This week is the first haul of Convergence titles that highlight heroes such as Harley Quinn, The Atom, The Question, etc.
However the issue I’ve had my eyes on for months is this one: the reunion of Nightwing and Oracle. Written by Gail Simone and drawn by Jan Duursema, it’s hard not to get your hopes up at this comic’s potential, but considering how these event singe-shots usually turn out then there’s reason for skepticism. So, is it good?
Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle #1 (DC Comics)
If you’re familiar with the plot of this Convergence event you should understand what’s happening in this issue, but if you picked up Convergence #1 as well this week I’d recommend you read that first. For those of you who don’t particularly care for the event and just want to see Dick and Babs working together, Convergence is essentially a Superhero Hunger Games with a bit more at stake. Dick and Babs are the designated heroes of the Pre-Flashpoint Gotham City and are trapped within the dome when they’re confronted by heroes of another domed city.
The issue opens with a savage take on Hawkman and Hawkwoman. While other superheroes have voiced their moral dilemma of murdering other-world versions of their friends, this duo certainly doesn’t have any qualms as they burn a town to the ground and fly off seeking their next opponent. It’s then that you flip the page and you’re met with an image that will give any Grayson fan chills: An upwards shot of Dick standing on the rooftop in his original blue Nightwing suit (It definitely gave me nerd-butterflies). Yeah he’s portrayed ridiculously yoked, but it’s such a refreshing sight that I don’t even mind the hyperbolic physique. That’s his thing and he owns it.
The issue is chronicled by Babs and documents the fall out of their Gotham after being enveloped by the dome. While the issue still advances the plot of the intergalactic tournament, it features a lot emotional depth and if you’re a Nightwing fan it’ll hit you harder. There’s a lot of emotional subplot occurring that goes beyond the superficial crime-fighting sequences, especially between our two heroes. Both are currently in an unsure place of their relationship for various reasons and it’s reminiscent of their pre-52 interactions and the countless issues that chronicled their turbid relationship (And I loved those issues, they offered a great break in repetitive action with realistic highs and lows between lovers). Simone looks at the Dome’s effect on villains as well as the civilians and superheroes alike which is one of my favorite aspects of this issue. We see that with the isolation of the city, some villains have simply lost their thirst for crime and begin to question the point of it all. While having a couple villain cameos, this introspective take on the nature of Gotham’s trite villainy take the subject of the issue to another level.
Above all, despite not being the best suited for a physical brawl to decide the fate of worlds, Simone is able to make Oracle a strong (if not the strongest) character in the comic. She really controls the pace of the issue and I loved that it’s told from her perspective and that she’s not portrayed as simply Nightwing’s sideshow. This issue alone is certainly a strong case that Oracle needs to be involved in some way shape or form with the post-52 universe. At the end of the issue she reminds us all why she’s labeled one of the guardians of Gotham.
Is It Good?
I recognize that some people are going to use this convergence opportunity to put out some issues have the flair of unique character combinations, but lack the quality of the story. Gail Simone knocks this issue out of the park and makes us nostalgic for the days when we saw Nightwing and Oracle interact on a monthly basis. My favorite comics are the ones that leave me emotionally drained and that’s exactly what this issue did. The next issue can’t come soon enough.