I have no context for this… Am I supposed to pick one or are you asking me about my opinions on them?
If I’m supposed to pick one over the other then you have another thing coming because I absolutely refuse. I love them both equally. Almost as much as I love Dinah Lance. I refuse to pick. Also they are both intricatelly tied to Comic Canary and Arrow Canary’s lives - so yeah - I’m not picking.
If this is about what I think about them then I’ll start with Barbara:
I love her.
I love her as Batgirl, I love her as Barbara the genius, too curious for her own good cop’s daughter. I love her as Barbara the civillian and I love her as Oracle.
That being said, as awesome as Barbara is as Batgirl, I believe that her real impact comes after the Joker shoots her and she becomes Oracle. Barbara is a symbol and hope for all those readers that have suffered an injury that has left them disabled in some way (or others that were born this way).
Babs is mentally and physically disabled. Joker’s bullet left her unable to use her legs, but the photos he took of her and how she lied in a pool of her own blood left scars on her psych.
Yet, Barbara is determined to live her life. She adapts and learns to live all over again. She’s strong and she knows her own worth and she doesn’t let her disability to define who she is. She stands against Joker (her biggest nightmare) twice and despite being afraid she shows him who’s boss.
She is just as much of a woman as she was before. I think that this is a very important message to send out there to other women or men who have the same problems.
Then you have Barbara’s friendship with Dinah - oh good god, the beauty of it! It’s amazing and heart-warming and god bless Gail Simone! Seriously, Canary and Oracle’s friendship is one of my favourite things in the entire DC universe.
Barbara Gordon is a hero in all the ways that count.
As for Felicity Smoak, she does share a lot in common with Barbara, that’s true, but I’ve always been against the Felicity=Barbara stance. No. No it doesn’t. They are 2 different people with their own histories and struggles.
What I love about Felicity is the fact that where Barbara is a genius and an expert martial artist (I live for her high kicks) Felicity is not a fighter. She knows enough to get away, but she is no Sara or Helena. And that is okay!!!!
Felicity is no less a hero than Digg or Roy or Sara or Oliver. With Felicity we see that Smart is a superpower. It is attractive. It is useful and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Especially if you’re a woman.
But as cute and pretty and awkward and smart as Felicity is she is also very human and very relatable. She has her own insecurities and milestones, but like Barbara she faces them head on. She loves fiercely and no line is impossible to cross for the sake of her loved ones.
That being said, Felicity needs a code name because everyone in the field says her name when they talk to her over the comms and it wouldn’t be too difficult to connect the dots.
Then there is her friendship with Sara that reminds me so much of Canary and Oracle’s friendship that it just leaves me infinitely happy to see two women become friends based on genuine admiration and respect and love instead of fight over a guy and what not. It also leaves me sad because of how they simply cut it out of the show. I expect a reunion between the two in season 4.