By Philip Schweier
February 20, 2019 - 08:19
My friend would have a field day with the latest issue of Nightwing. Maybe it part of this “bold, new direction,” that publishers often try, usually to dismal failure, like the blue and red Superman DC tried. In this case, the former Nightwing has hung up his tights to be plain ol’ Ric Grayson. Even though he stepped up last issue, he shows no signs of doing so again. Until page 19, when he agrees to do so if needed. Boy, that was an easy sell.
Meanwhile the new Nightwings continue to fight crime in Bludhaven, and here’s where Lobdell and Kaplan’s writing goes off the rails. Two police detectives question a “person of interest,” and are turned away at the door. But in a matter of SECONDS (literally, the time it take for him to turn away from the door), one of the detectives manages to A.) ditch her partner; B.) change into her Nightwing costume; C.) grab a battering ram; and D.) pulverize the guy’s door.
Are you kidding me? I’m not even sure the Flash is that fast. But I guess they needed to have Nightwing appear in the comic somehow. Cuz Ric Grayson is too busy schmoozing it up with his new girl, Bea, who is keen on saving the homeless shelter that’s in danger of being bulldozed in favor of a parking lot. Not even the nuns I knew in Catholic school were this altruistic.
Thankfully, the homeless shelter has the Joker’s Daughter fighting for it as well. To those born after the Crisis, Joker’s Daughter was once Duela Dent, the daughter of Two-Face. For a while, she posed as the daughter of many of Batman’s foes, all in a bid to prove herself worthy of membership in the Teen Titans. I presume this is a new iteration of the character, but of all the forgotten wannabe-heroes to dig out of moth balls, why her?
This issue does have one thing going for it, and that is the art. Not that the rendering or layouts are so spectacular, but the story takes place in winter, and the streets of Bludhaven are so laden with snow in all its forms. From fresh snow in the park, to the slush in the streets, to the thin dusting on cars, it’s wonderfully conveyed. The winter wonderland is a breath of fresh air from the perpetual perfect weather we often see in comics. Gotham in August has got to be miserable for Batman.
With no real use of Nightwing OR Dick Grayson in this issue, it’s clear to me DC Editorial has no idea what to do with the property. As one of its oldest characters, that’s a genuine pity.