Batgirl’s Darkest Origin Story Replaces Joker With Lex Luthor
Batgirl was a vigilante against crime as a child, but her origins as a tech-genius hero Oracle started when she was shot by Joker. However, Elseworld’s Finest: Supergirl and Batgirl shows that her second origin is at the hands Lex Luthor.
The creative team behind this 1998 Elseworlds comic is Bill Oakley, Matt Haley and Tom Simmons. The comic places the heroines in the role of the main heroes in Gotham and Metropolis. This is achieved by giving Barbara Gordon a more tragic backstory. However, it leaves out the life-changing events with Joker in The Killing Joke. Barbara is now subject to the same childhood tragedy as Bruce Wayne.
The Waynes survive the fateful night in the theater despite Lex Luthor’s hit. Jim Gordon, Barbara’s father, saves the couple and he also dies with his wife. The Wayne family adopts Barbara, thereby making her Gotham’s protector and not Bruce. Although he is her confidante and almost plays an Alfred-like part, his principles are radically changed by Barbara.
Barbara is still able to use Oracle technology despite her origin. To keep an eye on everything, she installs a surveillance system in Gotham. She doesn’t have sidekicks like Batman and also tries to keep superpowered people out of her city, including the Justice Society. Due to her childhood trauma, her Gotham is extremely fascist. Although she may not be the most effective in protecting the city and its residents, it is still a fascinating glimpse at how the world could change with just a few tweaks.
Instead of Batman being made by the tragedy in the alleyway, Lex Luthor created a ripple effect which resulted in Batgirl taking over the role. This changed the future of Gotham as it is known, and eliminated many of the more familiar structures, like Batman’s presence on the Justice League. It does however show how far Batgirl will go to protect her world, even though her methods may be questionable. She can also show how efficient she is in fighting crime all by herself. Barbara doesn’t have Alfred. She only has a playboy friend she can trust to finance her crime fighting. Batgirl does not have a friend or sidekick until Supergirl makes her a deal.
This origin has the best part: Barbara’s life can be her own. She is taken from her parents, but she decides to be a vigilante on her own. To bring Lex Luthor to justice, she plays a long game. However, Supergirl helps her see the way to a better strategy to protect Gotham. This also reveals her weaknesses, showing how easy it is for her to fall to fascism using her Oracle technology without restraint. Batgirl’s history is given a wild twist by the Elseworlds swapping the Joker for the Lex Luthor modified role and influence.