The Oracle Code
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp (This Is Where It Ends) and artist Manuel Preitano unveil a graphic novel that explores the dark corridors of Barbara Gordon's first mystery: herself.After a gunshot leaves her paralyzed, Barbara Gordon enters the Arkham Center for Independence, where Gotham's teens undergo physical and mental rehabilitation. Now using a wheelchair, Barbara must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Within these walls, strange sounds escape at night; patients go missing; and Barbara begins to put together pieces of what she believes to be a larger puzzle.But is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Fellow patients try to connect with Barbara, but she pushes them away, and she'd rather spend time with ghost stories than participate in her daily exercises. Even Barbara's own judgment is in question.In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they swarm her future.

The Oracle Code Details

TitleThe Oracle Code
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 10th, 2020
PublisherDC Comics
ISBN-139781401290665
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Young Adult, Graphic Novels Comics, Mystery, Superheroes, Fiction, Dc Comics, Disability, Teen

The Oracle Code Review

  • Chad
    January 1, 1970
    A YA retelling of Barbara Gordon's origin as Oracle. Barbara is hanging out with her friend Ben and suffers an accident or is shot (The storytelling is very unclear on this point as she is shown falling off a rooftop but then it's referenced that she was shot later on in the story.) and is paralyzed from the waist down. Arkham has been reimagined as a rehabilitation center where one goes to learn to live with their new circumstances. The majority of the book is Babs trying to process what she's A YA retelling of Barbara Gordon's origin as Oracle. Barbara is hanging out with her friend Ben and suffers an accident or is shot (The storytelling is very unclear on this point as she is shown falling off a rooftop but then it's referenced that she was shot later on in the story.) and is paralyzed from the waist down. Arkham has been reimagined as a rehabilitation center where one goes to learn to live with their new circumstances. The majority of the book is Babs trying to process what she's went through and deal with her feelings. The mystery angle of this book feels somewhat tacked on. It's given little time until the end where it all just blossoms out of nowhere.Manuel Preitano's art is serviceable. The colors are used to show who your eyes should focus on in a panel. Only the characters of interest are in full color while everyone else is meant to fade into the background by splashing them all in the same color.Received a review copy from DC and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This is a young adult version of the Barbara Gordon mythos of Batgirl fame. Although she is no longer paralyzed, in the comic books, there was a time that she was, and she solved crimes from her wheelchair, being a hacker.In this version, she is a teenager, and is partially paralyzed, and has to solve the mystery of the rehabilitation hospital where she is recovering.A sort of Nancy Drew take on a teenage Barbara Gordon, there are interesting twists and turns, and Barbara tries to find out what This is a young adult version of the Barbara Gordon mythos of Batgirl fame. Although she is no longer paralyzed, in the comic books, there was a time that she was, and she solved crimes from her wheelchair, being a hacker.In this version, she is a teenager, and is partially paralyzed, and has to solve the mystery of the rehabilitation hospital where she is recovering.A sort of Nancy Drew take on a teenage Barbara Gordon, there are interesting twists and turns, and Barbara tries to find out what is happening at a hospital where people have disappeared.Nicely done.Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you DC Ink for the gifted review copy!
  • Khurram
    January 1, 1970
    A good story. This was not the site I was expecting. Here Barbara "Babs" Gordon does not become Batgirl. She is a highly skilled hacking/problem solving prodigy. Just as physically gifted as she her mental prowess. That is till she is in the wrong place at the wrong time.The book is about Babs working past her trauma and allowing people back into her life. As well is doing what she did best before the accident. Also first accepting her disability, then building back the pieces of her life and of A good story. This was not the site I was expecting. Here Barbara "Babs" Gordon does not become Batgirl. She is a highly skilled hacking/problem solving prodigy. Just as physically gifted as she her mental prowess. That is till she is in the wrong place at the wrong time.The book is about Babs working past her trauma and allowing people back into her life. As well is doing what she did best before the accident. Also first accepting her disability, then building back the pieces of her life and of course solving a mystery of disappearances. I liked the story, the artwork is good, I really appreciated the theme of what makes a hero, not the absence of fear but facing it and raising up inspire of it. The only reason I did not give this five stars is there seems to be chunks of the story missing, and way too many loose ends. If you are doing a one shot story this should not be the case. I am wondering if this is based on a novel like some of the other books and these bits were not deemed important enough to put in.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    I have been increasingly interested in these YA DC Comics adaptations and when I saw The Oracle Code I knew I had to read it. I am not as well versed in the DC universe, but The Oracle Code is a compelling read either way! I adored the disability representation and the overwhelming message that disabled people do not require fixing to be considered whole. (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Oracle Code is not I have been increasingly interested in these YA DC Comics adaptations and when I saw The Oracle Code I knew I had to read it. I am not as well versed in the DC universe, but The Oracle Code is a compelling read either way! I adored the disability representation and the overwhelming message that disabled people do not require fixing to be considered whole. (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Oracle Code is not only a story about that feeling in the pit of our stomach, but also about Barbara's tendency to isolate herself. Always focused on the mystery and the next challenge, Barbara was injured in a police chase, resulting in her use of a wheelchair, and is now recovering in Arkham Center for Independence. But as soon as Barbara arrives, she knows everything isn't what it seems. Barbara must not only deal with her PTSD from the accident, but also the need to uncover the truth and adjust to her new life. I was instantly struck by the color scheme for The Oracle Code.It is striking, in shades of blue and green. And I loved the drawing style from Manuel Preitano. But I love The Oracle Code for its disability representation. Not only does it feature ownvoices disability representation from Nijkamp, but it deals with this harmful message that disabled people need fixing. And The Oracle Code takes a strong stance against that message. Their disabilities are not something that needs to be healed or fixed. It is such a strong and fantastic message to have in YA books, graphic novels, and the DC universe.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    A thoughtful and engaging origin story for Barbara Gordon/Oracle.(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for medical abuse. Caution: this review contains vague spoilers.)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s0Zi...Teenager Barbara Gordon - daughter of police commissioner James Gordon and hacker extraordinaire - is running toward the scene of a crime when she's shot and paralyzed from the waist down. Six weeks into her recovery, Commissioner Gordon A thoughtful and engaging origin story for Barbara Gordon/Oracle.(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley. Trigger warning for medical abuse. Caution: this review contains vague spoilers.)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s0Zi...Teenager Barbara Gordon - daughter of police commissioner James Gordon and hacker extraordinaire - is running toward the scene of a crime when she's shot and paralyzed from the waist down. Six weeks into her recovery, Commissioner Gordon sends his daughter to the Arkham Center for Independence, where she'll undergo physical and mental rehabilitation. Ghosted by her longtime friend Benjamin, Barbara is reluctant to get too close to anyone - everyone leaves you in the end, after all. Luckily, fellow classmates Yeong, Issy, and Jena refuse to let Barbara be, and an unexpected mystery further helps draw Barbara out of her shell.The ACI is as creepy as it is opulent; at night, the halls echo with cryptic sounds and the shadows of residents who have long since disappeared. Jena, teller of ghost stories whispered in the wee hours of the night, begs Barbara for help finding her missing twin brother. Dr. Maxwell insists that Michael died in the fire that severely injured his sister, and that Jena's mind is too fragile to accept the truth. Though she's reluctant to get sucked into another mystery, Jenna's sudden disappearance tips her hand. Friends are precious, and she's not about to let another one slip through her fingers. Before you can say "Birds of Prey," Barbara is brain-deep in a corporate conspiracy that involves child trafficking and human experimentation. I'm really digging this new DC YA series; if anything, it provides a handy entry point into the DC 'verse for newbies like myself. (I love comics, but the decades-long history of so many DC and Marvel characters can prove overwhelming. Mostly I just stick to newer series, like Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, Bitch Planet, and the like.) I was lucky enough to review Shadow of the Batgirl (in which an older Barbara Gordon plays a role as Cassandra Cain's boss/mentor), and The Oracle Code lives up the expectations set by its predecessor. The storyline is engaging enough, but it's really the characters who stand out here. YA author Marieke Nijkamp - who identifies as queer, non-binary, and disabled - writes Barbara, Yeong, Issy, and Jena with compassion and care. There's a great exchange between the eeeevil scientists and the margnalized teens in which the teens challenge their doctors' assessment of them as "broken" people in need of "fixing." (Is there a white savior analog that can be applied to the ableds? If so, this is a prime example of IT.) Hopefully you'll also catch how the doctors try to gaslight Barbara when she starts sniffing around, insisting that she believe them instead of her own two eyes and ginormous brain. Barbara's squad - as well as the residents and staff at ACI - is diverse as heck and thus reflective of reality, which I appreciate. And the brief few panels of wheelchair basketball are great.And now I shall go back to counting the days until Superman Smashes the Klan (Gene Luen Yang) and Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed (Laurie Halse Anderson) hit the shelves!http://www.easyvegan.info/2020/03/19/...
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  • Lost in Book Land
    January 1, 1970
    Hello Again! I have recently been enjoying a lot of DC comics and this was the next one that I read! Before reading any of these comics (you can see other previous reviews here on my site or on my Goodreads page) I honestly knew little to nothing about the DC universe of its characters. My husband and I played the batman games together on the Playstation a few years ago and I have seen all of the newer films but that is about it (aside from watching Flash on the CW, which I am behind on but I Hello Again! I have recently been enjoying a lot of DC comics and this was the next one that I read! Before reading any of these comics (you can see other previous reviews here on my site or on my Goodreads page) I honestly knew little to nothing about the DC universe of its characters. My husband and I played the batman games together on the Playstation a few years ago and I have seen all of the newer films but that is about it (aside from watching Flash on the CW, which I am behind on but I used to binge that show in college). After reading this one I have already picked up two others that I will be talking about soon but I am loving learning all about these different DC characters, it has been super fun.SPOILERS AHEADBarbara Gordon was left paralyzed after a gunshot wound and is now moving into the Arkham Center for Independence to help her relearn many day to day skills. Here Barbara will live with many other teens that are working on their own rehabilitation. However, once Barbara has arrived and settled she starts to feel like things are not right and that there is something more going on here. Barbara meets another teen staying at the Center who survived a fire with her brother however, her brother goes missing one night and then her! Barbara enlists the help of her other friends at the center to try to find out what happened to the other two teens and what is really going on here at the center.This might have been my favorite one of these comics yet (now after reading some others it definitely has some competition). I loved the mystery attached to this one and seeing Barbara work to figure out what was really going on. I also thought the art in this comic was really well done and just enhance the story. I found myself scanning the images at times looking for something I might be missing. I am giving this comic five stars on Goodreads and I can not wait to talk about the next one that I read!**Thank you so much to the publisher who gave me an E-ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Not only is the plot of this graphic novel so well developed, but the way it is told is fantastic. Barbara uses the metaphor of a puzzle to describe many of the problems facing her in her life. Her life in the wheelchair since the accident, her friend Ben who wont text her back, the ghosts who may roam the halls, and the odd history she has uncovered. These are all pieces that she tries to put together in a coherent picture of healing.The artwork features phenomenal shadow work and a palette of Not only is the plot of this graphic novel so well developed, but the way it is told is fantastic. Barbara uses the metaphor of a puzzle to describe many of the problems facing her in her life. Her life in the wheelchair since the accident, her friend Ben who won’t text her back, the ghosts who may roam the halls, and the odd history she has uncovered. These are all pieces that she tries to put together in a coherent picture of healing.The artwork features phenomenal shadow work and a palette of colors that include purples and blues and bright reds. It’s a range of color that I’m not used to in comics, but works very effectively in this piece. I also like how the style changes at points to illustrate the difference between reality and the stories the characters tell each other.This is a powerful work because it focuses on the after effects of the accident. It reveals the pain and frustration, and also the resilience.4.5 out of 5 starsFor my full review: https://paulspicks.blog/2020/02/23/th...For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog
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  • Matthew Noe
    January 1, 1970
    I love this and can't wait to add it to the graphic medicine collection. I think it's something both the intended audience (younger teens) and the health profession both need. Received an advance copy at ALA Midwinter 2020.
  • nova ryder ☼
    January 1, 1970
    excuse me why isnt this already in my hands excuse me why isn’t this already in my hands
  • Jena
    January 1, 1970
    3.5/5The Oracle Code is a reimagining of a beloved DC character, aimed at young adults and new readers. This does feel a little different depending on if you're already familiar with the character, so I'll start with thoughts for new readers and then loop back to current Babs/Oracle fans at the end of this review. This story follows Barbara Gordon, the daughter of a police commissioner who spends her evenings hacking on rooftops to...solve crime? The beginning is a little unclear (and I suppose 3.5/5The Oracle Code is a reimagining of a beloved DC character, aimed at young adults and new readers. This does feel a little different depending on if you're already familiar with the character, so I'll start with thoughts for new readers and then loop back to current Babs/Oracle fans at the end of this review. This story follows Barbara Gordon, the daughter of a police commissioner who spends her evenings hacking on rooftops to...solve crime? The beginning is a little unclear (and I suppose in the end, the details don't really matter) but the short of it is Babs gets roped into some kind of robbery-gone-bad and ends up being shot and partially paralyzed. (slight spoilers, for the first few pages)(view spoiler)[I do wish this inciting incident was a little bit clearer in the book, because the way the initial page is laid out my stupid ass thought her friend had shot her for a good 1/3 of the book. (hide spoiler)]Now in a wheelchair, Babs is shipped off to a rehabilitating center to "fix" her. While there, she stumbles into a mystery that threatens the safety of her fellow patients. Meanwhile, Babs also has to go on a personal journey of accepting who she is now, coming to terms with what happened to her and navigating new and old friendships in the wake of a tragedy. I think new readers will really enjoy Babs' personality in this. Nijkamp absolutely nailed Barbara's take-no-shit attitude and stubborn will, and it's this combination that makes Babs formidable at anything she puts her mind to. In terms of disability rep, Nijkamp herself is disabled and the story is very clearly coming from a disabled perspective. The overarching theme is that disability isn't something that needs to be "fixed" and that it isn't just a detour on the route back to "normal." That's such a strong message. As someone who is disabled (although not in the same way as Babs), I really appreciate stories that take that approach. However the story also gives Babs room to be angry and unsure and frankly, kind of a mess. She doesn't have to be anyone's inspiration porn. Additionally, Babs has no superpowers and doesn't even physically fight crime at any point. So that sets her apart from every other DC character in this line of Ink/Zoom books and might make her more appealing to new readers who are burnt out on superheroes. Unfortunately, the plot itself is rather weak. It's rather simple to figure out exactly what's going on and the characters outside of Babs are very flat and one-dimensional. As much as I wanted to heap praise on this, when I finished it I just felt that it was "alright." It's serviceable. Now to talk quickly to my fellow current Babs fans, this story is a little...strange. Back when Burnside Batgirl debuted, I felt strongly that was a story where the setup, look and background were all on-point but the character didn't feel like Babs. This is basically the opposite. The personality of Babs is perfect. However, every other detail seems to be missing. Most notably, any connection at all to the Batfamily is completely wiped away - there's not a hint that this Babs is Batgirl, or that Batgirl even exists. However, we know that Batman probably exists because a character in the story has a Robin plushie. So Babs in this story started on the path of becoming Oracle before ever becoming Batgirl. And like I said earlier, the beginning is very unclear so I wasn't sure if it was trying to establish Babs as some sort of crimefighter/hacker or if she's just a hacker. So that is worth knowing if you're a Babs fan, that while this does her justice in terms of keeping her in character it also feels odd. It's almost like an alternate universe fanfic with Babs replacing Nancy Drew in some teen mystery novel. (view spoiler)[I'm sure you can also figure this out, but this story avoids The Killing Joke with a 20 foot pole and creates its own storyline instead. I was fine with this because TKJ is...let's call it "controversial" to be charitable, and that's not a story DC wants to or should reference in a book aimed at young adults. (hide spoiler)]Overall this was a perfectly fine story that digs into some more interesting themes, but in service of a generic plot. Definitely worth checking out if you want to read about a different sort of "superhero." And if you're a current Babs/Oracle fan, it's worth reading at the very least to communicate to DC through $$ that we want this character back and want more stories with her in this role.
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  • & She Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this via netgalley in exchange for an honest review DC does it again! I'm having so much fun reading all of these DC YA graphic novels! The Oracle Code was definitely a favorite and of all of them it feels the most concrete one. The story does not feel rushed at all and its actually pretty detail oriented for a comic. This graphic novel follows Barbara Gordon after getting shot and having to go through recovery from her physical disabilities but also her emotional ones. I received an ARC of this via netgalley in exchange for an honest review DC does it again! I'm having so much fun reading all of these DC YA graphic novels! The Oracle Code was definitely a favorite and of all of them it feels the most concrete one. The story does not feel rushed at all and its actually pretty detail oriented for a comic. This graphic novel follows Barbara Gordon after getting shot and having to go through recovery from her physical disabilities but also her emotional ones. She feels like shes lost her life and her friends and I feel like she was perfectly portrayed in this story. I will say that this one did have a creepier feel than the rest of the YA graphic novels and I absolutely loved it. The art style is another thing I loved! There are different styles in this one so be ready for a pleasant surprise. I would absolutely recommend The Oracle Code! 5/5 stars from me!
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  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    This YA graphic novel explores a young girls determination, self-revelation, and healing after a tragic shooting has left her paralyzed. While on her journey through recovery at the Arkham Rehabilitation Center, Barbara Gordon finds new friendship and the meaning of self awareness. While she adapts to her new normal she feels like something is just not right with this facility and its up to Babs to put the pieces together and code the truth within the walls of her temporary home.What started out This YA graphic novel explores a young girl’s determination, self-revelation, and healing after a tragic shooting has left her paralyzed. While on her journey through recovery at the Arkham Rehabilitation Center, Barbara Gordon finds new friendship and the meaning of self awareness. While she adapts to her new normal she feels like something is just not right with this facility and it’s up to Babs to put the pieces together and code the truth within the walls of her temporary home.What started out like a simple hacking adventure with her best friend, ended tragically after Babs is shot and left without the use of her legs. Forced into a rehabilitation center to focus on recovering mentally and physically from this event has left her with even more questions than when she first arrived.“Because with a bit of perspective, everything is a puzzle.”DC ink has been creating beautiful YA adaptions of some of our favorite heroes. I’ve had the pleasure of reading a fair amount of them, but let me say this, The Oracle Code has got to be the one with the biggest and deepest meaning plot.This GA brings diversity, awareness, and mental health to a story for young readers to adapt to. Babs questions multiple times throughout this novel that she is having a hard time determining what is real and what is a result of her trauma. Everything is done beautifully through the use of puzzle pieces which was something that Babs connected with in the first page of the book and carries until the end.If you are a die hard adult comic reader and wanting to read this please know that this is an adaptation off the original Oracle character. It has been transitioned for the younger audience, so I hope you keep that in mind. As stated before this is a young adult graphic novel. If you are a die hard Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, or even Oracle fan then you will love this as well. The Oracle Code is a unique and fresh take on the character.You won’t want to miss out on this one. It is beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written. Has hints on humor to lighten the mood while also keeping you on your toes. It gives off a smudge of Nancy Drew vibes but don’t let that deter you from this because it is so much more than that.I hope to continue to get to do this for you all! DC INK is changing the way teens and younger readers view books and reading in general. Make sure you check them out and read all the wonderful and empowering books they are adding for readers.Thank you so much to Netgalley, WarnerBros, DC Ink, and Sara Hannah for allowing me the pleasure to review this book and add all these wonderful images for you.Best,Brittany <3
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  • JenLovesBooks
    January 1, 1970
    I'm really liking the young adult versions of many of these DC characters. Barbara's beginnings were a definite plus. There were a few times that the book seemed to jump a bit in events, such as the moment Barb becomes paralyzed. But, it does right itself as the story progresses, with many flashbacks from her. Those first few pages also showed an attitude driven character, but with what Barb's gone through, it made sense for everything else that was to come.Another part that I really enjoyed, I'm really liking the young adult versions of many of these DC characters. Barbara's beginnings were a definite plus. There were a few times that the book seemed to jump a bit in events, such as the moment Barb becomes paralyzed. But, it does right itself as the story progresses, with many flashbacks from her. Those first few pages also showed an attitude driven character, but with what Barb's gone through, it made sense for everything else that was to come.Another part that I really enjoyed, were the illustrations in this novel. The style is not always one I go for, but there are different variations in here. Plus, it includes images like that above, which really added another nice touch to it all. It really told a story, and gave the reader a feel for things. Much of that, was pertaining to the facility Barb was admitted to. But, there is another moment in here with the cutest illustrations, but spookiest stories, about a girl, ghosts, dolls, and much more.For those particular images, you'll have to venture into the novel. Believe me, there are more than a few that make this story unique. It was those added illustrations, and creepy tales, that kept me reading. Sometimes, without them, it might have felt a bit flat with all the goings. And, if you're here for an action packed story, this might not be where to start. But, if you're here for Barb's story and how it all came full circle, then this is the novel for you. I'm glad to have had the chance to read it!***I received this copy from DC Comics, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***
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  • Jill Kenna
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for a free review copy of this graphic novel.This was such an amazing graphic novel. This book is about Barbara (Babs) Gordon, hacker and daughter of James Gordon. She is injured during one of her hacks by a gunshot and is now confined to a wheelchair. She goes to a center for rehabilitation called the Arkham Center for Independence where she learns to use her new wheelchair and goes to therapy (physical and mental). While she's there she befriends a few girls, one of them Thank you to NetGalley for a free review copy of this graphic novel.This was such an amazing graphic novel. This book is about Barbara (Babs) Gordon, hacker and daughter of James Gordon. She is injured during one of her hacks by a gunshot and is now confined to a wheelchair. She goes to a center for rehabilitation called the Arkham Center for Independence where she learns to use her new wheelchair and goes to therapy (physical and mental). While she's there she befriends a few girls, one of them named Jena, who goes missing after a few weeks. With the help of her other friends, can they figure out the mystery of what happened to Jena?I really, really enjoyed this graphic novel. The story was great and very well written. I'm not very familiar with Babs or her backstory so this was a really nice introduction to that world. I loved the art style as well. It was very colorful in a great way. Overall, I would highly recommend this graphic novel. It is a perfect place to start if you are unfamiliar with Barbara Gordon and her story.
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  • S. Nash
    January 1, 1970
    I was so, SO happy when I found out this book was coming. The Oracle Code bridges the gap between Barbara Gordon leaving Batgirl behind and becoming Oracle. The first few pages sets up the past, using imagery to show what happened without glorifying violence. I appreciated that approach because it leaves it up to the reader to decide if they want to know the details.What I loved: Babs' growth from an isolated, withdrawn space into the community around her. She does this without losing one iota I was so, SO happy when I found out this book was coming. The Oracle Code bridges the gap between Barbara Gordon leaving Batgirl behind and becoming Oracle. The first few pages sets up the past, using imagery to show what happened without glorifying violence. I appreciated that approach because it leaves it up to the reader to decide if they want to know the details.What I loved: Babs' growth from an isolated, withdrawn space into the community around her. She does this without losing one iota of her justified anger. The friends who sought her out for help, for companionship, for support--but gave her space when she needed it. The art lends a sense of movement and time to the story, using the puzzle-piece motif to help readers put it together.What stuck out: The plot was so similar to a recent-ish thriller movie that I had it figured out by chapter 3. This is my owndamnfault for watching/reading too much, right? Overall, I'm happy to have this in my graphic novel collection because I read Oracle/Birds of Prey back in the day and this book is like a gift.
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  • Chrissie Morrison
    January 1, 1970
    Can you guess why Barbara Gordon is one of my favorite people in the DC Comics universe?  Aside from the fact that I relate to her as a headstrong, curious, and nerdy girl/woman, I love the fact that Batgirl's alter ego is a librarian!  In addition to being Batgirl, Barbara Gordon is also known as Oracle -- and this graphic novel is an Oracle origin story.In this story, readers are introduced to a teenaged Barbara Gordon (aka Babs) who becomes paralyzed in an accident.  The accident happens in Can you guess why Barbara Gordon is one of my favorite people in the DC Comics universe?  Aside from the fact that I relate to her as a headstrong, curious, and nerdy girl/woman, I love the fact that Batgirl's alter ego is a librarian!  In addition to being Batgirl, Barbara Gordon is also known as Oracle -- and this graphic novel is an Oracle origin story.In this story, readers are introduced to a teenaged Barbara Gordon (aka Babs) who becomes paralyzed in an accident.  The accident happens in the very beginning of the story, though, so the majority of the action takes place while Babs is working to recover from the accident at the Arkham Center for Independence.  I appreciated how there was a lot of focus placed on the specific limitations that a person would suddenly experience as a result of a major injury like this and how grueling the physical and occupational therapy regimen would be.  I also appreciated that this information was worked into the story seemlessly instead of appearing as clunky asides.  I'd like to wish a happy book birthday to this awesome story, and also wish for some further Oracle adventures from Nijkamp and Preitano in the near future...Happy Reading!
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  • K Whatsherface
    January 1, 1970
    I know I can be a bit of a purist sometimes. And Oracle is one of my favorite DC characters. But Im okay the direction this went. No this is a retelling of the killing joke. I though it was never said, I dont get the vibe Barbara was ever Batgirl in this. I'm a little confused about how she got in the chair. Was she shot? Or did she fall? The illustration makes it look like she fell but the story references her being shot later. Was it both? Oddly this is that important to the story which I did I know I can be a bit of a purist sometimes. And Oracle is one of my favorite DC characters. But Im okay the direction this went. No this is a retelling of the killing joke. I though it was never said, I dont get the vibe Barbara was ever Batgirl in this. I'm a little confused about how she got in the chair. Was she shot? Or did she fall? The illustration makes it look like she fell but the story references her being shot later. Was it both? Oddly this is that important to the story which I did enjoy. She still feels like Barbara to me.
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  • Alejandra Rodriguez
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a complimentary copy of this book from DC Entertainment through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*I am a big fan of Barbara Gordon as the Oracle, so I was super excited to read this. My favorite part of this book was the illustration. I am a big fan of the overall style of the illustrations throughout. Full Review
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  • LoveMoose
    January 1, 1970
    Look for my review on thebatmanuniverse.net on March 10, 2020!
  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    Loved this.
  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Im giving this the three stars I would have given it if it was just an interesting story with generic characters. If I was feeling less charitable it would be 2 for the only recognizable parts of the Bat mythos being Barbaras name and James Gordon still being part of the GCPD. Oracle is my favourite character in the DC Universe, and this reimagining just didnt do it for me. I’m giving this the three stars I would have given it if it was just an interesting story with generic characters. If I was feeling less charitable it would be 2 for the only recognizable parts of the Bat mythos being Barbara’s name and James Gordon still being part of the GCPD. Oracle is my favourite character in the DC Universe, and this reimagining just didn’t do it for me.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I am an able-bodied person and am reviewing through that lens. Im not super familiar with the DC world, but I was very interested in a disabled main character and #ownvoices author. There is not enough representation of diverse voices and Im happy to see that more is forthcoming. Barbara Babs Gordon, teen hacker, is shot when she gets too close to an armed robbery. The resulting paralysis leads to her stay at the Arkham Center for Independence for rehab and working to adapt to her new Note: I am an able-bodied person and am reviewing through that lens. I’m not super familiar with the DC world, but I was very interested in a disabled main character and #ownvoices author. There is not enough representation of diverse voices and I’m happy to see that more is forthcoming. Barbara “Babs” Gordon, teen hacker, is shot when she gets too close to an armed robbery. The resulting paralysis leads to her stay at the Arkham Center for Independence for rehab and working to adapt to her new normal. At first she resists everything and everyone, but as she makes new friends and learns more about her new surroundings, she wonders if something else is going on behind the scenes. Even though the main character is white, many of the background characters and her new friends are people of color with a variety of different ability-levels. I really appreciated the emphasis on how disabilities don’t need to be “fixed” and how having a disability is not the end of a person’s life. This issue is not with the disability, but with our ableist society. Things are not accessible to everyone and society needs to work on changing, so people aren’t having to put so much effort into learning how to navigate the minefield of everyday life. Babs takes classes on how to navigate obstacles with her wheelchair. These “obstacles” are things like steep ramps and low curbs—something an able-bodied person might just step over. We should be making things easier for everyone, not making people with disabilities jump through extra hoops. Anyway, I appreciated that Nijkamp called attention to these small moments! Overall, I enjoyed this peek into the DC Universe and loved the focus on a female disabled hacker, friendship, and a mystery in a mansion! *Thank you to NetGalley and DC Comics for providing a digital copy.*
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    Barbara Gordon is a teen hacker who is harmed when she gets in the way of a police chase. She must learn to use a wheelchair, and her father, Commissioner Gordon, sends her to the Arkham Center for Independence for rehabilitation. Babs has trouble getting used to the center, but starts to make a few friends as she also suspects something weird is going on when a new friend disappears and she starts hearing strange noises at night. With her love for puzzles, she vows to find out what happened to Barbara Gordon is a teen hacker who is harmed when she gets in the way of a police chase. She must learn to use a wheelchair, and her father, Commissioner Gordon, sends her to the Arkham Center for Independence for rehabilitation. Babs has trouble getting used to the center, but starts to make a few friends as she also suspects something weird is going on when a new friend disappears and she starts hearing strange noises at night. With her love for puzzles, she vows to find out what happened to her friend. The art is colorful and expressive, with lots of bright and dark colors, plus a motif of puzzle pieces when changing scenes. Babs is a dynamic character, and I hope there will be more books following this storyline.**Publication date: March 3, 2020**Read via NetGalley
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  • Kat Carty
    January 1, 1970
    This title follows Barbara Gordon as she tries to heal physically and mentally from being bound to a wheelchair. Some of the patients are disappearing and this mystery helps her realize she is not any less then she was before. We need more protagonists and super hero teens with disabilities like Oracle.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Read this and other young adult book reviews at readersandteachers.com!First ImpressionsI didnt think I would get this one. This is my second ARC that Ive ever read and Im excited to share my opinion with you guys! I want to thank Netgalley, DC Entertainment, and of course Marieke Nimkamp for the opportunity to read and review this graphic novel ahead of time!Frankly, I only started reading graphic novels to boost my Goodreads Reading Challenge count. *Add facial grimace here.* I know, its bad. Read this and other young adult book reviews at readersandteachers.com!First ImpressionsI didn’t think I would get this one. This is my second ARC that I’ve ever read and I’m excited to share my opinion with you guys! I want to thank Netgalley, DC Entertainment, and of course Marieke Nimkamp for the opportunity to read and review this graphic novel ahead of time!Frankly, I only started reading graphic novels to boost my Goodreads Reading Challenge count. *Add facial grimace here.* I know, it’s bad. I thought that if I were behind a few books, I could crank out a few graphic novels in a weekend and be back on track.I had no idea that I would end up falling in love with them. I requested to read The Oracle Code because I am indeed behind on my Goodreads challenge, but it’s also by an author I love. Marieke Nijkamp wrote This is Where it Ends, which is an amazing book about a school shooting (highly recommend!).When I saw this, I had to request it. I didn’t think I would get it, but I did! Once I received the file for it, I browsed through it. The description seemed interesting and the artwork by Manuel Preitano is incredible!Main ElementsPlot. I honestly felt that the plot was a little predictable. We follow a girl who has suffered a gunshot wound and lost her ability to walk. She is admitted into a rehabilitation center and uncovers deep secrets about the facility. I don’t want to spoil what those secrets are, but they weren’t shocking. I called it from the second the plot started to thicken.Characters. Despite the predictable plot, I loved Babs. She’s hard-headed, spunky, and persistent. I also love that she’s a hacker. She shows exponential character growth throughout the graphic novel, as well.I cannot say the same for the other characters. They all seemed static and they fell flat for me. I wasn’t able to connect with any of them, except for maybe Jena.Jena is referred to as the sleepwalker, since she has trouble sleeping at night. She wanders the halls to check on her twin brother before she can sleep. She meets Babs after a rough night and tells her stories to help Babs go back to sleep. I loved the stories Jena tells.Setting. The setting is one of the reasons I love graphic novels. There is incredible opportunity to make the setting as descriptive as you’d like, without using words. The Oracle Code’s setting was no exception. The rehabilitation center was beautifully drawn and it sucked me into to the story.Theme. The theme of The Oracle Code is to not let something you cannot control keep you down. Babs found her world turned upside down when she suffered that gunshot wound, confining her to a wheelchair. She suffered identity issues, but she found her path back to the hacking world and left us with a powerful message: it’s okay to feel lost, but you’ll find your way back.Graphics. The artwork was beautiful throughout the novel. I especially loved the pages where Jena’s stories were being told. Each page was tailored to the story, making it seem magical and, frankly, creepy as hell. I also loved how puzzle pieces were embedded into the artwork throughout; it gives us an idea of what Bab’s sees of the world.Reason for RatingI rated The Oracle Code a 3/5 stars because I felt like the plot was lacking and many of the characters fell flat. I loved the artwork and a few of the characters. I enjoyed reading the graphic novel overall and devoured it within two hours. If you like stories about hackers and dark secrets, this book is definitely worth the read.For TeachersThis is a great graphic novel to include in your classroom library. Since it’s a graphic novel, I feel that it will be popular among students. It has a great message at the end of the story and to younger audiences, the plot may be satisfactory. I can see The Oracle Code getting a reluctant reader to read.Grades: 5-10
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  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.Not a reader of non-manga comics, much less superheroes hq's, but this was a good and surreal experience I really enjoyed.Bumping my 3.5 to 4 because of diversity and the girl power that transpire here.The young hacker Barbara Gordon becomes paralyzed and is thus sent to the Arkham Center for Independence, where she tries to keep distance from others due to her trauma and her best friend Honest review based on an ARC provided by Edelweiss. Many thanks to the publisher for this opportunity.Not a reader of non-manga comics, much less superheroes hq's, but this was a good and surreal experience I really enjoyed.Bumping my 3.5 to 4 because of diversity and the girl power that transpire here.The young hacker Barbara Gordon becomes paralyzed and is thus sent to the Arkham Center for Independence, where she tries to keep distance from others due to her trauma and her best friend choosing to disappear from her life after the accident. But the mystery of this place and her nightly visitor with scary stories to puzzle her still find Barbara.I picked this book because of Nijkamp. She's an amazing writer who builds touching situations that have stayed with me for years. I loved This is where it ends, I dove in the world of Before I let go, there was no way I wouldn't enjoy The Oracle Code. And I was right. But only to a point.To be honest, I couldn't see much of Nijkamp's special touch when the story had so little time to develop. This is a one-shot, and there was simply too much—the hacking, the shooting, the adaptation, the Arkham Center, and all its inhabitants... I think the point she needed to tell were so many, the part that came from the writer herself had very little room to surface and made this story a little shallow or maybe just rushed.Still, ignoring how much I fangirl this writer, the story itself wasn't bad. I did get how Barbara was suffering both for the accident and for the loss of her best friend; it was heartbreaking. My favorite parts, though were the creepy stories. Even if they weren't a keypoint to the plot, they would already be worth it, so eerie, hollow they were.I'm not knowledgeable in art, but the drawings and the color were pretty and agreed with the tone of the story. I've read so many mangas, to be honest, I was amazed at all that color. Also, I mentioned there was too much plot for little room, but we didn't get huge blocks of text, as I was afraid it would be in the beginning.I think this is a good rec for those who aren't fans yet, since there's probably nothing new to those well-versed in Batman—and no direct ref to him either, although I suspect of some indirect ones. Moreover, we have a female author, a lot of woman characters, so it's also very friendly for a female audience (I can't judge what guys would think being a woman myself), which means this is a gem you can't miss.
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    2 starsThis review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.reviewMarieke Nijkamp's The Oracle Code is an alternate graphic novel take on the shooting of Barbara Gordon and her transformation into Oracle. In this version of events, Barbara Gordon is still Commissioner Gordon's daughter, but she is a teenager and already a hacker (although what sort of hacking she actually 2 starsThis review is based on an ARC ebook received for free from NetGalley. I am not being paid to review this book and what I write here is my own opinion. My rating scale is below.reviewMarieke Nijkamp's The Oracle Code is an alternate graphic novel take on the shooting of Barbara Gordon and her transformation into Oracle. In this version of events, Barbara Gordon is still Commissioner Gordon's daughter, but she is a teenager and already a hacker (although what sort of hacking she actually does is left largely unexplored, aside from the obligatory security system hacking she'll do over the course of the story). It opens with her being shot and then sent o the Arkham Center for Independence, a rehabilitation center for teens that she immediately suspects is a front for some hidden awfulness. She is, at first, reluctant to make friends or form attachments because her pre-shooting friends have ghosted her, but eventually her need to solve puzzles leads her to reach out to others as she works to figure out the mystery of several patients' sudden disappearances, including that of a resident who would come by and tell her portentous stories at night. Naturally, the day is saved in the end and ACI's ablist plot to genetically eradicate disability by making people "whole" is thwarted.There are many good things to point to in this graphic novel. There's a diverse cast including (obviously) non- able-bodied folks and people of a variety of races and at least one hijabi. These characters are not only represented in the background of group shots, but comprise about half of the named characters, though Babs (as she bafflingly prefers to be called) remains a red-haired white girl. The ACI friends are realistic about their lives and tell Barbara that life on wheels is what you make of it and that old friends don't always stay, remaining friendly and forgiving when she rebuffs their friendly overtures. When one of Barbara's old friends finally reappears, their encounter is awkward and she schools him on "this is me now," even though she feels a little hypocritical doing so, not having fully embraced the reality of her life on wheels, herself. Those are all good things. Lots of representation.Some things that rubbed me the wrong way, however, were Commissioner Gordon continually saying that his daughter can be "fixed," despite the fact that he clearly loves and admires here with or without the wheelchair. It's an oddly inconsiderate word for him to settle on, though it makes more sense as the baddies' plot is eventually revealed. Unfortunately, it also made me wonder, as a reader, if the Commissioner's language choice had something to do with some knowledge of ACI's hidden agenda to "fix" or "cure' disabled folks. I hope not. I was also less than comfortable with the casting of rehabilitation specialists as bad guys. I know there weren't a lot of characters to choose from for the roles, but I wonder about the message it sends to people in rehabilitation, that their physical therapists aren't just evil for giving them physically excruciating tasks in the hope of improving their independence and mobility, but that they're genuinely evil and want to rid the world of folks who aren't "whole." Or maybe I'm reading way too much into this. Probably I am.I have not spoken about the art because there's not a whole lot to say about it. The artist did a good job of being inclusive in portraying the characters and I could always tell the characters apart, but otherwise it was pretty unremarkable. The whole color palette felt pretty subdued except for Jena's stories. There were some background Easter eggs that were neat to see, like Robin dolls or someone reading a book titled "Dial C for CATS.." Overall, the art was fine.Ultimately, The Oracle Code feels more like a purchase for a public or school library than a book I would want to buy for myself or for someone else.rating scale1 star - I was barely able to finish it. I didn't like it.2 stars - It was okay. I didn't dislike it.3 stars - It was interesting. I liked it.4 stars - It was excellent. I really liked it.5 stars - It was extraordinary. I really hope the author wrote more things.
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  • Sasha
    January 1, 1970
    The Oracle Code is a fresh, powerful and twisty comic starring Barbara Gordon as she navigates her most difficult mystery yet - herself. I absolutely love Barbara Gordon - both as Batgirl and as Oracle - and I was SO excited to read this new comic about her. It totally lived up to my hopes. Babs is determined and stubborn, perhaps too much so. She's independent and fiercely intelligent, a force to be reckoned with. She's not great with emotions, but she tries to make friends anyway. I loved the The Oracle Code is a fresh, powerful and twisty comic starring Barbara Gordon as she navigates her most difficult mystery yet - herself. I absolutely love Barbara Gordon - both as Batgirl and as Oracle - and I was SO excited to read this new comic about her. It totally lived up to my hopes. Babs is determined and stubborn, perhaps too much so. She's independent and fiercely intelligent, a force to be reckoned with. She's not great with emotions, but she tries to make friends anyway. I loved the teenage Babs in this comic, hurt but still strong, still determined to do the right thing. Struggling to reach out to people, but fiercely protective of those she cares about. The plot was twisty and mysterious, managing to bring together an entire mystery and discovery in just one comic book. I was caught up, tangled in the plot and so intrigued by it. The storyline mixes a daunting mystery with secrets and clues with Barbara's story of coming into herself and accepting herself, allowing her to open up to others. The mystery was deeply intriguing and intricate, amazingly plotted and atmospheric. This book has amazing disability representation. Barbara struggles to adjust to her new disability, but she comes to terms with it in a powerful and important way. The theme that prevails over the whole comic is that those who are disabled are still whole, wonderful people, who do not need "fixing" or changing, because they are not broken. This was presented strongly in the storyline, and I'm so glad that the DC Ink comics continue to use their superhero platform to tackle important topics in a powerful way. The art was absolutely stunning, as always. I'm never sure how to review art, but Manuel Preitano's gorgeous drawing perfectly fitted this comic. The tones were gorgeous, the colour vivid and powerful. The style switched slightly in the parts where stories were told, and I loved the atmosphere that created.The Oracle Code was a fierce and gorgeous Barbara Gordon story that depicts her journey to accepting herself and becoming the Oracle, mixed with powerful themes and a high-stakes storyline.
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  • Randi
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced copy of Oracle Code from NetGalley so that I could share my review with you!Barbara Babs Gordon is a brilliant hacker and a problem solver, but when her need to solve every mystery gets her injured, her life as she knew it falls apart. Now requiring a wheelchair for mobility, Barbara isnt sure what her life will look like. Her best friend is ignoring all her messages, and shes had to move to a rehabilitation facility to help her adjust to using a wheelchair. With I received an advanced copy of Oracle Code from NetGalley so that I could share my review with you!Barbara “Babs” Gordon is a brilliant hacker and a problem solver, but when her need to solve every mystery gets her injured, her life as she knew it falls apart. Now requiring a wheelchair for mobility, Barbara isn’t sure what her life will look like. Her best friend is ignoring all her messages, and she’s had to move to a rehabilitation facility to help her adjust to using a wheelchair. With everything in her life changing so rapidly, the one thing Barbara can rely on is her instincts when it comes to solving mysteries and puzzles. Everything is not as it seems at the facility, however, and Barbara begins to sense a darker conspiracy lurking under the doctors “good intentions.” When patients begin to disappear from the facility, Barbara realizes that she may be the only one who could crack the code and save them all!You can get your copy of Oracle Code now from DC Comics! Marieke Nijkamp captured Barbara Gordon’s transition into Oracle in the most realistic origin story I’ve seen for the character so far! Barbara’s struggle to adapt to her new mobility conditions is front and center in this book, which is something I greatly appreciated as it is normally left out. To me, Barbara felt like a very real person, struggling with some very real issues. I also was a fan of the superhero plot-line that brought this book into the world of traditional comics, and which melded perfectly with Barbara’s personal struggles. Manuel Preitano’s use of color in the story was amazing, and highlighted certain moments in an extremely artistic way! If you can’t tell, I absolutely adore Barbara Gordon, and this book!My Recommendation-I think that Oracle Code is an absolute must read for everyone from superhero fanatics to those who have never touched a comic in their lives. The story is inspiring, and provides a needed contemporary look at one of only a handful of differently-abled superheroes. This book is perfect for anyone ranging from Middle-Grade to Adult reading preferences!
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