Review: Nightwing #2 by Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows

My fear is not that I’m going to get sick of doing reviews of comic books, but more that I’m going to run out of boring introductions. And then where would I be.

I read and reviewed the first issue of Nightwing for my blog, last month. And I was pleasantly surprised. I am a huge fan of Dick Grayson, ever since my years with Wolfman and Pèrez’s New Teen Titans run. When I first read about Dick Grayson putting on the Nightwing costume again, and returning to Haley’s Circus, I groaned. I think I’ve read, Dick Grayson returning to the circus at least four times in my years as a comic book fan. But, Kyle Higgins made it his own, and provided some real intrigue to the story.

I’m still not sure I like what has been done to Nightwing from an editorial standpoint, over the last few years. I don’t really accept that Dick would have left the Nightwing persona to become Batman (for the second time), because Gotham City would suffer from the lack of the mysterious “Batman.” And I REALLY don’t accept that Dick would accept being ‘downgraded’ from that role after Bruce’s return. (So Dick was in the Justice League while Bruce was gone, but as Bruce is back, he just says, “Yeah, you do that, I’m going to go back to having fun as Nightwing”).

But, with those constraints, I thought the issue was written very well, and showed some interesting new sides to Dick Grayson. And here’s hoping that it continues.

Nightwing #2: Haly’s Wish
Writer: Kyle Higgins | Pencils: Eddy Barrows

In the last episode, Dick Grayson has completely shed his temporary Batman persona, and is now living on his own in Gotham City, and is looking to re-establish himself as Nightwing, with a new costume and everything. Coincidentally, the circus where Dick used to perform is performing within the city limits for the first time since his parents were killed. Dick revisits the circus meeting some old friends, specifically a girl named Raya. Dick is confronted by an assassin while coming home from the circus, accusing him of being a killer. Dick changes into his Nightwing costume, and confronts the assassin.

Synopsis

  • Nightwing is able to fight off the assassin, who fires an explosive into a car forcing Nightwing to save the bystanders instead of defeat the villain.
  • Raya convinces Dick to travel to Atlantic City to see Mr. Haly the owner of the circus. Dick takes her by private jet.
  • Haly is dying and gives control of the circus to Dick after he’s deceased. Also mentions that he knows that Dick is Nightwing.
  • After a tryst with Raya, Dick is contacted by the assassin, named Saiko, that he knows he is Nightwing after torturing Mr. Haly.
  • After a fight with Saiko, the warehouse explodes and Dick saves Mr. Haly who dies in his arms.

Questions and Answers

Question: How did Saiko realize to go see Haly the same night that Dick and Raya did. That seems very coincidental. Is Saiko connected to Raya?

Question: Saiko seems connected to not only Gotham, but also to Haly Circus. What is the connection?

Analysis

I liked this issue even more than last issue, much to my surprise. I thought that the intrigue at the end simply was enough to pull me in for one more episode, and then I’d be done, and crawling back to something else that I liked a little better. But this really worked for me.

The fight scene was pretty good. I’m not sure that I agree with the idea of Nightwing having an electric charge inside his costume, but it was unique. But I really dislike the idea that an assassin would have an explosive round in his sleeve. Don’t remind me that I’m reading a comic book by destroying my suspension of belief.

And somehow I doubt that people who had their car set on fire would just thank Nightwing for saving them, without being rather mad that it was set on fire to begin with.

This is the first time that I’ve ever seen Dick Grayson pull the spoiled rich brat routine before. It’s a unique take on Dick Grayson.

                  

Okay, Raya is really too convenient in some way. She happens to be able to leave the circus for a few days? She happens to have a boyfriend that would LET her go away for two days? She happens to be a childhood friend of Dick’s. Happens to be the one person that Haly asks to bring Dick to Atlantic City. And happens to let Dick put the moves on her in the plane. I’m hoping the convenience is because Kyle is trying to start the story quickly.

I would have liked to have some back story as to how Mr. Haly knew that Dick was a superhero. I buy it completely, but just some random statement that he saw Dick fly, that isn’t enough for me.

So, Dick is given some mysterious explanation as to why Mr. Haly is giving the circus to him. No sense of intention? No sense of why give a circus to a millionaire’s ward? No idea of why the circus would have gone to his parents? There’s no way that Dick would have left without more answers.

And other than to have a sex on the plane visual, why would Dick decide to leave Atlantic City that quickly. I mean it’s night when they leave, and night when they’re flying back.

Dick Grayson having sex with Raya on the plane. Dick Grayson having sex with a girl with a boyfriend. A hero ignoring the bro code and seducing another man’s woman. It’s 2011, and I’m not suggesting it’s not realistic. I’m not even suggesting that it makes Dick immoral. But, it is amazing how far comics have come. But it’s definitely obvious that an initiative of the new DC Universe is to make it more sexual.

Okay, Saiko is a lousy name. It only exists to be a pun. You can do better people!

But Saiko gets shocked by an electric jolt, and gets kicked under the chin twice in one day, and he’s still moving the same?

          

The motivations of everyone really worked here. And for the most part, the artwork was pretty good. I thought there were a few cheesy moments, but otherwise, it all worked.

Verdict

I can’t put my finger on why I like this so much. But I really did. Maybe it’s because this doesn’t feel like a story arc. It doesn’t feel like it’s trying to redefine the hero, or reboot a character. It just feels like a comic book. And a good comic book at that.

8.0

 

 

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