Origins and Omens: Oracle

Choosing to recap Oracle and Nightwing this week is interesting, mostly because the Origins and Omens stories were immediate predecessors to Battle for the Cowl.  In fact, the end of the Oracle O&O says, “To be continued in Oracle: The Cure #1.”  That right there should be a good indication of the events that were foreshadowed in those pages.

The Oracle O&O doesn’t have much left to surprise us with, especially if you read Battle for the Cowl, Oracle: The Cure, and are currently reading the new Batgirl series.  Oh, and let us not forget the end of the Birds of Prey series.  In fact, that’s what I got from the image of Black Canary’s backside—an indication that they would no longer be working together on a regular basis.  Other images are almost straight from the pages of The Cure, like the one of the dead and bloodied person at the computer and the weird creature that seems to be coming out of the computer.  Is that what Oracle’s friends saw right before they went to that online community in the sky?

The image that sticks with me the most though is the one of the Batgirl uniform on the bed with Barbara giving it a good long look.  Without spoiling too much of what is happening with our new Batgirl, Stephanie Brown, let’s just say that Barbara isn’t all that happy with Steph taking up the cowl.  I actually like the presence of Babs in this book, and I hope in the coming issues we see her take on the role of mentor like the Bryan Q. Miller has been showing up to this point.  It’s still very obvious that Babs misses those days, even though she was constantly in danger.  Her biggest beef with Steph is that she (Steph) is not trained up like she should be, and is therefore a danger to herself more than anything.  And no one is more qualified to train a Batgirl than the original Batgirl herself.

Origins and Omens: Nightwing

 

As I mentioned above, these O&O stories immediately preceded Battle for the Cowl, so it should be no surprise that Dick is not once shown in any uniform other than the one he wears as Nightwing.  There are, however, many references to his life post-Battle for the Cowl.  More on those in a minute.

I actually want to take a minute to talk about the Origins section of the story, which shows Dick taking Barbara skydiving for her birthday.  As a fairly new comics reader, I know they were once involved, but I’ve only ever seen allusions to it.  I have yet to read a book where they were still a couple (suggestions, anyone?) so seeing their easiness with each other was new to me.  I love that even though they aren’t together anymore, they’re still friends and don’t appear to harbor any ill will toward the other. 

I also loved that Barbara was still being the detective and trying to figure out where Dick was taking her.  Also loved that Dick wasn’t saying she was right, but instead tried to distract her and make comments about loving her sarcastic wit.  These are the types of characteristics that make me want to read them together more.

And if that last Omens page is any indication, they might be getting back together soon.  Maybe? Please.  I don’t know much about them as a couple, but maybe what broke them apart can be the same thing that brings them back together?  Again, please.

Dick training with someone younger than himself in the Batcave while a vile-looking woman watches…it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that he’s with Damian and that Talia is the one watching.  Keeping tabs on Junior, is she?  Upset that he’s trouncing around as Robin?  Who knows.

Oh, and someone wearing a very Batman-like glove is holding a gun to Dick’s head.  I’ll take “Crazy Former Robins” for $500, Alex.

Scar has some very interesting commentary on those involved in Dick’s life in reference to Blackest Night as well.  “Something wicked this way comes.  And the only thing these primitive creatures will do is exactly what they have always done when darkness engulfs them.  Their souls will be torn by hope and fear, love and hate, and rage and solace.  As they cling uselessly to the belief that justice and redemption will rule the day.  They will fight and die in this war, and as foretold by the Black, they will be consumed.  By the light.” 

My translation of that, knowing what we know from Blackest Night so far, is that parts of them will die during the war (having to face down their dead loved ones has to leave a scar in some way), but they will ultimately be saved by the presence of light, as opposed to darkness.  They will overcome and survive to fight another day.  That’s what I think, at least.

Why am I only starting to read this book now?

 

So I managed to pick up the last few issues of Justice Society of America this weekend, starting with the arc started by the new creative team of Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges.  I ate up these issues.  Seriously.  I had been very reluctant to pick up this series for a couple reasons (that I’ll have to go into another time), but the announcement of a second book because of the dynamic of the characters was intriguing to me, especially since I did know that there was a mix of older and younger heroes within the team.  What would make the team split?  I was curious, so I decided to give it a shot.

I love Stargirl.  She could easily become one of my favorite characters, I think.  Geoff Johns just recently announced that Stargirl would be one of the JSA members in his Smallville episode, “Society.”  I immediately went to Wikipedia and read up on her, which in turn led me to read more about Atom Smasher, and so on and so on.

I now consider myself hooked on Justice Society of America.

Help, please?!?

Some of these Origins and Omens stories are from titles that I either aren’t currently reading or only recently started reading.  In these cases, I don’t feel completely comfortable dissecting these since I’m not entirely familiar with the storyline and the characters.  If you would like to help me make sure that this re-examination of Origins and Omens is complete, please e-mail me at gutterlife@gmail.com or leave a comment in the forums.

Here are the O & O stories I need help completing:

Booster Gold                                                  Justice Society of America

Green Lantern                                                 The Outsiders

Green Lantern Corps                                      Vigilante