Wednesday, May 15, 2013

SPOILERS: Nightwing #20

Having come back to his newly sublet apartment, Dick finds out that the Joey he's renting it from, isn't exactly out of town, nor is she a he, as he soon finds a woman standing over him with a baseball bat. Dick's new roommate Mike walks in and calms Joey down, who eases up after Mike offers Dick his bed, as he is leaving for work, and figures they'll sort it all out later... Elsewhere, the police find that guy Prankster left with a wolf, missing one arm. Fun!

Later, Dick is woken up by Joey, who seemingly already forgot there was a new roommate, as she started throwing a tennis ball agains the wall, but apologizes after realizing how badly they've gotten off. Mike gets back from the helicopter crash scene, making mention of how much he hates masks, and casually bringing up what happened the last time Chicago had masks (Spoiler: they dead). Before Dick can hear anymore, he gets a text from Johnny Spade, his informant, asking to meet with him.

Elsewhere, the Mayor of Chicago gets a report in from his Commissioner, who brings up the Prankster's recent attacks, and then brings up the fact that he can't find anything on the name Tony Zucco... who walks into the room soon there after. Once the Commissioner leaves, Zucco is a little distraught, despite Mayor Wallace telling him everything will be fine. Wallace then notices Zucco is carrying a gun, which leads Zucco to reveal that the last time Nightwing came after him, he nearly lost everything, and he doesn't want to do that again, he's got a wife and kid now...

That night, Dick meets with Spade, who doesn't give up his info willingly, requiring his clients to play him in a hand of cards. Dick wins, he gets the info Spade found, Spade wins, Dick has to tell him why he wants the info. Fast forward, and Dick wins the hand. Turns out the email address that Dick gave to Spade truly was a dead end, for him at least... Which got him thinking who it "wouldn't be a dead end for," mainly the crazy criminal hacker that has been terrorizing Chicago, and with that, Dick is on the Prankster's case.

Somewhere else in Chicago (side note, I still ofter type "Got" ...habit), Prankster has another scumbag in a terrible situation involving electrical wires, until Dick comes in, and ruins everyone's violent fun. Prankster, while probably no physical match for Dick, has plenty of tricks up his sleeve, first shutting down the optics in Dick's mask, essentially blinding him. But when Dick starts to land a few hits on him, based on noise, Prankster turns on some pretty loud fans to mask his movement, and trap Dick in glass case with a single flame.

Prankster wants to play a game! There are easy ways out of the case for Dick, but one of the shafts is full of pure oxygen, which when exposed to a flame... well, nothing good happens. The other shaft will let Dick out nice and easy. The catch? With Dick's optics turned off, if he wants to see which exit is the one to take, he's going to have to take his mask off, and Prankster is ready with his camera.


The Good:

I love when an art team really gets each other, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund and Andrew Dalhouse really seem to get each other, and work beautifully together. Everything about this issue's art is just a joy to look at, but if I think one member of the team stood out this issue in particular, it was definitely Dalhouse's colors, especially the double page spread.

In terms of the story, I love how it ended. The ultimatum Dick got from the Prankster was pretty clever, and while you have to assume Dick will make it out alive without giving up the goods, I still have that enjoyable "well maybe he wont!" voice in the back of my head. I also really enjoyed the short bits of Zucco we got in here. Higgins seems to be making him as sympathetic as possible, which isn't very much, but it's just enough to make you think twice and ask "well, maybe he has changed?"

The Bad:

Last issue was a great change of pace, that really got me excited for the series again. While this issue was still very good, it didn't do much to maintain that high level of excitement, and sort of eased up on the gas just a bit. But, with Nightwing and Prankster finally coming face to face, I'd expect a full confrontation with a conclusion could bring that back.

The Bottom Line:

It is an exciting time for Nightwing. New city, new direction, new characters, some changes to old ones, there's a lot to like. While this issue didn't leave me as amped as #19 did, with all the initial changes to everything, there's still a lot to enjoy, mainly: Nightwing is free. Free of Gotham, free of owls, free of Joker, and what comes in the wake of all that stuff? Fun, and fun is what a Nightwing book should be.



  1. I agree with you, the art here is phenomenal, and the writing is just awesome. Brett's details in his redesigned costume for Dick with all the extra red details, the armoured details, the mesh-like details, the finger-stripes, and all the holes that Dick sewed back together, I love how you can see all that, and that's awesome!

  2. Yeah I liked the previous issue more. It was great how they introduced the Prankster arc, but I believe this issue was meant to fill in the exposition gaps from #19 which made #20 suffer. And I can do with less mentions of Chicago's hatred of masks.
    So I believe #20 suffered from filling in the pieces of #19.