Monday, December 1, 2008

Nightwing #117+A look back at Devin Grayson's work on "Nightwing".

So, this was the last issue of "Nightwing" written by Devin Grayson. What a long, crazy trip it's been. Let's take a brief look back... Dick was a competent hero, standing on his own two feet when Devin took over the writing duties for this book. As time went on though, Devin decided to turn Dick into a bumbling moron, who instead of fighting crime was bouncing around Barbara Gordon's kitchen, spilling spices all over the place. Dick also became a lousy super hero as well, with his idiotic actions resulting in the death's of several people around him as well as his arch-nemesis, Blockbuster. I'm going to overlook the whole "rape/non-consensual sex" episode completely, for my sanity and yours. From there, Dick continued to show horrible judgement and wound up getting shot and almost killed. After getting shot, Dick decided to work for a mafia family, followed by working for Deathstroke the Terminator, apparently turning his back on law and order completely.

However, in the last few issues, we learn that Dick was only infiltrating the mafia family to take control of them internally, and was manipulating Deathstroke to his own ends. As much as I hated the middle of Devin's run on this comic book, I have to admit that I have been really enjoying the end of her run on this series. Why Devin didn't write the entire run like the past few issues is totally beyond me. I like looking at Nightwing as a successful hero as opposed to watching him act like an idiot. I guess I'll look back at these last 50 issues or so of Nightwing and think about what could have been. I really feel that if Nightwing himself was handled differently, these comics would have been A LOT better. Oh well, with that out of the way, onto the review of Nightwing #117.

Overall- Dick wakes up to find himself laying on a gurney in the Batcave, being tended to by Alfred. Dick, still visibly suffering from radiation burns and not being altogether there, admits to not stopping Tarantula from killing Blockbuster when he had the chance to. Naturally, as Dick says this, The Batman is standing behind him... I hate it when he does that! Imagine how that must scare the hell out of people. No wonder half of the villains in Gotham are criminally insane! I'd go crazy too if I was always looking over my shoulder to see if The Batman was standing there. The Batman asks Dick why he didn't stop Tarantula and Dick responds that he didn't want to. Batman tells Dick that it was one thing to not step in front of a bullet to save Blockbuster, but it was another thing to try to throw his life away because he didn't prevent Blockbuster's death. Thank you Batman! Batman tells Dick that before anybody else can forgive Dick for not saving Blockbuster, Dick has to forgive himself. Bats finishes by telling Dick that he made a mistake by not saving Blockbuster, but it doesn't have to be his last mistake. Wow, it's like Batman was saying all the things I was thinking! Scary!

Dick realizes that Batman is right, and begins to fix the mess he created the last few months, starting with Sophia. Dick visits Sophia in the hospital where she is still recuperating from the radiation poisoning, and tells her that he doesn't want her to run the Bludhaven mobs for him anymore. Instead, he tells her to go back to school and get a real education. After saying goodbye to Sophia and Capt. Amy, Dick decides to hunt down Deathstroke and Ravager.

Dick locates Deathstroke and his daughter and crashes in on them during a sparing session. Dick tosses Ravager a Geiger counter that goes crazy when it gets near Ravager. Deathstroke and Nightwing fight, and Deathstroke promises Ravager that the Chemo bomb was not effecting Deathstroke's hide out, telling her that Dick was playing mind games. Dick tells Ravager that the Geiger counter wasn't reacting to the Chemo bomb, it was reacting to the Kryptonite eye Deathstroke forced Ravager to wear... OUCH! Dick then tells Deathstroke to tell Ravager the story about Lex Luthor losing a hand because he used to wear a Kryptonite ring. When Deathstroke doesn't respond, Ravager finally realizes what kind of a man her beloved father is. Deathstroke tosses a grenade at Nightwing, but the grenade just gives Dick an opportunity to escape. Ravager also takes off, leaving Deathstroke standing alone amid his destroyed hideout.

Finally, Dick pays a visit to Barbara Gordon, meeting her plane as it comes down for a landing. Barbara exits the plane and asks Dick what this was all about. Dick apologizes for his awful behavior the past few months, and tells Babs that he wasn't ready to be in a relationship with her before, but that he is now. With that, Dick produces a ring and asks Babs to marry him. Needless to say, Barbara happily accepts.

Wow, that was one hell of a well written comic book. Devin Grayson sure did herself proud in her last issue on this series. The next issue is the One Year Later comic, which I always thought was a stupid idea... Why would you throw away one whole year of a comic book character? Meh, go figure. Bruce Jones takes over the writing chores, so I'll be interested in his take on Nightwing. The only other thing I've ever read that was written by Bruce was the OMAC mini-series, which I liked, so we'll see what he can do with Nightwing. Since the next comic is supposed to be from 1 year after the events of this issue, I'll be interested to see why Babs and Dick never wound up tying the knot. For a score on this comic, I'll go with a 9 1/2 out of 10. I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked this issue.

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