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Nightwing #20 - Flying Blind Review

5

Nightwing continues his search for Tony Zucco in Chicago.

The Good

Nightwing gets used to a "no masks" world in Chicago while on the hunt for Tony Zucco, the man who killed his parents. Nightwing encounters the Prankster for the first time.

Brett Booth's work on this issue is the best art of the week, bar none. His panel to panel story telling and page layouts are fantastic, but his stand outs are these beautifully drawn splash pages, mainly consisting of Nighting "flying" through the city. The layouts are great, but the lighting and colors, especially on that first page, are what really blew me away. Colorist Andrew Dalhouse's work on page one is amazing. There's also a two-page spread, halfway through the issue, is an incredible amount of detail that can only be described as "jaw-dropping."

Writer Kyle Higgins has been crafting a brilliant comic since issue one, and it just keeps getting better and better. While the main focus on the search for Zucco is an incredibly intriguing piece, I find the battle between Prankster and Nightwing just as engaging. I loved their back and forth battle, and although Prankster isn't trained to be a fighter, he is still a villain that can easily give Nightwing a run for his money. It may only be two issues in, but separating Nightwing from Gotham and the rest of the Bat-family was such a great move for this book.

While I've really been loving the overall larger changes throughout this book and mainly in this story line thus far, it's the little things here that are really fantastic. Nightwing's mask gets some red added to it, which looks pretty awesome. On top of that, his suit gets some texturing and small changes, like the padding on his knuckles. His costume has evolved a lot not just from the Pre-Flashpoint world, but it's evolved a ton in the past 20 issues.

It's not just small costume changes that make this issue great. Once again, Higgins throws in some very Chicago elements that most people may not pick up on, like how long it takes the city to fix a single El stop or the fact the weather here is comparative to an emotionally disturbed 12 year old. Chicagoans and ex-Chicagoans (like myself) will pick up on these little nuances and it will put a big smile on our sausage-eating faces.

Lastly, there's another small moment I found to be brilliant as Nightwing plays cards against Johnny Spade and we get to see Dick's detective skills at work, as a panel is broken down and Dick sees Johnny playing cards. Dick sees the signs of "tells" during this scene, and it's a cool little moment that brings the detective element back into this issue.

The Bad

Didn't have any problems with the issue. It was a ton of fun.

The Verdict - Pick of the Week

I haven't given the "pick of the week" title to a book in quite a while, that I can remember, but I can't remember a time where something was so good that I read it two times, in one sitting, then wanted to read it again. The creative team on this book of Higgins, Booth, Rapmund, and Dalhouse is at the top of their game.

Finally, this character and book feels separate from the shadow of the Bat, which is what it needs. Sure, this character was at one time the sidekick of Batman, but he's come so far, on his own, that he needs to be thought of as his own character, in his own world, not just Robin I. Overall, I highly recommend this issue and this series. If you plan on reading it, please go pick up issue 19 so you have a better understand of what is going on.

26 Comments
Posted by Dark_Guyver

@Inferiorego: You said it best. "Finally, this character and book feels separate from the shadow of the Bat, which is what it needs." I love reading this series ever month. I'm not a big fan of character overexposure, but I would really like to see Dick on a team book of some kind.

Posted by johnny_blaze

Wow, so DC is trying to make quality comic books again? Interesting.

Edited by BatWatch

I'm with you 95%. It's certainly the best comic I've read this week. However, though I love Brett Booth to death, I did have a little bit of confusion in the fight scene at the end like how Dick ended up in his...final panel predicament. How exactly did he get in there? Speaking of that same predicament, I came up with about five different ways it was not as dangerous as suggested, so...that kind of annoyed me. Still, it was a great issue overall.

The BatWatch Review is up.

Posted by nightwingnerd

This issue was fantastic Brett's art really goes with Kyle's story.

Posted by MissJ

Five stars for Nightwing's butt ;)

(Ok, it's also one of the best issues of the run, but DID Y'ALL SEE THAT BUTT?)

Staff
Posted by czechoslovakia

i liked it a bunch. also liked the fact that i was eating pizza whilst reading the issue.

Posted by danhimself

adding Booth and moving Nightwing to Chicago were the two best things to happen to this book...it has improved a hundred fold since those two changes happened

Posted by cc1738

I loved this issue.

Posted by Queso6p4

Hmm. Interesting. This series has seen pretty meh to me at best. I hope it's back on the right track.

Edited by Sutran

@batwatch: Yeah, I had trouble piecing everything together in that final scene too, but I totally agree, still a solid issue for Higgins & Booth.

Posted by inferiorego

@missj said:

Five stars for Nightwing's butt ;)

(Ok, it's also one of the best issues of the run, but DID Y'ALL SEE THAT BUTT?)

Yes.... I totes saw his butt and did want to comment on it, but the comment section would have been filled with dudes questioning why I spent time talking about a male butt, which looked fabulous.

Staff
Posted by p3t3r133

I completely disagree with the Chicago assessment Living in Chicago I got super excited when I heard that he was going to move there, but have been very disappointed with the execution. It feels like the writer/artist have never even been to Chicago before. Just because the city has an elevated train, and there is (a poor representation of) the Sears Tower in the back drop of every panel doesnt make it Chicago. Also theres an Alderman thrown in to make it more Chicago-y. It feels like Gotham with some Chicago stuff in it. Thinking about it now, my problems more about the art than the story, but over all Im pretty unhappy with it.

Edited by Nazab

I just can't stop looking up the perfection of Nightwing's butt. Too good to be true ;)

Posted by The Mighty Monarch

I would definitely NOT say Booth had the best art this week, but I will say this is the best art I've ever seen from him.

Edited by ptigrusmagus

Yes johnny_blaze, because they were intentionally putting out bad books prior to this...

Posted by amutant

Why do they keep putting the Bat symbol on the cover? Shouldn't it be Nightwing's symbol? It is his book after all.

Posted by detective38

This issue was amazing! Nightwing shines best when hes on his own with only the occasional bat family team up. @BatWatch Nightwing was blinded by prankster momentarily (don't think thats too bad of a spoiler since its on the cover) gets smacked around a little bit while he's disoriented and stumbles into his last page predicament.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

it would have only been 4 stars but its 5 for his butt.

Edited by KnightofSteel

This is the best this series has been. Great idea to have Dick removed from Gotham, gets him out from under Batman's shadow. Plus Booth's art is fantastic.

Posted by Extremis

@missj: I mean I'm straight. But damn. Nightwing got a booty.

Posted by Extremis

I gotta say these new issues are great without crossovers weighing it down. Higgins and Booth are right where they need to be with this book. These past 2 issues are making Nigtwing seem like one of the top titles at DC right now. Definitely going to officially add it my pull now.

Posted by ScumDestroy

Prankster is totally Joey!! Look at how feminine those eyes are!!

Posted by tomlikesfries

Am I the only one who really doesn't like the art? All of the faces look identical.

Posted by MissJ

@scumdestroy: Prankster is most definitely not Joey. He does have pretty eyes, though!

Staff
Posted by bigboi100000

That Ps3 Hack reference