Book O’ The Week: Nightwing #13

Words: Tom DeFalco. Pictures: Andres Guinaldo, Mark Irwin

This week is very late. It’s so late, it’s not actually “This week” anymore. It’s “Next week”. Because of my protracted delay, I’m now all confused about which tense I should write in. Part of the delay was also because I didn’t know which book to write on. Why is this? Simple.

Justice League #13 – Steve Trevor, jilted lover, angry at the Gods. League broken. Sadly, I just didn’t care…
Green Lantern: New Guardians #13 – Confirmation of Kyle Rayner’s origin still being canon. But his mission to make a Captain Planet Lantern of himself? Don’t really care…
Nightwing #13 – Calm before the Death Of The Family storm. Not sure I care…
Red Hood And The Outlaws – Our band of outlaws save Tamaran and everyone is happy again. Jason is not really Red Hood anymore. SOMEONE steals a Red Hood mask and laughs. Definitely don’t care.
Am I being harsh?

“He’s behiiiind you…”

Yeah, I went with the Wing man. Mostly because it’s NIghtwing. Partially because the other books really didn’t inspire anything this week. I can’t be sure why, but a lot of them feel like they are sort of going off the rails in terms of what made them good. We’ve done the multi-coloured disco lantern thing before, so that’s old. Red Hood and The Outlaws has gone from “book about anti-heroes” to “book about…space fighting…and secret monsters…and edgy Robin”, which has lost me.The Justice League book isn’t doing anything for me, probably because it isn’t doing anything for itself (They knocked over Apokalips in the first arc. What’s left? Heaven? Anti-Matter Universe? Adelaide?)

There was a Marvel Ultimates book in there too, which started with Captain America saying “You’re too young for The Avengers, Spider-kid”, and ended with him saying “Sure, I’ll be President. Oh, and Spider-kid is okay, I guess.” Paraphrased (slightly), but…what the hell.

Nightwing. He’s doing his thing in Gotham, leaping and kicking and throwing wing-gadgets about like some kind of kung-fu octopus. He gives us the “calm before the storm”, which only ever happens when a big event is coming up and we have odd issues that need filling. We don’t even have the usual creative team – they are busy not doing the fill in stuff. There are two beats of this issue I did genuinely appreciate: one was Nightwing’s confrontation with a certain illegitimate business man, and the other was a tie-in of the Wingman’s story with his Issue #0 story.  That was nice to see it carrying through so soon.

Overall though, it felt…bland. There was a late-night chat with Batgirl that was oddly aggressive (although she did mention the “looking forward” concept from #0 again), and an interesting sequence of Nightwing’s new lair being accessed. I can only imagine he has a special “knock it off” override, as he’d be completely stuffed if he ever returned and tried to enter whilst injured, drugged or otherwise incapacitated. (drunk or sad or plain worn out)

I don’t know. Maybe I’m being too harsh. The one sequence I really did enjoy was one that felt straight out of the Dixon run in Bludhaven, mainly because it highlighted the futility of Nightwing’s chosen profession. Without giving details, it was a nice balance of action, the protagonist being aware of his moral predicament, and a payoff that, whilst telegraphed, still worked nicely. Still, I have this nagging feeling that things aren’t going to really pick up again until we are back on track with the proper Nightwing team.

Sorry guys. Fill-in issues can be beautiful moments, or they can be holding patterns. Sadly, this was mostly the latter.
RATING: 2 and a half Domino Masks out of 5

~ by nick on October 22, 2012.

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