This isn’t working anymore. I’m sorry. I know, I know… Nightwing is my favorite character, and I wanted nothing more than to review this book for the first four years I wrote for Batman-News.com… But now, things have changed. No, no. It’s not you. It’s me…. Wait… Nevermind, it is totally you. Sorry. Yeah, it’s you.
I’ve made it quite clear that I’m not fond of this arc. I like Percy. Honestly, I do! When I found out he was taking over Nightwing, I got excited! “Terminal” is easily one of my favorite Batman stories, and I was hoping he could bring some of that quality with him over to this book… But it hasn’t happened yet. In fact, I’d say his work on Nightwing is probably Percy’s worst work. I’m not being dramatic, and I’m not joking.
I think there could be a silver lining though. Percy and King both hinted that something will happen soon in Batman that completely changes Dick Grayson, and there’s a chance that the current story was a last-minute, shoe-horned addition to buy some time for that narrative… In which case, it would explain many of the shortcomings we’re enduring, as well as the need to shift the title from double ship, to monthly for this arc alone… At the very least, this is what I’m telling myself so I won’t lose hope. Nightwing is often my favorite book, and I want to look forward to reading it in the future, so I’m hoping and praying for the best moving forward… As for this issue… It’s crap.
This month, Percy’s script dips to a new low – mind you, the bar wasn’t very high to begin with – and that’s a shame considering this issue was supposed to be the finale of this arc. This is a far cry from a finale though, mainly because there is no ending… At all. Perhaps the Annual will pick up where this issue leaves off, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead, it looks as though we’re going to be stuck with… umm… whatever this is because, literally, there is no resolution. The conflict with Cloke? I guess you could say it’s handled. The conflict with the Wyrm? Not addressed. The outcome of the Russian sisterhood’s attack on the city? Who knows? I find it a little shocking that this passes as an acceptable outcome for a story, and it makes me question if anyone at DC bothered to actually read this arc before moving forward with it. (No… really…)
As has been the case, Percy’s depiction of Dick feels off. I don’t know who this is, but it isn’t Dick Grayson. Hardly anything about the character rings true to me. Some of his interactions with Babs were decent last month, but I when I saw the two interacting in this issue, I actually forgot that it was Barbara. And just in general, Dick’s dialogue comes off as Generic Hero 1. There’s no personality found in the lines of the script, and when Percy does try to infuse some sort of character into the language, he uses terrible technology puns.
Which brings us to the other problem that has plagued Percy’s run so far – his heavy hand. Initially, his hand was too heavy concerning his political/ social views concerning technology and society’s addiction to it. While I admit there’s a worthy conversation to be had here, Percy ultimately just came off as a grumpy grandpa that is opposed to technology for the sake of being opposed to it. He never really focused in on the core conflict or themes, despite introducing them in his first issue. These plot threads – – like every other plot thread introduced in this arc – have meandered into obscurity.
This month, the writing shifted to include a heavy hand with tech puns. If you’re familiar with my Batgirl & the Birds of Prey reviews, then you know I’m somewhat cynical when puns are concerned. If they’re good, then great! If you’re just trying to hard… Do everyone a favor and stop trying. I like when Dick has quips, but these “quips” come off as if they were written by a kid who is socially inept.
So, if you’re keeping tabs, the plot, themes, characterization, and attempts at humor have all fallen short in this issue… And it gets worse when you realize the blatant lack of logic throughout the chapter as well. For example, there’s a moment in the issue where Batgirl releases an EMP, and it knocks out all of the tech within a certain radius, except for Nightwing’s visor because that would be inconvenient for the story. It should also be noted that this occurs after someone shoots their hand off to prevent the tech implanted in their wrist from manipulating their thoughts. Cause, you know, it’s not a story until someone blows off their hand!
The Art: Chris Mooneyham continues his hand on art duties, and yet again, I feel like he falls short of what he promised in his first issue. While his pencils aren’t terrible, they are inconsistent and there’s nothing intriguing in his layouts or panels. And again, my issue isn’t completely distaste with his art, but the drastic difference between his first issue to now.
- You don’t need a complete story to be satisfied.
- Someone shoots their hand off.
- Just don’t.
Overall: If you haven’t been following this arc, then don’t bother looking into it. There’s nothing worthwhile here, and you don’t even get a completely story. Multiple plots fizzle out without any sort of conclusion, and you can’t even look back on a portion of the story to say, “Well this is a nice moment.” It’s just nonsense.