Nightwing #143

by

A real joy in my life at the moment is each month getting a new Nightwing comic. For too long Dick Grayson has been underused, abused and misused within the DCU. But finally, Peter J. Tomasi is bringing back one of the original DC heroes to a place where he shines.

I’ve waxed eloquent before about my love for Dick Grayson: I have a serious man-crush on him.

So it really is a pleasure to finally see him done properly, and given the respect he deserves. Nightwing, issue #143, continues in that same vein, and revels in the new world that Tomasi has created for Nightwing since issue 140.

A move to New York, a power base of his own, a reconnection with the Bat-family of Bruce, Alfred and Timothy, and the respect deserved of one of DC’s oldest characters has reinvigorated a flagging character. Need we be reminded of the fact that DC wanted to kill Grayson off a few years ago? Some may argue that that is an indication of the respect they have for him, but you don’t kill off a character that isn’t bringing you in the big bucks in terms of sales.

With issue 143, Grayson continues his quest to find out who is stealing the bodies of dead and buried heroes. With Timothy Drake, aka, Robin sidekicking it with Nightwing, the pair head out in Grayson’s new … I’m not sure if he’s named it yet, but his plane… Surely he could just call it the nightwing or something…

Under the impression that it is Talia Al Ghul that they are chasing, the pair descends on a small island where they quickly find evidence of a hidden base. The story is the typical ‘infiltrate base, get discovered, one get’s captured, the other rescues but lose the bad guy as they escape from a self-destructing base’ storyline. But, there is more to it than that.

The character that Tomasi has taken on is not just your average hero. He has always been the wisecracking funny-man. Dick Grayson is the source of many of the “witty-banter” lines that Spider-Man throws around these days. Jumping in to the middle of the fray, and exclaiming “holy shark infested waters Batman” is part of what makes Grayson awesome.

And that wisecracking attitude is brought to the fore through Tomasi’s writing. A continual dialogue is maintained between the old and new Robins, and it is not forced; you have no trouble believing that these two men are effortlessly moving through dangerous situations with no care in the world.

I was particularly happy with Nightwing’s call in to the JLA Watchtower. I don’t think, until now, Grayson’s DC heritage has been fully exploited by his writers. He is literally one of the founding heroes of the DCU, and yet for so long he’s been treated as if he’s the unwanted stepchild. And though it may be small and innocuous, his call for aerial surveillance is a reminder that he pretty much will always get what he wants.

Don Kramer’s art is pretty much just as good as the storyline being created. Nightwing is drawn to perfection, from the facial nuances to the beautifully crafted, muscley… *cough* my point, is that Kramer has got Grayson down pat. And, not surprisingly, he also manages to complete the obvious talent by drawing Robin, Red Arrow, villains and scenery with the same skill that he applies to his main character.

The colors are bright, the lines are solid, and the effects just round out beautiful artwork that, in tandem with one of the DCU’s greatest heroes and, in my opinion, one of DC’s greatest writers, month after month bring me a book that once again rates 5 out of 5.

On a more personal note, I continue to find books that deserve 4 or 5 stars; if someone can please contact me via my website and let me know of a crap book, I’ll review that and give it a low score. I promise!