My twitter bio reads “Red hair, check. Librarian, check. Brown belt, check. Still not actually Batgirl.” My twitter name is The2ndBatgirl. (Look, the original Bat-Girl counts.) So to say I love Barbara Gordon a lot is an understatement.
And she was my gateway drug into comics. I first saw her on Batman: The Animated Series and immediately asked my father if he had any comics with her. He gave me back issues of her adventures as Batgirl, and then introduced me to her as Oracle.
The more I found out about her, the more I loved her. She was who I wanted to be, both as a superhero and a civilian. She has a degree in library science! She became a Congresswoman so she could keep making a difference! And after the horrific events of the Killing Joke, she didn’t let that stop her and still found a way to be the best hero she could. She runs her own team, troubleshoots for any heroes that need her, is the tech support for the Batfamily, and is the information source for the DCU.
Another thing I love about her is the complicated relationships she has with the women in her life, and how important she is to the fabric of the DC Universe. The sheer amount of lives she’s touched, the lives she’s saved, not letting anything stop her.
(Totally heterosexual, right?)
Barbara Gordon’s determination and tenacity taught me that there are many different ways to be a hero, and that you shouldn’t let your tragedies limit you. That you can find another way to still make a difference. And she’s the hero that I aspire to be.