This book takes place in Chicago, my old stomping grounds, during my 20's. Prepare for me to get extremely ecstatic about a city I no longer live in.
In NIGHTWING #19, Dick moves to Chicago and settles in with a new roommate. As Nightwing, he finds out the Chicago Police Department don't take kindly to masked folk, as he tries to find out where Tony Zucco is located.
Numerous times, during this issue, I found myself smiling from ear to ear because finally, there's a super-hero I love in my neck of the woods. As soon as I see that someone is on Milwaukee about to cross Fullerton, I'm taken back to my old apartment, a few blocks away. I could actually sit here and talk about how much I love specific things from Chicago here, but it would be pointless. Again, I'm happy Chicago has a hero.
What writer Kyle Higgins does well here is develop a nice detective story and Nightwing has to start at the bottom of the crime syndicate in this new city, in order to make his way to the top. This isn't going to be something he can solve in one or two issues. Dick may be here for the long haul. The reader finds out by the end of the issue that getting close to Tony Zucco is going to be a real tough task for Nightwing.
This is the perfect starting point for new readers. It doesn't matter how much you know about this character. You'll have no problem hopping on board here. Even if you don't know Nightwing's back story, Higgins does a great job and bringing new readers in with a tad of exposition, but at no point will on-going readers feel bogged down with the brief retelling of his story.
When I heard that Prankster was going to be in this book, I thought "the dude who looks like a door to door vacuum cleaner salesman, who occasionally asks to stay for dinner?" Luckily, he get a pretty awesome redesign. I like the yellow and black color scheme, as well as the mask. This is a giant step up for a pretty lame villain.
The art team on NIGHTWING #19 is top notch! Brett Booth (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), and Andrew Dalhouse (colors) all do an amazing job here. From the first to last page, the art here is consistent and beautiful. You can tell from the two page spread, on pages two and three, that you'll be in for an artist treat for the rest of the issue. The amount of detail that went into this opening spread is fantastic. Each page afterwords continues to amaze, and the action sequences here are breathtaking.
UPDATE: The mayor of Chicago has a really sweet beard. I approve.
I have no problems with this issue. I really loved it.
NIGHTWING #19 is a great place to start, new readers! If you've ever been interested in this book, find this one at your LCS. This is a brilliantly written and beautifully drawn book. It's a solid start to a detective story that has a fantastic balance of action and intrigue. Plus, it takes place in Chicago. Have I mentioned how happy I am about that yet?
This is an awesome issue and the start to a fantastic new story line. Overall, this is a must buy issue if you've ever been interested in this series.