Monday, January 19, 2009

Detective Comics #851 & Batman #684

I thought I remember Denny O'Neil being better than this. I have no problem with the Cataclysm tinge to the story, with actress Millicent Mayne becoming a haunt of the one street that hasn't been rebuilt. I actually liked that since Nightwing just tacked Two-Face in his own book, he heads on down to Gotham to take him on again. I even liked the whole pizza guy being competent thing, accomplishing his own rescue and even helping out Nightwing a bit. But that last part is indicative of the BIG problem here. Nightwing is a competent hero. He has fought crime in and out of Gotham for years, so to have Commissioner Gordon treat him like some bozo rookies is silly. And having Nightwing second guess every dang move he makes, and not have any idea how to take down a gang of jewel thieves? This guy is a super-hero! He LED the whole DCU in Brave & the Bold. O'Neil is disregarding core values of the character here. Nightwing is not an idiot who needs to seek out some lost Gotham soul for advice. I can't stress this enough, THIS WAS NOT NIGHTWING. This story would be fine for some brand-new character, but you can't warp a longstanding, established, respected hero into this role in order to make it seem worse that Batman is missing. Nightwing is not "just starting out" as Alfred treats him like here, even talking about Batman's first days.

Frankly, this is a huge clue at the editorial dancing that is going to be done to make "Battle for the Cowl" into the event that the higher-ups have determined it to be. I'd advise folks to run for the hills on this one. History, character, and consistency are out the window here. I'm almost interested to see how far they can bend or break the Gotham family to make things fit how they need it to. Tomasi hasn't been writing Nightwing like this, has he?

Guillem March's art was inconsistent. He'd have one panel of Mayne that looked fantastic, followed on the next page my an out of proportion thug or even Nightwing himself. I would have liked to have seen O'Neil's return to the Batbooks be much more memorable and... good.


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