice to her character.

Now to the negative stuff. Or maybe the nitpicking stuff? Ok, so one thing I do enjoy in a story is the consistency of knowledge in how characters react to the story. The audience/viewer often have an omnipresent view of events. We know things that happening that the characters do not. One example is how we know the Light are the ones behind everything in Season 1, yet the heroes still believe it to be the work of the Injustice League because that's all the information they have. And this is reflected in how they operate going forward until they get more information on the Light. Characters knowing things that should be out of their scope is something I dislike because of how inconsistent it appears especially when it's done for convenience of the writers to have characters know or react to things in some manner despite them not knowing something.

This brings me to the exchange between Barbara and Orphan.

'I did it to save you'

This is great sentiment, but it feels very much unearned, since Barbara, by all accounts does not know this person she is saving, nor does she know what kind of impact these words will have on her.

We know who Orphan is based on what Cheshire said. She was raised her entire life to be a living weapon, trained to kill and could never be anything beyond that. Barbara stopping her from killing, at the expense of her legs makes an impact on Orphan because it rattles the world view she was raised with and such an act of empathy is not something she would be used.

But Barbara (as far as I can tell) does NOT know anything about Orphan's circumstances. Artemis did not even know anything until Cheshire told her. And I have to assume Batman only learned about Orphan's background after taking her in. From Barbara's point of view, this is just a random Shadow sent by the Light to kill the Joker. Kinda like all those Shadow goons the heroes often beat up. The heroes don't know that this one is special, while the audience does know this. What if this had been Black Spider, Rictus, Sportsmaster or Deathstroke? I know Barbara would save the Joker regardless, but it's not like she would take Slade's hand and say she was trying to save his soul. Another point is that Barbara does not know if Orphan has killed prior to this incident. Hell, I don't think even the audience knows if Orphan has killed before this. So, it comes off as little naive for her to say that this was done to protect Orphan from the act of taking a life.

Basically, if my inane rambling makes any sense, what I'm trying to say is that exchange between Barbara and Orphan is unearned and lacks an emotional investment. Or at least did for me, not necessarily others. It’s just….Barbara saying she wants to help this random assassin requires more depth between her and Orphan than what was presented. And it seems to rely on the fact the audience is well aware of Orphan's situation, but the characters in the show are not. WE know this saves Orphan, but Barbara does not know this. If this had been another Shadow, I'd imagine they would just leave Barbara to bleed out and go on their merry way.

But now I'm going to play Devil's advocate for a second. I suppose that since Orphan actually stopped in the middle of her mission, kneeling in front of the wounded Barbara and even taking off her mask may have been enough of an indication to Barbara that she was not some cold blooded assassin but a genuine first timer. I guess Barbara was going out on limb based on Orphan's very…..human reaction?

I don't want anything that I said to come off as….bad. But I want to be honest too. I love Young Justice greatly as much as I love Gargoyles (and WITCH btw), so I want to be constructive when I criticize it. Maybe things will play out as the show goes further, I will wait and see. Maybe there was more to your thought process on this all worked that I am simply not seeing. But those were my thought on how you handled Barbara becoming Oracle.

Looking forward to rest of Season 4

Greg responds...

You're skipping one very important thing. (And that's aside from the fact that you don't really know what Barbara did and didn't know.) And that's the obvious fact that Orphan is a CHILD. Clearly, visually, a child. Batgirl could SEE that. I could go on, but I wonder if that would change your opinion. (I realize it might not, but it makes a big difference to me.)

Response recorded on April 14, 2022