I love Dick Grayson. From his time in the Teen Titans (especially the Wolfman/Perez run in the 1980s) to his current role as a Spyral agent, his stories have provided me countless hours of fun. I also love Barbara Gordon, who became one of the most interesting and important characters in the DC Universe as the information broker / super-hacker Oracle. They remain one of my favorite romances in all of comics, especially during the period leading up to Infinite Crisis. You’d think that a book that brings these two together would be exactly what I’d want. Unfortunately, Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle suffers from reminding us that it is, in the end an event tie-in.
I can’t really blame writer Gail Simone for my disappointment in this issue, which stems not from her writing, but rather the framework of the Convergence event itself. Each tie-in is only two issues, and must conform to the overdone trope of pitting heroes against heroes. Working within that framework, Simone does an admirable job in giving readers great moments between Dick and Barbara, including adding to long-term readers’ ongoing heartbreak when these two come together.
Simone nails the voices of these characters. Dick retains the playfulness that has made him one of the DC Universe’s true sources of light. Barbara keeps the duo focused on the task at hand while engaging in playful banter. When the issue is focused on these two, it reads like an issue of Birds of Prey or Nightwing circa 2005 (that’s a good thing).
It’s the back half of the issue in which the event catches up to the title. It gets particularly messy when Flashpoint Hawkman and Hawkwoman show up. Their inclusion is a reminder that Flashpoint was the darkest and most unpleasant of DC’s attempts to be dark and unpleasant, it reaffirm. They are straight-up uncompromising and unlikable. Even worse, they are not remotely interesting as characters. Their presence is solely to fight our protagonists because this is an event and that’s what heroes do in events.
Despite its problems, Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle was far from bad… especially given the closing panels were worthy of fist-pump.
Note: This review was originally posted at ComicsBulletin.com