Monday, December 15, 2008

The Way it Should Be Done

Nightwing 151
I'm really going to miss this book. Even if there's a new Nightwing title, as good as it might be, it won't be this book. Peter Tomasi is writing Dick/Nightwing as well as he's ever been written, and that includes the early years of this book. Tomasi gets it. He gets the character and he has the skill to put his understanding on the page. Previously, we got Dick dealing with the failure of protecting his charge, and now we discover that was just great acting on Dick's part. He "double crossed" Two-Face and proved himself cool under the worst kind of pressure. He got the job done, and then he faced down Harvey. The reminder of Harvey nearly beating him to death when he was 13 was appreciated, placing the story in a context that spans years, building on the history these two have. Batman/Bruce was Harvey's adversary, and Dick/Robin was just the sidekick to Bats, but this is Nightwing, a grown man who is fully capable of taking up Batman's cape and cowl, yet a man who has nothing to prove, not to himself. There's no more doubt, and yet, Dick keeps pushing himself, still living on the edge, because as Tomasi clearly knows, this is a circus kid at heart, someone who as a boy swung from the trapeze with the greatest of ease. Now, with all the dangers he's faced, he still craves a thrill, the charge he can get from freefalling.

There was no real story in this book. But a lot happened. The Two-Face/RIP storyline was resolved favorably, Dick said goodbye to his latest girlfriend, watched while dead meta heroes were re-entombed for safety, and spent quality time with his "family" of Alfred and Tim, with Bruce's absence almost tangible. This was a combined tie-up-loose-ends/character study and it was done with skill, enhanced by nice art, even if no one quite looked right. Last time, I complained about how little actually happened in Green Arrow and Black Canary, another character piece that wrapped up a few loose ends and provided an overview for new readers that fell flat. There's nothing wrong with stories like that, only in their execution. This was perfectly executed. I like this Dick Grayson. A lot. More than I have in a long time.


  1. Nightwing has been so good since Tomassi took over, and I'm going to miss it terribly. I assume of course that Dick will be back in one form or another, but who is to say that it will be as good a book as this turned out to be? His interaction with Alfred and Tim has been perfect.

  2. It's just so annoying that it was canceled when it was at its best. If this had been during the Devin Grayson run or worse, the Bruce Jones run, I wouldn't have minded at all.