Getting into comics can be an intimidating thing to do if you don’t know where to start. To help out I am starting up a new Comic Book Starter Guide series to help out. This series won’t have a set number of comic stories like the normal “Top 10” or “Best of” lists. This is completely about the comic book stories that are a good starting point. Whether you are new to comics or someone interested in the motivations of where characters stand this series is made to help you out.
Now since we’ve had a lot of recent comic books that have spotlighted Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon’s relationship I figure that would be a good place to start. Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have long been linked together as they were brought up together as Batman’s first proteges. Though the romantic link between the two wasn’t actually established until Batman: The Animated Series. Since then Dick and Barbara have been established as one of the DC Universe’s most iconic couples. To help in understanding what makes this relationship a fan favorite here are the must read comics to understand it.
BIRDS OF PREY #8 (ComixOlogy)
Chuck Dixon is the writer that finally got Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon together. So it is only right that he got to write the first real date between the two. In this single issue Dixon got over how Dick and Barbara’s relationship is based on more than just physical attraction. The two clearly love each other. The entire issue pushes that idea with a great sequence of Dick taking Barbara to a special place for him.
NIGHTWING ANNUAL #2 (ComixOlogy)
Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon were not always the same age. When introduced Barbara was actually around college age and Dick was still barely 14 or 15. More recently the two have been written to be the same age and Nightwing Annual #2 is the issue that fully establishes that in the modern era. This annual goes through a good part of the careers of Dick and Barbara’s early history, even giving us an awkward moment between the two when they were Robin and Batgirl.
The issue also goes on to explain why it took so long for Dick and Barbara to get together as they always just missed the window to get together during their teenage years and early adulthood. Adding in how Barbara did not hold back in helping Dick train so he could recover from the injuries he suffered in Infinity Crisis established how they both push each other to be better than they are.
BATGIRL: SUMMER OF LIES (ComixOlogy)
A more recent story, “Summer of Lies” sheds light in what Dick and Barbara’s current history in the post-Flashpoint DC Universe. Hope Larson tells a story of the first team-up of the two in their early Robin and Batgirl careers. Larson establishes a strong connection between the two was there from the beginning. In both the past and present day scenes Dick and Barbara are shown to be a great team together. And from a relationship standpoint it does a good job showing that timing is the biggest thing that gets in the way of the two getting together.
BATGIRL #25 (ComixOlogy)
With how many stories there have been lately with Batgirl and Nightwing teaming up we finally got an answer of where their relationship stands right now in Batgirl #25. In this anniversary issue we see it begin with Batgirl being put in a situation where the mother of someone she once saved telling her to cherish those she a deep connection with. That leads her to calling up Dick Grayson to spend the night together.
Given that Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle recently did not get married this made them question where they see each other in the future. What took place in the hotel room was an honest conversation between two characters that are in their early- to mid-twenties. Though the answer is not simple the conclusion does show that Dick and Barbara aren’t ready to be in a long-term relationship. It gives hope that maybe in the future they’ll end up together but also puts the idea that they may not. Whatever the case is it is clear Dick and Barbara will always love each other and are both comfortable with keeping things casual right now.
CONVERGENCE: NIGHTWING/ORACLE (ComixOlogy)
The Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle mini-series could be seen as the final story for the two as we get to see the two finally get married by the end of the story. As with the other stories highlighted her this mini-series once again spotlights how their chosen lives and dedication makes it tough to be in a permanent relationship. Thankfully we do see them make that step as their deep bond help them overcome the more powerful, evil versions of Hawkman and Hawkwoman. The way they took both Hawkman and Hawkwoman down showed how great of a team Nightwing and Oracle are. It made the wedding that concluded the story even more satisfying as both have reached a point in their lives they feel they can finally settle down while still being superheroes.