Issue #2 is a definite step up in quality for Nightwing. The debut issue was very… “meh.” Dick walked around a lot and we read his inner monologue while he reunited with friends from Haly’s circus, including a future love interest who looks like Barbara Gordon (but isn’t). Ya know, like how in Batgirl #2 we met Barbara’s love interest who looks a lot like Dick Grayson(but isn’t). Things only picked up in the last couple pages where an assassin named Saiko tried to kill Dick Grayson only to have Nightwing come to the rescue the minute Dick vanished and..hey! What exactly does Nightwing’s mask conceal? Dick’s cheekbones? And this new villain Saiko hates Dick Grayson with a passion. You could even say he’s obsessed. Obsessed enough to dawn a costume complete with Wolverine claws (2 claws, not 3, nobody wants to get sued) to go out and kill Dick. So how does Saiko, a guy fixated on Dick Grayson not recognize that Dick and Nightwing are one and the same? Oh well, suspension of disbelief I guess. At least it’s not as pointless as Green Lantern’s mask.
As I was saying, this issue won’t put you at risk of falling asleep like Nightwing #1. Things kick off with a bang when we get the fight scene between Nightwing and Saiko. We even get to see Dick use a cool built-in weapon on his suit which was very shocking (intended!). But toward the fight’s conclusion, Saiko pulls the old “You can catch me or save these people that are dying” trick and gets away. Just ONCE I’d like to see a villain try that gag and after the hero saves the innocent lives and is totally exhausted, turns to see that the villain didn’t vanish—he’s still there. And now that our hero is tired out, the bad guy is ready to strike. Just once I’d like to see that cliché turned on its head.
Leaving on a Jet Plane
With Saiko gone and the good people saved, Dick decides to go back to his loft to grab a power bar and a dry costume (literally) and that girl Raya (the redhead who looks like Barbara, but isn’t) shows up at his apartment. I don’t remember him giving this chick his address earlier in the day. And I’m reasonably sure this all takes place in the same day that he visited the circus so I don’t know how she found him. But she did, Dick’s cool with it, and she wants to go to Atlantic City because Dick needs to talk to old man Haly, the owner of Dick’s childhood circus. She suggests they drive there, but Dick shows off by boarding them both on one of Bruce’s private jets.
Where is Gotham, anyway? Didn’t Rucka or somebody say it was in New Jersey and Metropolis is in Delaware. Makes sense since Raya wants to drive to Atlantic city tonight and all. Atlantic City can’t be that far from Gotham.
And this girl Raya…she uses air quotes a lot. Well, not really, the writer put certain words and phrases she said in quotes for emphasis instead of bolding the text or using italics, but still, if you imagine her using air quotes every time she says these things (like I did) it becomes a funnier scene in which she is a very annoying (but very attractive) girl. Might even be funnier if you imagine her with the voice of Chris Farley’s “Matt Foley” character. I’m rambling.
FEEL LIKE MAKING–
I’m not going to spoil this part. Two important things come to light in the meeting with old man Haly: One to do with Dick’s past and another to do with his future. Which, if handled right, could lead to some interesting stories for the Nightwing series. The scene with Haly doesn’t last long and we’re back on the private jet where Dick and Not-Barbara hook up. Nothing as graphic as what happened in Catwoman #1, but you’ve gotta admit the Batman books have had a lot of sexual content lately. Not that that’s a problem, it’s just noticeable. So for those keeping track whose been laid most, that’s Batman 02, Nightwing 01, and Superman 00. Never forget.
And it doesn’t say a lot about Grayson’s stamina when a flight from Gotham to Atlantic City probably takes less than 20 minutes and we cut to him and her resting-up only halfway back to Gotham. Just sayin’.
Step in the Right Direction
The rest of the book is pretty exciting so I won’t give any of it away. I’ll give this one a buy. It’s fun and the artwork by Eddy Barrows really shines. He experiments a lot with the way he lays out the page, particularly in the last half of the book where things get pretty heated (intended!).
I didn’t have high hopes for this comic after the first issue and even though it hits a few annoying clichés and the villain is pretty thick and has an uninspired costume, it’s a fun read. Especially if you’re looking for some action in your comics this month. Nightwing #2 does a good job building a new mystery for Dick to solve and it sets up a new, interesting path that he may take in life. Next month’s issue will be the true test for this series. Then we actually get to see what author Kyle Higgins plans to do with the foundation he built here.
SCORE: 7.5/10 (the first review to get a half score)