Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Convergence: Nightwing and Oracle #2 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

Probably not surprisingly given the characters involved, Simone delivers the best "Convergence" tie-in issue (in fact, probably the best "Convergence" issue) that I've read.  She does it by keeping her focus on the matter at hand -- the battle between Barbara, Dick, Hawkman, and Hawkwoman -- while also remembering that the whole point of this event is indulging in some nostalgia for departed characters.

First, as I said, the battle is pretty solid.  A lot of other battles that we've seen in the tie-in issues have involved all sorts of complicated politics as the heroes try to avoid having to kill anyone to satisfy Telos' demands.  In fact, the first issue of this series suffered from exactly that problem, as the Hawks tried to force Babs and Dick to accept their rule to save their Gotham.  But, Simone keeps us on familiar territory:  Dick negates the Hawks' ability to fly with his acrobatic skills, and Babs turns their own technology against them.  It's much better than Stephanie convincing Catman to surrender in "Convergence:  Batgirl," or Bruce, Damian, and Jason fighting some nobodies in "Convergence:  Batman and Robin."  When the victory comes, it actually feels like one.

Along the way, Simone also remembers to make it about Babs and Dick.  It obviously helps here that Simon knows the characters so intimately; it avoids creating the sort of uncharacteristic outpouring of emotion that we saw from Batman in "Convergence:  Batman and Robin" #2.  When they wed at the end of the issue, it feels real.

Interestingly, the wedding opens up a question that has been in the back of my mind throughout this event, but that I hadn't fully formed yet.  It takes places at some point after the pair's victory over the Hawks, implying that some period of time passes between when the champions win their fights and Brainiac or Telos activates the next phase.  If it were a real competition, this next phase would be another round of fights, but, given that each mini-series is only two issues, we know that's not going to happen.  As such, it implies that something happens in the main title to prevent Brainiac or Telos launching the next round.  But, since we haven't really heard anything about the competitions in that title, it's still unclear what it could be.

But, hey, I think three stars is the highest that I've given to any "Convergence" issue, so I'm just going to take the win.

*** (three of five stars)

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