All Hail Gail Simone! She may have just written the single most relevant storyline in the convolution that is DC’s Convergence Arc. And it is in Nightwing Oracle Convergence #1 & #2. From the world of Flashpoint, Hawkman and Hawkwoman are transplanted to Gotham and proceed to other throw the city. In their way is an overmatched Nightwing aka Robin aka Dick Grayson and Oracle; Barbara Gordon. With superior alien technology and warrior attitude, the Hawk duo look to have victory securely in their hands. But as is so often the case in the DC multi-universe, people keep underestimating Barbara Gordon.
The history of Barbara Gordon in DC rivals that of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers, in Marvel. A female hero who has been beaten and abused and broken down. But in Barbara we have a character that you just can’t keep down. Being Commissioner Jim Gordon’s daughter was never enough for Barbara and she became the Batgirl. Her timeline running right along with the young Dick Grayson as Robin. But in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, Barbara is shot in the spine by the Joker and as her father is taken away; Barbara is stripped naked and photographed. It is also intimated that she suffers a sexual assault as well. She is left naked, assaulted and bleeding to death. Would this have happened to a male hero? It is after this that Barbara disappears for a time and the mystery woman known as Oracle appears. Oracle aids Batman and his team by becoming an all seeing and hearing eyes and ears over Gotham. Oracle is later revealed to be Barbara Gordon, wheelchair bound but still a power to be reckoned with in Gotham. She teams with the Black Canary and the Huntress and together they become the Birds of Prey. Despite all that has happened to her, Barbara Gordon has refused to be sidelined, to not live her life to her fullest. Except for one thing.
Dick Grayson loves Barbara Gordon. As Robin. As Nightwing. As just Richard Grayson. And Barbara Gordon has always loved Dick Grayson. As Batgirl. As Oracle. As Barbara Gordon. Situations and timing has always kept them apart. But now, with the world coming to a possible end, Grayson takes the plunge. And Barbara says no. This is the true storyline to Oracle Nightwing Convergence.
So with this rejection in his heart, Nightwing goes forth to battle Hawkman and Hawkgirl. But Barbara will not sit behind, with the world ending she knows she must come to the realizations that there may not be any second chances. That it may not always be perfect but you must live your life to its fullest. Barbara goes into battle, wheelchair and all. Because as its been said before, “…don’t let the wheelchair fool you, I can still kick your ass…”. Fighting by Nightwing’s side they defeat Hawkman and Hawkgirl and in this moment Barbara allows herself to believe the simple truth. There is no perfect time and Barbara Gordon deserves to have it all. Including to be loved.
This is the moment that all comicdom has been screaming for and Gail Simone does it wonderfully. The two issues are written almost exclusively through the mind and thoughts of Barbara Gordon. Her pain. her loss. Her duty. Her final realization that allowing herself to be loved and loving back, is something she deserves and is right. With all the horror has been done to Barbara Gordon over the years, this is the happy ending she deserves and has worked hard to achieve. Barbara Gordon has done more than just be a survivor, she has overcome. She has taken the dark and painful times in her life and found a way to become even more than she was before.
A poignant moment in this final panel of the comic may be the man standing behind Dick and Barbara as they marry and Dick carries her off. It is Bruce Wayne watching them leave. His face a mixture of emotions from a man who has made a life of showing none.
Well done Gail Simone. Well done Dc. Welcome home Barbara.