Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Nightwing #42 Review

You Suck Kareem!

Writer: Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing
Art by: Jorge Corona, Mat Lopes, and Carlos M. Mangual
Release Date: April 4, 2018
Cover Price: $2.99

I wish I could say that I loved Sam Humphries little run on Nightwing, but I didn't.  His Judge story went on way to long and had little payoff by the end.  However, that's water under the bridge and while we wait for Ben Percy to take over the book, we are going to get a couple issues by various creative teams and this week it's Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing, and Jorge Corona.  I know that one issue doesn't give a ton of room to strut your stuff, but do they at least show they know the character and have some fun with him?  Let's find out...

The issue starts with Nightwing in Tokyo with a few kill.  It seems that the Crimson Kabuki have kidnapped Damian Wayne and Dick is there to get him back.  We get a narration that eventually wraps around to show us it's Damian recounting the story and really, there is not a whole lot for me to talk about here.

The issue has a unique look that I really like.  Jorge Corona gives everything an anime look that fits the subject matter and was the best thing going on here.  As for the story, Dick says it's a "Game of Death thing" and he is right.  If you haven't seen the Bruce Lee classic (you really should stop reading this and go watch it now), I'm sure that you have seen other movies or played video games with the same concept.  Dick has to fight his way through levels of baddies to get to his brother.  

After a cool Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reference and some cool enough fights, he makes it to the top level and fights the boss, his dragon and is joined by his little brother who helps out in more ways than one.  The issue ends with a bit of Batman and Damian retelling the story to his one.

I am all about the fun and this issue at least attempts it.  I do think it fell short and probably felt better as a concept than on the actual page, but I loved the art style and as a one-shot, I've read a lot worse.  Yea, that's a bit of a backhanded compliment, but an issue so devoid of story and consequences better take what it can.

Bits and Pieces:

Besides the cool anime  art style of Jorge Corona, there is not much to recommend here.  Lanzing and Kelly up the action quotient in a one-shot that is just here to fill space before Ben Percy's run starts.  I know not every issue has to be of utmost importance, but this one can and probably should be skipped.



  1. Sorry to be contrarian Jim, but I loved this issue for what it was, a one shot! Great hop on spot for newbies to the title.
    Also, It's a fun little tribute to the Dick and Damian brotherhood file, and maintains the thru-line of my favorite kind of Nightwing; namely the "I've been eating Ninja's for breakfast since I was 10 years old" Nightwing, which almost EVERY writer since the new 52 seems to forget.
    The art is brilliantly kinetic, and I feel far greater comfort about the attitude and direction of this aimless Dick in Japan (er...sorry?) , than I did about the entire "Constantly frustrated and eternally woeful" Dick in Bludhaven for the past dozen issues.
    I think it's hard for writers to nail Nightwing's role/motivation in the current DC. I think they assume he's just Mr. quips and flips, or motivated constantly by vengeance and guilt. The truth is,neither. Nightwing is the swashbuckling hero of the bat-family, he's the Bloody Dread Pirate Roberts; Charming, bewilderingly skillful, clever, and relentless, despite the tragic backstory. No one's gotten that for a long time.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant, but you know I'm always looking out for my favorites!
    Also, I want to give kudos to Lanzing and Kelly, who I scourged relentlessly after they took over the ending arc of Grayson. Two years later, and I'm actually seeing their talent, and take, on the character they probably wanted to write in the first place.
    But I'm taking away a point because of the circus mention. I swear , if one more writer references that he was raised in a circus, or tries to evoke some "Carny" wisdom, I'm gonna lose my $H!t
    7.5 out of 10 for me!!
    Rock on!

    1. lol...Carny Wisdom!!! Thought this was surface level brother story and why would they kidnap a Robin in costume and think he is an orphan???? I did like the art, but the whole thing was a one-shot and read like that meant nothing. Lanzing & Kelly are better than they show, i just think they get thrown into odd situations constantly.