Thursday, April 3, 2008

Nightwing #140-143 Review

Dick Grayson is the big brother I wish I had.
by mr. b

Nightwing has always been a character everyone could relate to. As Robin, he's basically been in the spotlight from the beginning of the DCU. He grew up and out of the shadow of his mentor and formed his own superteam. He took a new identity, left behind the costume that was his last tie to Batman, and became his own man. It's hard not to feel like you grew up right beside him, but over the last couple of years I've found it hard to connect with the former Boy Wonder. Recently though, the new creative team of Peter Tomasi and Rags Morales have put Nightwing back at the top of my read pile.

Peter Tomasi was a relatively new name to me. He had been an editor at DC since 1993 and had dabbled in some writing. In 2007, he left behind his post as editor and began working on a number of titles. Hopefully he sticks around. Since starting his full time writing gig, Tomasi has put together an incredible resume. Working alongside Geoff Johns, the two crafted what I thought was the most exciting event of last year, The Sinestro Corps. Tomasi then went on to pen a low key but EXTREMELY good Black Adam miniseries with Doug Mahnke.

Rags Morales is probably best known for his work on DC's Identity Crisis. As good as his work was there, I became a bigger fan when he took over Hawkman. Morales is a versatile artist with an underrated ability to have emotion pour off his pages. His deft use of facials and body language are engaging and his crisp linework only accentuates that.

Tomasi's back-to-basics approach to the book has been nothing short of invigorating. There's so much to love about this book. He's managed to make things fresh while keeping the characters grounded with the feeling of familiarity. Dick's interaction with his "family" are spot on. He's the big borther to Tim's wide-eyed sibiling. He's the approval seeking son to Bruce's demanding father figure. He's the mature and capable one in Alfred's proud grandfather eyes. Nightwing's use of the DCU's resources are great and make you scream to yourself, "Why didn't anyone else think of that!?" The JLA Satellitle lends some needed help on a recon mission and serves as an excuse to have Dick banter with his old friend Red Arrow. Now based in New York, down the street from the JSA Brownstone, he calls in a favor and has the team help him set up his new headquarters. Plus, an appearance from one of my all time favorite characters, KGBeast.

Over the last couple of years, the DC Universe has felt exactly opposite of what a universe should feel like. The cohesion between characters, books, and storylines has been lost in all of the company's recent crossovers. Nightwing brings a closeness back to a company whom I feel has lost direction over time and now consists of an expanding but disconnected universe.

One Sentence Review: For those looking for DC fun, without worrying about any looming "crisis." | 8.5/10

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Larry_Chimp_Man said...

I've still got to read all of these. I've got them all on my bookshelf ready to go I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe I'll read #140 today and go from there.

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