This was excellent.

SCORE: 9.5/10

Alright, I guess you want me to elaborate. Well, honestly this feels like what the very first issue of New 52 “Nightwing” should have been: the start of a brand new era of Nightwing. He’s laying his roots down in Gotham. No more venturing around the country, no more moves to Bludhaven, and no more living in the shadow of Bruce Wayne. Dick Grayson is a man filled with hope and he has a plan to save Gotham. It begins here in “Nightwing” #10.

One thing this series is doing extraordinarily well is fleshing out its supporting cast. Not only is the circus and it’s performers still playing a prominent role in Dick’s life, but you’ll see appearances by Lucius Fox, Jim Gordon, and even a surprise appearance by someone we first met in Scott Snyder’s terrific “The Black Mirror”.

Action, character development, more detective work than we’ve seen in recent Caped Crusader stories, and more! This is exactly the kind of Nightwing story that I want to read.

So what is it that detracts from the story? Why wouldn’t I just go ahead and give the book a 10/10? Well, it’s for three reasons. One, I’m a bit annoyed at how the book can’t maintain a consistent art style. Barrows is fantastic, but he’s only pumping out around 10 pages a month right now and nearly every issue of “Nightwing” seems to have a fill-in artist for half the book or it’s a completely different artist for the entirety of the issue. The level of quality Barrows is delivering is magnificent but he clearly needs more time. Put another artist on this book for a couple of months and give Barrows the time he needs to pencil a string of full issues. Geraldo Borges does a fine job, don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking him. I’m simply saying that the book needs a consistent look and #10 doesn’t have that. The second problem is with that the conflict with Bruce is taken a bit too far. I can see that he would want to get out of Bruce’s shadow, but not so much that he would resort to working with a criminal.

Spoiler
Going into business with Zucco, who screwed him over once before, instead of teaming with Bruce who would totally back him on this seems like an odd decision.
My other complaint with issue #10 is one that could change as this story continues, but for now it looks like a poor choice of villain.
Spoiler
Of course this Republic of Tomorrow has a plan (kill the capes, save the city) that makes more sense than the Court of Owls, but it’s yet another secret society! This series, like it’s very hero, has been living in the shadow of Batman. The whole opening arc was tied to the Court of Owls and now that it’s free from those confines we get a brand new secret organization. I’m just not in the mood for that right now. Still, it could turn out to be the perfect villain for the story, etc. etc. so I’ve only taken away .5 points.
But besides the split artwork and the untimely choice of villain, this is without a doubt in my mind the best issue of “Nightwing” so far and an absolute must-buy for all fans of Dick Grayson.

SCORE: 9.5/10