Welcome to Weird Science DC Comics, the DC Comics site for the common man and woman. We're not high falutin, just a bunch of dummies who love comics just like you...we just spend an insane amount of time working on this site for no pay. I told you...dummies! So, sit a spell and read our Reviews, News and Articles and if you are really brave, listen to the Weird Science DC Comics Podcast. We triple dog dare you!
Written By: Tim Seeley Art By: Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: August 17, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
I gotta tell ya, I was really worried about where this book was going when I initially read the Rebirth issue....... and really the first issue as well because it really just seemed to scream Grayson at me, just with the Nightwing costume inserted and the Parliament of Owls taking the place of Spyral, but after last issue I have to say that I'm finally swinging into this series without a net because all the problems I had with the Rebirth and first issue were handled by upping the stakes to what Nightwing's jobs for the Parliament are and his relationship with Raptor becoming something that I'm interested in. The reason for the interest is because it seems that Raptor is all about taking down the Parliament as well, but in order to do that, both Dick and him are going to have to play the long game and continue doing questionable things for the Owls.......... Hopefully it doesn't go too far and we end up losing our hero to the dark side. Let's jump into this issue and see how Dick's doing now that he's blown off Barbara and has committed himself fully to Raptor's ideals. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with me thinking that Dick might have to take out a restraining order against Barbara because after he missed their date however many days ago the last issue was, she's apparently left her Japanese vacation/finding herself behind to track our hero down by using his phone so that she can give him a piece of her mind........... and possibly seeing if he's "stepping out" on her.... I don't know about that last part, but goddamn she's gone to a lot of trouble to look like a crazy stalker chick. Really though, she's shown up to make sure that Dick was still alive, but now that she knows that he's partnered up with a thief and that he's working for the Parliament of the Owls....... Well, she's not about to walk away from his current mission to break into a maze builder's maze house of death....... Yeah, that's a thing...... Plus, if she leaves now, she won't be able to get her digs in along the way.
So our heroes enter this house and we find out that this labyrinth loving mad man is the one who built the Parliament's Crete fortress and since he's the only one who knows how to conquer their home base, the Parliament have ordered Nightwing and Raptor to kill him, but they're really just going to get the blueprints to the Owl HQ so that they can use it against them later. I really dug this premise initially, but we spend the whole issue of our heroes going through this maze with more of a montage look at what's going on, while Dick contemplates what he's doing and because of this we really don't get to see anything of interest and because of the art I found myself confused about what was going down and even after I figured it out a page later and went back to look at it, I still couldn't get the idea that the creators were trying to convey........... The point is, I hate the art in this book and hope beyond hope that it gets better.
In the end, after all of our heroes narrowly escape their deaths in this house of horrors, they eventually find their way to the end after Dick explains how a fortune teller taught him about Tarot Cards and he places all the pieces of a set of cards together to open the door........ I understand that we're dealing with a puzzle loving freak here, but goddamn does this house feel like an over the top level in a video game or when I first played Resident Evil 2 and wondered why a police station would be full of puzzles and traps...... It's just ridiculous, but after our heroes get to the end and Raptor runs ahead, making it look like he killed their target, we get to see Nightwing freak out and beat the holy hell out of Raptor.......... again, while the Parliament of the Owls watch and believe that with Nightwing being a party to murder, none of his Bat Family would ever except him again.......... which for what his involvement was, I'm sure everyone would be fine, but as soon as they see what they want, Raptor shows us that the whole thing was a ruse. That's right, the mark wasn't really dead and because he's so grateful that our heroes didn't kill him, he gladly hands over the blueprints to the Parliament of The Owls fortress. As we close out this issue we see Barbara and Dick part ways with a little bit of guilt thrown out there by Barbara and Raptor and Nightwing go off to get their next target for their fight against The Owls.
That's it for this issue of Nightwing and while I was really looking forward to this issue after what we saw previously, I have to say that the majority of this issue felt like padding just so we could eventually get to the emotional scenes between Dick and Barbara.......... which, don't get me wrong, they were really decent and I loved reading it, but getting to that point was boring as hell, especially when I thought we'd have a awesome romp through a maniac's maze, but for the most part we fast forwarded through those sections........ which I wanted to call the "Cool Parts" so we could get Dick monologuing to himself the whole time and when we finally did get to some Indiana Jones type traps, the art hindered the whole thing to the point that I had no idea that our heroes were on the verge of getting crushed from a moving ceiling. Yeah, I wasn't the biggest fan of the story in this issue because of how padded it felt, but there was some really decent parts in there that felt like it was worth the wait. The worst part of this issue is the art, which continues to be a hindrance to the whole series in my mind because while you may really enjoy the story, if you can't tell what's going on..... Well, that's no way to read a comic. I will say though that the characters looks do seem to be improving so maybe that's just a sign of good things coming our way.
Bits and Pieces:
While there is some pretty solid interactions between our characters in this issue, we do get a lot of padding to a story that should have been fun, but was instead just tedious and a bit of nonsense just to get us to our character moments. On top of that, the art in this series continues to be something that will never be my thing and is the weakest part of this series in my opinion. Hopefully the story and the art will get better in the next issue because there is some promise to what we get here, it's just not all there yet.