What if it's not Dr. Manhattan, but really Geoff Johns keeping all the good continuity to himself?
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
SPOILERS: Nightwing #12
Dick intercepts police chatter about the murdered Republic of Tomorrow members in the sewers. Inside, Dick finds Detective Nie and other GCPD members. Despite Nie not liking him too much, Dick pulls him aside secretly, to tell him what he knows, that Paragon killed the brothers they've been investigating, and the bodies they're currently looking at. Nie agrees, telling him that Paragon appeared in his apartment, telling him about this scene. Dick's confused, why would Paragon alert the cops to his crime... then it hits him, just about the same time Paragon's attack does, to draw him out.
With Dick and Paragon fighting, Nie and the rest of the police are trapped on the other side of fallen rubble, but manage to get out through a pipe that leads to the bay. In Dick and Paragon's fight, Paragon makes note of Dick's upgraded escrima stick, as Dick sarcastically mentions Paragon did just fine with his old ones. Turns out, waaaaaay back in Nightwing #2, when Saiko blasted a car to distract Nightwing, so he could get away, the people Dick rescued from the car were Paragon and the two brothers who he later murdered with the escrima stick that was left on the scene. It was soon after having been saved by Nightwing, the two brothers abandoned the "killing false idols" cause, which lead Paragon to kill them with the stick, and use it as a "rallying call" by framing it on Nightwing.
Paragon congratulates Dick on his cleverness, as he hits him to the floor. He tells Dick a little about himself, about his genius level intellect, and how he forged his own circular plasma blades, that symbolize what he's been craving all his life, perfection. He tells Dick that they're both children of the city, fighting for what they believe is best for it, thus why he must kill him. But, Dick Grayson being Dick Grayson, he utters "you didn't say please" and knocks Paragon and himself into the near by water, where the current sweeps them out into the bay, leaving them surrounded by Nie and a hell of a lot of other police officers.
Nie orders Paragon to put his hands on his head, but Paragon lights up his blades anyways. Just before any of the police can fire, Dick tackles Paragon, knocking him out, thanks to Paragon's attention being elsewhere. Dick tries to say something to Nie, but the Detective tells him he should go, before things get more complicated.
That night, a beat up and bruised Dick is in his apartment talking to Lucius about his project. Dick informs Lucius that in order to make it so the bank doesn't believe he's such a risk, he wants to put every penny of his trust fund into the project, despite it being a terrible business move. Lucius has no other choice, and tells Dick he'll see what he can do with the bank.
Elsewhere, in the Iceberg Casino, Penguin and Mr. Combustible (from Detective Comics) meet briefly. Penguin is a little frazzled, telling Combustible that he just got word that a killer wiped out the entire Philly crime family and is coming to Gotham next. Combustible scoffs at Penguin being so disturbed by a two bit killer, but Penguin corrects him in saying it's Lady Shiva... And then Combustible pulls a "NOPE NOPE NOPE," takes his lady friends, and gets the fuck out of town.
The next day, Dick waits for Sonia Zucco outside of her apartment, and apologizes for the other night. He tells her that the bank agreed to match his trust fund offer, something Sonia tells him not to do. Dick starts to try and explain his reasoning, but Sonia interrupts him, saying "I lied." She goes on to tell him he was right, with her father's history, she would have to face what she had been running from all her life in order to work with Dick. Despite it all, Dick tells her that the bank already approved it, and they're seemingly stuck together. Sonia sighs, kisses Dick on the cheek, saying they'll have to make the most of it then. As she walks away, Dick scratches his head and says to himself: "Well, this should be interesting."
I really enjoyed this issue. It wrapped up the arc nicely, and progressed the supporting characters. The relationship between Dick and Sonia is really interesting to me, and the final line of the book is certainly very telling. I'm also interested to see how Nie is used from here on out, now that he knows Dick wasn't the killer, but still has that animosity towards him due to the death of his boyfriend.
I also really loved how Paragon and the brothers tied all the way back to issue #2. I like seeing things connect like that, making it feel like nothing is random, and everything means something. No idea if Higgins intended that scene in #2 to mean anything at the time, but regardless, I like the tie back.
Now, the elephant in the room, the art. I'll admit, it's better than last issue. A little more consistent, with not as many weirdly shaped, melted looking faces... but it's still not that good. What annoys me the most is the freaking gauntlet spikes. Look at them, and you'll quickly see within the first two panels of the book that Guinaldo has no idea where to place them. First panel, they're correctly to the side of Dick's forearm... next panel, they're on the top, and it keeps switching back and forth, back and forth through the entire issue. I was trying to rationalize why this was happening, because it's such a specific detail, I can't fathom how the mistake happens so many times in one issue. I even began to think "you know, maybe he thinks the segments with the spike are immune to gravity or something and Dick's arm pivots freely inside." ...No, seriously, I tried to talk myself into that. But then I realized that in the very last issue, he draw a gauntlet laying on the floor, so even if I was to believe my nonsensical theory, it still wouldn't work! Gah, I know it sounds nit picky, but seriously... these are professional comics. If the gauntlet spikes were to stay in one incorrect place consistently, okay whatever... it's just wrong, but to keep switching them back and forth just looks down right unprofessional... two more issues of it.