The Birds of Prey finally come face to face with the new Oracle that’s been giving them trouble and the team does not know how to handle the stunning revelation in the new issue of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey!

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey 5
Written by Julie and Shawna Benson 
Art by Roge Antonio

bop-coverA computer hacker calling himself Oracle was the catalyst for bringing together Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress, and the team has gone all over Gotham trying to figure out this new player’s identity and what the new Oracle wanted with the former Oracle and her new team. This issue wastes no time giving us some answers. Who is Oracle? Oracle is us.

It turns out that it wasn’t some master villain, it wasn’t an evil information broker like The Calculator. Nope. It was just some dude named Gus. He was a hacker who was a fan of Oracle back in the day, even providing some help to Oracle once. Much like Tim Drake discovering that Bruce Wayne was Batman and using it to become the next Robin, Gus explains to the Birds of Prey that he was able to figure out not only that Oracle was Barbara Gordon, but that Babs is now back to being Batgirl. And all he wants out of life is to work alongside Batgirl and the Birds of Prey as the new Oracle. Even though Babs has a friend who wields a computer over in her own book. Details…

Over the course of the issue, it felt like writers Julie and Shawna Benson used Gus as a sounding board for what some outspoken Barbara Gordon fans have been saying ever since the New 52 gave Babs the use of her legs again.

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His wide-eyed enthusiasm at finding information about Barbara Gordon – which went so far as collecting a museum’s worth of old memorabilia – extended to her teammates, too, as Gus was up-to-date with Black Canary and Huntress’ backgrounds. It’s admittedly a little creepy and Huntress wanting to put an arrow between his eyes is probably the most justified she’s ever been with wanting to kill someone. While Canary doesn’t want to kill the kid, she sides with Huntress in not trusting him in any way, even though Gus was a big fan of Dinah Lance’s time as lead singer of the band Black Canary.

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Seriously, it was a GREAT book, and I’m still upset that it got cancelled. Gus is spot on here.

Gus finally manages to convince Batgirl that he’s trying to HELP them – even though Babs rightly points out that he’s been a hindrance the whole time – and tells the Birds of Prey where they can find the snake crew that’s been giving them trouble. While Babs babysits Gus, Canary and Huntress go off to take down the real bad guys. But we get more complications, as Huntress sees her mother – !! – is leading the charge against the team. Could this family tree get any more complicated?

With every issue of Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, I love this book more. Julie and Shawna Benson write an engaging group of female protagonists. Each issue so far has been a lot of fun, even when the tone is a little more serious. And the art from Roge Antonio is just a perfect fit for the writing.

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Batgirl and the Birds of Prey should be at the top of anyone’s comics pull list.

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