Okay, I have to make a confession here: Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are my OTP. They are the couple you want to get together. With Convergence upon us, it’s time to revisit their relationship in the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe. Here, Barbara Gordon is still Oracle, and Nightwing rocks blue fingerstripes. Trapped in a sealed off Gotham, they’ve been trying to keep order as best they can. Gail Simone and Jan Duursema are the perfect Dynamic Duo to create this tale.
With the various worlds now in a Battle Royale to survive, there are those who already eager to get bloody. In Gotham, Nightwing is more worried about keeping the peace than a potential opponent. Barbara is more worried about the psychological ramifications of being trapped under a dome for a year, not only for the denizens of Gotham (such as a despairing Mister Freeze), but for herself. However, the arrival of two murderous Thangarians means these two need to snap into action to save everyone.
Simone is a perfect choice to explore the psychology of the Nightwing-Oracle relationship, given her classic run on Birds of Prey and the New 52 Batgirl. She easily gets the personalities of our two protagonists; not only how they are different but how they mesh well as a crime fighting duo. She also brings in several great cameos, including (briefly) fan favorite Elseworlds Justice Riders. Her choice of villains are frightening, especially when they give an ultimatum that is both surprising and frightening. But the focus is on Dick and Barbara’s relationship, in all its complexity. While the book does have plenty of action, much of the drama (and excitement) comes from their relationship, and how it has been affected by Telos’ grand designs. It’s a poignant tale, and heartfelt. It’s how such a tale should be.
Duursema does an excellent job with the art. Nightwing’s acrobatics are top notch, and he’s drawn in a combination of his pre Flashpoint outfit and his Arkham City costume. Oracle is beautiful, and her expressions often reveal more than what she might be saying. The two villains look primal and deadly. It’s also great seeing the various cameos that appear under Duursema’s pencils. Parsons provides excellent inks; creating deep shadows in El Inferno and in Gotham warehouses. Dzioba gives this story a somewhat lighter color palette than most Bat books, which works better with our two stars. There are a couple wonky faces, but they don’t really detract from the overall art.
This is an excellent story for any fan of the Nightwing/Oracle relationship; and it’s nice to see these versions of the characters once again. We are left on a great cliffhanger, one that makes you want to know what happens. No matter who wins this multiversal game of King of the Hill; this couple will always be winners.
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!