have a friend who is quick to criticize DC Comics for the many flaws its
creative teams have gotten away with. Even as a child in the 1970s, I'm sure he screamed "Oh, come ON!!" more than once. Batman was able to anticipate ANY
situation, and no one has ever connected the dot between Oliver Queen and
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.