Of Bats and Love – A Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle #1 ReviewApril 10, 2015
She’s Barbara ‘Freaking’ Gordon and she’s back as Oracle for one last fight in Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle. Really, the title of this tie-in should be Oracle and Nightwing, because it’s Barbara who takes the spotlight! Minor spoilers ahead.
Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle sees the return of Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson in their original roles as Oracle and Nightwing. Gotham City, like many other cities across the Multiverse, has been isolated for over a year by Brainiac. The time in the dome has given Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon a chance to revisit their romance, but that chance is quickly squashed when Flashpoint Hawkwoman and Hawkman arrive to sentence Gotham to death.
Can we just all collectively agree that everyone is too damn gorgeous in this issue! Not to mention everyone’s eyebrow game is off the charts! Jan Duursema’s art does an excellent job of capturing the differences between all the characters involved in the issue. Hawkman and Hawkwoman look otherworldly compared to Barbara and Dick. Duursema’s rendition of the Hols captures the original Flashpoint look and makes them even more imposing and war-like. Dan Parson’s inks highlight the detail of Duursema’s art, while Wes Dzioba’s coloring further accentuates the differences be worlds–giving Hawkman and Hawkwoman a muted color pallet compared to Barbara and Dick. The art reflects the beauty of the writing and it’s great to see such an awesome team tackling these characters.
It’s bittersweet seeing Babs and Dick together again knowing that everything will return to the current New 52 timeline at the end of Convergence. The issue feels less like a goodbye and more like a promise, an assurance, that in all universes they will always care deeply for each other. This is Barbara Gordon’s romance and Dick’s deep respect and love for her is a testament to this. Simone just gets it when it comes to romance, even more so she gets friendships. When Kory aka Starfire shows up to talk to Dick she isn’t there to drive a wedge between him and Babs, rather she’s there to help Dick realize his own heart’s desire. It’s such a great scene because Kory and Dick had a romantic past, yet the focus is entirely about Barbara. It squashes the notion that Barbara and Kory would ever fight over Dick, and reminds us that strong friendships can exist between comic book superheroes. They all care deeply for each other and such relationships seem like rarities in the DCU these days.
The issue is a celebration of Barbara Gordon/Oracle. Gail Simone may not have created Oracle, but she established the character and molded her into a icon for many fans, and she once again proves just how well she understands Barbara Gordon. Through Barbara’s inner monologue we get a real sense of the state of affairs for this version of Gotham and for Barbara herself. A year in the dome has changed Barbara, but it hasn’t defeated her. Simone is very careful in her writing, and the doubts and fears Barbara articulates never supplant the wells of inner strength that has defined the character for so long. As a fan of all versions of Barbara Gordon, seeing her dawn the mantle of Oracle is something special. Gail Simone’s run on New52 Batgirl was one of the very first comics I read, which eventually lead me to pick up Simone’s Birds of Prey run and other Batgirl titles. While I love all the members of the BoP Barbara/Oracle will always be very near and dear to me. Her time as Oracle stand as reminder that we can overcome all mental and physical struggles. Barbara is the strongest characters in the DCU, and as Oracle she was even stronger. I think Simone understands that best, which is why getting to read her Oracle, hopefully not for the last time, will always be important to me.
All the gooey emotions aside, Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle reminds us that Barbara Gordon runs the world, and it will be interesting to see how this chapter of Barbara’s life will come to a close. Also, more Nightwing butt thanks!
What are your thoughts on Nightwing and Oracle? Happy to see them again? Too busy crying? Let us know in the comments below!
[Image from Newsarama]