Wednesday, December 20, 2017

SPOILERS: Nightwing #35

New creative team, new villains, new job for Dick Grayson that I'm sure that is going to change in a year and I really can't see myself getting invested in!

The Spoilers:

Hey, Dick's still in Bludhaven, and so is this sunglasses wearing sexy Rasputin looking dude! He's playing poker at a casino with a shark man, because, well yeah, and he whispers some sweet words into an old lady's ear, and she goes crazy!

Elsewhere, Dick's being a hero and all that, trying to find himself again in Bludhaven, so apparently he's spent all his Wayne Tech money (again) to open a crossfit gym, or whatever the issue wants to call it by not breaking copyright. Some woman who wants private lessons bails when she doesn't get them, so Dick is just left with two clients, a male stripper and a boxer, I think that's right? Anyways... yeah, Dick's got another new job. 

Later, Dick hears about the casino incident and goes to find Guppy, the sharkman that was with Mr. Sunglasses. Guppy is a fast talker, almost trying to avoid the conflict, but Dick eventually gets a name out of him... a few in fact, and they're all names of Judges... turns out this is a guy from Dick's past named the Judge who he fought once as Robin and once when he was in college. 

Dick goes to meet with Svoboda, telling her he may have a lead on who is behind the casino incident, but Svoboda may be under the Judge's influence as well, as she pulls out a gun and shoots Dick from behind. 

The Opinion:

So, I made it pretty clear I was hesitant with Sam Humphries taking over. I don't have anything against him or anything, I just haven't enjoyed anything I've tried from him. That, and it looked like we were going on another "Oh this character had a secret past that you didn't know about" trip, which, I'm finding many books rely on way too much lately. All that being said, I must admit, this issue did a good deal to alleviate my concerns. It didn't do the thing I hate and rely half on flash backs, (it seems we'l be getting a one off issue for that, which, fine), the new villain has a look and through his narration, already has a presence about him, and Humphries' voice for Dick seems pretty spot on.

Bernard Chang's art is also great. I've been a fan of his for some time, so him jumping to this book was always something I was on board for. Marcelo Maiolo also brings a nice neon hue to Bludhaven, which worked just as well in Neo-Gotham for Batman Beyond. My only criticism would be that Maiolo seems to rely on the same red/black/white highlight panel in every book he's colored. I've been seeing it since I, Vampire with Andrea Sorrentino, and it makes it kind of hard to mentally separate books I've seen him color. That said, minor gripe.

My one thing I truly just don't give a fuck about is Dick's new job. Reading this issue I came to realize that no one has been able to nail down a solid out of costume life for Dick Grayson in forever. I mean, since the New 52, he left Gotham to join the circus again, then he owned the circus and tried to set it up permanently in Gotham until Joker blew it up, then he moved to Chicago, died, started with Spyral, Rebirth happened and he worked with the Court of Owls, went to Bludhaven, was a social worker, then wasn't and now he owns a crossfit gym... let's not even talk about all the girlfriends. Fuck, going even further back, remember when he was a cop? Wasn't he like a fucking museum curator at some point too? Jesus christ... Look, I know these status quo changes aren't always writers' fault (especially during New 52, woof), but this is just a big criticism I have of Dick Grayson as a character: For as long as I've read comics, he hasn't had a set status quo outside of a costume. Sure, throw the "he's a circus boy" argument out there and I'll say that's just an excuse, because his constant changes makes it hard to invest in anything the character does when he's not Nightwing, Batman or a Spyral Agent. Out of costume, Dick Grayson is sort of a mess of a character, which I'd like to see fixed, and owning a crossfit gym isn't going to do it, because whatever

WHEW. Rant over. Nevertheless, I was skeptical, that's for sure, but that skepticism is starting to turn to optimism, hopefully that trajectory continues. 

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