Nightwing #13 Review

Writer: Tom DeFalco

Artist: Andres Guinaldo

Review by David Short

Kyle Higgins is taking a breather before Nightwing fully immerses itself in the Death of the Family experience. Tom DeFalco takes over in his stead, and I wish I could say that he did so with no drop off in quality.

Though the narrative has its struggles, the overall plot isn’t a bad one. Lady Shiva has come back to Gotham, and she is here to take people out. This is the assassin from the aforementioned zero issue, and she really seems to be a formidable threat. What DeFalco has set up isn’t where this book falls flat, though. It’s how he had it play out.

Those involved with the story would have you believe that Dick is smart enough to figure out Batman’s secret identity through careful deductive reasoning, but can’t see a blatant ruse until it has revealed itself to him. This is but only contradictions in the characters that bugged me. The other lies in how Sonia is portrayed. I can’t figure out what her take on Dick is. Is she out to help him, or what? She deliberately tried to dissuade the loan officers from approving Dick’s venture, but now seems all too eager in helping him along. Safe to say, I’m a bit confused.

The heavy handed nature that brought Dick’s origin story down rears its ugly head again. Thoughts and feelings are all put on the table for everyone to see. Dick tells you exactly what he is thinking at the moment he is thinking it. Not only that, but he gives you play-by-play of what he is doing and recaps of what he has already done too. It all seems a bit excessive. I know that Dick’s thoughts are more open to readers than Bruce’s, but this is far too much.

Andres Guinaldo’s work is a welcome sight. I’ve loved what he has done with this book. He’s able to handle the gracefulness that Nightwing possesses with perfection. More importantly, he is able to carry the emotion of the scenes as well (something that was lacking in #0). There’s a really touching moment between Dick and his new employees, and Guinaldo is able to pull it off extremely well. All around his work is head and shoulders above what we got in the zero issue.

Nightwing also shares something that Batman and Robin #13 bugged me with. It’s too concerned in placing itself in DC’s continuity than any book should be. There are four notes from the Editor in the first 15 pages, one of which tells you that this story takes place after a book that won’t come out until next month. I try really hard to take each story as they come along, and read them as if they are self-contained stories (unless parts of a crossover or something like that). But when I am blatantly reminded of all the other things going on in the greater DC Universe, especially things that I can’t even read yet, it takes me out of the experience. I understand wanting a connected Bat-experience with all the Bat-books, but it costs the individual stories if they feel like each book needs to tell you what is happening across the other titles too.

Verdict

Through the first 8 (or so) issues, I couldn’t wait to read Nightwing. But since the Night of the Owls crossover there has been a drop in quality. I want this to be a good book, because I truly love Dick Greyson as a character. But my love of the character won’t be enough to keep me buying this book if the quality doesn’t justify a purchase. I can’t suggest that buying this book is a good idea—not with all the fantastic books that came out today.

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2 Responses

  1. thisjohnd

    I picked up Nightwing #0 last month as my first foray into the character and subsequently added the title to my pull list (mainly for the upcoming Death of the Family tie-in), so it’s disappointing to hear that this book is not living up the standard of the series. I’m hoping that since I’m a newcomer to this series I’ll be a little more forgiving with the issue’s shortcomings and not regret adding it to my weekly haul.

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