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The Oracle Code by Marieke Nijkamp and Manuel Preitano
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Barbara Gordon is a world-class hacker. Unfortunately, the skills that keep her interested in hacking lead her into dangerous situations. After Barbara survives a gunshot wound that leaves her paralyzed from the waist down, she reluctantly agrees to let her father admit her to the Arkham Center for Independence. At the Center, she will undergo physical and mental therapy and accustom herself to her new normal. Barbara, angry and afraid, starts to wonder if the sounds she hears in her room at night and the mysterious visitor she receives are all the result of her trauma. But then patients start to go missing and Barbara has suspicions that there is something more going on behind the mysterious walls of Arkham Center.
The Oracle Code is a great extension of the recent addition of DC graphic novels for teens that focus on the lives of heroes and characters in the DC Universe during their formative years. The limited and generally dark color palette is the right choice to evoke the creepy and mystifying setting of Arkham Center. The story stars a strong female lead whose curiosity and don’t-back-down attitude make this an enjoyable mystery to read. The story is wrapped up nicely, but leaves room for more potential puzzles to be solved within Arkham Center. The best aspect of this graphic novel is the fantastic and honest representation of a character with a disability—especially all of the raw emotions and loss she felt surviving this life-altering trauma.
Fans of The Oracle Code may also enjoy other recent DC titles such as Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Lê, Shadow of the Batgirl by Sarah Kuhn, and Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang.