Thursday, May 21, 2009

Azrael: Death's Dark Knight #3

Fabian Nicieza writes a good Nightwing. This three-parter was just a set up for a new ongoing Azrael series this fall, and while I find myself missing Jean-Paul Valley, this new guy could be fun too. I think the highlight for the issue is the opening fight with Nightwing and Azrael. Nightwing is joking and funning around while the humorless Az is busy taking himself seriously. The "It's complicated" complaint followed by Nightwing's succinct summary of the story so far was great and really condensed things down to what we need to know. The rest of the issue was moving things into place for the ongoing series. The Order of St. Dumas provide Az with a new home and HQ, Ra's Al Ghul expresses his interest in testing this new champion, Nightwing sets himself up as a monitor/possible mentor, and Az gets a girlfriend and a cop buddy on the force. It's all set up nicely and seems like it could be pretty entertaining. It's hard to judge this on its own, since it is kind of an incomplete story, as it really is a preview/pilot for the new ongoing. But there are some nice elements here that will make the new series worth checking out.

Frazer Irving's art is so stylized, it either looks perfect or really off. His Azrael looks ominous and cool while his "normal" people have somewhat exaggerated figures that make them easy to recognize and distinguish. His Nightwing looked a little odd, especially his eyes (I thought you couldn't see them through his mask?) Overall, this is a good foundation for the new book.


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