Being the selected wisdom of a certain writer of adventure picto-books, Gail Simone.


Ask me anything, anything except that
16 January 11

About Oracle’s Chair

Okay, been meaning to do this for a while, but had to get to a spot where we had a little time to weigh the options.

I’m assuming most of the people reading this particular tumblr know who Oracle is, but just in case, she’s the DCU’s primary infojock. She is the daughter of Commissioner James Gordon, and was Batgirl for a number of years. In the graphic novel, A KILLING JOKE, the Joker shot her in the spine, causing permanent paralysis, and since then, she has been a hero, as well as the leader of the superheroine espionage team, the Birds of Prey.

In that capacity, she works mostly out of a home base, currently, KORD TOWER in Gotham City. But she does get out and about, and in both cases, she uses a wheelchair.

Now, she was never supposed to have a high tech, flying battleship wheelchair, as Professor X and the Chief from Doom Patrol are sometimes shown to have. It doesn’t fit her character.

But she does go out among the people and when she does, she used the plainest, least obtrusive wheelchair possible. The in-story reasoning, which I didn’t come up with but can certainly understand, was that her chair was suppose to not be noticeable, to not draw any attention.

Also, she never has handles on the back of her chair, because she doesn’t like to be pushed.

Now, over the years and the course of many, many appearances, she’s had like eight million different chairs, mostly generic, but some a little ridiculous, and quite a few very obsolete in appearance. Unobtrusive is one thing, but some of these chairs looked like they came from the 1700’s.

What I want to, and it’s way past time, is to update her chair, and to make it a consistent, reasonable design, that is still not hugely obtrusive.

I’ve talked with dozens of wheelchair users since taking over the book, and I am in regular contact with organizations that focus on the rights and access issues of the disabled, and I could just pick a new chair based on their recommendations. But I thought it might be interesting to get some opinions on it.

First, please, we don’t want a chair with hidden missile launchers. Oracle is not Professor X or the Baby Cart Assassin.

Other than that, we want something fairly light, functional, and modern. Expense is not an issue, but obtrusiveness is, she wouldn’t want anything that people will notice, in the same way that she doesn’t really dress to be noticed when going outside.

We want something maneuverable and versatile. Everything else is pretty much on the table. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, particularly if you use a wheelchair, or work with wheelchairs or people who use them, or otherwise have experience in this area.

What we end up with may be a hybrid of a few designs, but whatever we end up with, I will send to the various editors who use Oracle and ask them to follow as her style sheet.

I think this could be fun, and will help address something we should have taken care of some time ago.

So feel free to post thoughts, photos, links, whatever.

And thank you for your input!

  1. yatak-odasi-modelleri reblogged this from gailsimone
  2. gailsimone reblogged this from nyssaismyrealname and added:
    Well, that is crazy awesome. Thank you SO much for that info, and thank EVERYONE who participated. It’s going to make a...
  3. nyssaismyrealname reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    Hello :) I don’t know if you are still looking for input on the wheelchair, but here is my tiny input. Firstly, I think...
  4. dayalmohamed reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    Covered in more detail at Disability Policy Blog/Podcast - Day in Washington but really liking the Colors Wheelchairs:...
  5. fuckyeahbatgirls reblogged this from gailsimone
  6. thelaughingstorm reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    I can’t find a clip or still of it but in the TV show Bones, in the episode called Man in the Mud there is a guy in a...
  7. glittergeek reblogged this from nicocoer
  8. lettersfromtheattic reblogged this from gailsimone
  9. collababortion said: A friend - someone who also doesn’t like or need to be pushed - has a lightweight, collapsible chair. He can get in/out of cars and pop the wheels on/off quickly and easily, so he needs no special equipment/vehicles. I’ve always thought it was slick.
  10. gatesix reblogged this from gailsimone
  11. dytabytes reblogged this from gailsimone
  12. welovecomics reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    a) here’s a great opportunity to have some input into a great character b) how great is tumblr that we can interact with...
  13. missivesfromghosts reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    In case anybody who follows me knows enough to have some input. P.S. Gail Simone wins at life.
  14. thehappysorceress reblogged this from gailsimone
  15. ittygittydiddynator reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    Gail, let me first of all release the sappiness that is swelling within me, and say that I am in tears of joy, and wish...
  16. cmshaw reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    signal boost!
  17. robinreneew reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    Here’s a link to the chair my wife recommends - // She’s probably going...
  18. sansets reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    SO. THRILLED. at this development! Oracle really deserves it. ♥
  19. gwenfrankenstien reblogged this from hypotheticalthalamus and added:
    Dropping a link to brownbetty’s post about this from 2005, as I do whenever this conversation comes up. I’m really happy...
  20. katzedecimal said: Bab’s realistic, non-superpowered wheelchair is terribly important for the message it sends to & about people who use wheelchairs. Babs is handicapable, not handicapped. She is very able, not dis-abled. She became a key character, in the chair.
  21. younosonofmine reblogged this from gailsimone and added:
    Either Something based on a segway or better still an orbis. or this:...
Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh