Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Nightwing #44 Review

No Longer Warm for Her Form

Written by: Ben Percy
Art by: Chris Mooneyham, Nick Filardi, and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 2, 2018

“THE BLEEDING EDGE” part one! Change is on the horizon when a new technologist sets his sights on Bl├╝dhaven, creating a holographic, interconnected city where everyone is an individual and also part of a larger network. It’s the Internet made physical! Gentrification on gigabyte-laced steroids. But when this new utopia encroaches on his turf, Nightwing starts to uncover a sinister plot based not on revenge…but on a reckoning. “The Bleeding Edge” begins here, setting Dick Grayson on a path to clarify the ideals at his very core: his sense of home and identity.

Ben Percy starts off his run of Nightwing with some pretty kick-ass old school looking art by Chris Mooneyham and a message against cell phones.  Yea, the run starts with Dick telling the reader (a lot) that he is not down with today's technology.  Damn those kids and their phones and video games, am I right?!?

The story leads our hero into the Bludhaven subway where he continues to hate on cell phones, especially ones that blow shit up.  He does save a bunch of people and then calls Barbara...using his landline.

After getting a bunch of shade using AOL, boy bands and mix tapes (and really not much else), Dick heads off to workout in Bludhaven Salvage.  What???  What happened to Grayson Crossfit?!?!  Bruce paid for that!!!  It's one of a couple of things that seem off with Percy jumping on the book.

While Dick is working out using a pole and some tires (very Rocky IV if it took place in a junkyard), he gets a client who wants to get jacked a junkyard.  Are you allowed to charge someone to work out with you in a junkyard?  Seriously...a junkyard!!!

While the guy (who has some mechanical parts to him) seems a bit shady, Dick heads off to get breakfast where he gets to see...more technology.  For a guy who is low tech, he certainly can't go more than two minutes without running into something that triggers him.

This time it's a controller, called the Phantasm, that scans your brain and produces a hologram version of your surroundings.  It's complete and utter nonsense and really, I can't explain how it would possibly work because it's just thrown at us here.

Percy than has us go with Nightwing to a crime scene that is more about meeting up with Detective Svaboda than anything else.  I'm so glad that Nightwing's friend from the Bludhaven police is still happy to see him...oh wait, she hates his guts!  What???  Seriously, the interaction here is 30 some issues behind and really pissed me off.  I did like the Bullock reference, but everything else here sucks!

After taking Svoboda's abuse, Nightwing just runs off with key evidence and then decides to see what all the fuss is about.  Yea, it's Phantasm box and after moving a screwdriver around it, it activates, scans his brain and gives him a dream apartment complete with personal Alfred.  We learn a little more about the impressive holograms it produces before the controller goes all Matrix on Dick for a disturbing cliffhanger. 

This was not a great first issue of Nightwing for Ben Percy.  It's stuck between starting a story and giving you a glimpse of what Dick Grayson is all about and it fails on both fronts.  Making Dick Grayson a one-dimensional technophobe just to then push him into a high tech story is beyond forced and isn't fun at all.  I just don't understand what's going on with my favorite character anymore.  Besides acrobatics, his superpower is being a nice guy and once in a while, I'd love a story that shows that.  This one doesn't.  

Plus, I know that a new writer will put his stamp on a book when jumping on it, but it feels like Percy didn't catch himself up on what was going on before this issue and both times he goes against continuity (Crossfit and Svoboda) it's for the worse.  I did like the appropriate William Gibson shoutout, though.

I really enjoyed Chris Mooneyham old school feel in this issue.  It fits the whole Bludhaven backdrop so well and I look forward to seeing more of his art moving forward.

Bits and Pieces:

This was not a good start to Ben Percy's new run on Nightwing.  He makes Dick Grayson the spokesman for every parent who yells at their kids to stop looking at their damn phones, but it is so forced that it's laughable.  The art is really good and I hope that Percy turns things around quick, but right now, this doesn't even feel like the Nightwing we've gotten for all of these issues leading up to this one.


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