Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nightwing #14

How many pages until these two are fucking? The over/under is 15.

I wonder if the good writers at DC hang out with the bad writers at DC? I wonder if everyone in the office walks around thinking they're one of the good writers? I bet the good writers don't even enter the offices at DC since they'd have to take a plane from somewhere in the United Kingdom to go to work in the morning.

But perhaps I'm wrong? I have a feeling the really amazing writers spend way too much time writing while Scott Lobdell (even though he's writing something like four books a month!) and Tom DeFalco just sit down and piss out their story over one weekend. So they're probably the guys that go out drinking and carousing every night. Maybe the bad writers are the ones that everyone wants to hang out with! I bet Winnick does shots with Ann Nocenti all night while his wife is in surgery saving lives. And since Tom DeFalco seems to telling the same story every month in Superboy, he's opened up a whole shitload of free time. Maybe that's why DC forced him to write a story in Nightwing so Higgins can recharge. "Come on, Tom! Just take one of your Superboy scripts and do a search/replace on Superboy with Nightwing. And replace the current bad guy with Lady Shiva! That'll work."

I think putting "Dick" in quotation marks sets the wrong tone for this entire "getting to know the protagonist" box. Now when I read it, I also see "partner" and "became a man" in quotation marks too!

First off, I'm glad to see Tom DeFalco is still labeled the "guest writer." Let's just hope he doesn't end up "guest writing" the book for three years! Hurry back, Kyle Higgins!

Second off, Nightwing reminds all of the readers that The Joker is back in Gotham City so don't forget to read Batman #13! Still on sale!

Third off (although my numbering is probably off since the Narration Box I scanned was really the first off!), Nightwing is hunting for Lady Shiva by following a trail of slit throats across Gotham. But the first murder he investigates doesn't turn out to be her.

So Nightwing likes to beat up kittens?

Now that I've wasted twenty minutes laughing and crying at that video, I should probably donate some money to an animal shelter. And finish reading Nightwing. Or start reading it even!

Nightwing finishes up with the kittens, turns the research over the next murder to Lucius Fox, and heads out to check up on his Amusement Park. For new readers and people not paying attention and, since he's only thinking this, himself, Nightwing explains that Amusement Mile is a project he's spent all of his money on so that Gotham can have a nice, safe, fun place for families to go.

A shining beacon. Or a flaming wheel of death when some psycho sets it ablaze and unbolts it, sending it rolling downtown!

Nightwing promises the daughter of the new trapeze artists that she and her family will be safe. She's heard the rumours that the circus is jinxed. Little does she know it isn't jinxed at all! It's simply the breeding ground for the best assassins that have ever lived and died and lived again! I'm not sure how Nightwing can promise anyone that they'll be safe as long as they're in Gotham. Batman and the Bat Family might always come through and stop the bad guys in the end but a lot of people always seem to die before that end happens.

Later Nightwing speaks with Sonia on the phone. DeFalco had a few pages last issue where he wrote Batgirl and they were awful. She was a snotty bitch that was worried about The Joker being back in town. Maybe The Joker being back is an excuse to have her on edge but the caption said the scene took place after Batgirl #14. But in Batgirl #14, she was strong and confident and really at her best. Nothing like the shaken, bad-tempered woman seen in the last issue of Nightwing. I mention this because now Nightwing is acting really stupid in the scene where he speaks with Sonia. Maybe Nightwing's detective skills fail him when he's trying to read women. That's kind of understandable. But he speaks with Sonia who apologizes for standing him up the night before when they were supposed to have a business meeting. His reaction?

I guess the typical business thing is to not give a shit if you miss a meeting?

Dick is a great detective but he thinks someone apologizing is intimate? That's okay. He does seem to be a bit clueless when it comes to women. Especially redheads. And he seems interested in Sonia so he keeps second guessing every comment she makes. I'm actually fine with this scene and his characterization but I brought it up so I could talk about the Batgirl incident from Nightwing #13 after having now read Batgirl #14!

Lucius gets back with some information that makes him realize that Lady Shiva may be in town to kill all of the witnesses for that S.E.C. case mentioned last issue. Remember where I said Sonia Branch was probably Lady Shiva's next victim? Yeah, that's about to happen. Unless she's really just out here to ask Nightwing on a date. That's a definite possibility and the way I hope this story is headed.

Once Dick Grayson puts on the Nightwing costume and hits Gotham's roofs, he runs into Lady Shiva. She's such a super assassin that she can tell the instant somebody is onto her plans! They tussle for awhile and then Nightwing makes a comment that makes me think the two of them fucking isn't going to happen this issue.

Or what? Brunette?

Nightwing manages to stop the hit on Sonia. Luckily the hit was taking place just outside the building as Sonia was entering to testify. Lady Shiva has the single chance to assassinate her but fails. Sonia ducks into the courthouse to testify! Lady Shiva's reputation is fucked and she takes it out on Nightwing.

Great. Now his ribs are never going to fucking heal. Maybe The Joker will just put him out of his misery in an issue or two.

Lady Shiva lets Dick live for now. Partly, I suspect, because he was fighting at a disadvantage with the cracked ribs. Martial arts villains don't like to defeat foes that aren't at the top of their game. But she also mentions she may need "even more" from him later. Like sex! I knew it! The encounter ends as Lady Shiva jumps to another roof with pathetic, beaten Dick Grayson screaming after her, "Can you at least tell me who hired you?" Seriously. Batman would be ashamed!

The plea from Nightwing is really just to set up the next scene showing The Penguin speaking with Ogilvy and telling Shiva, over the phone, that her fee has been wired to her. It's a nice segue except for the part where it makes Nightwing sound like a real, whiny, impotent bitch!

And that segue segues nicely into the Death of the Family plotline.

How long has Ogilvy been around? I like this guy! I hope he and Alfred engage in some fisticuffs during Death of the Family!

The last page shows The Joker breaking Raya Vestri out of Blackgate Prison. She's the other red head from Dick Grayson's younger days with Haly's Circus that tried to destroy Nightwing and Haly's Circus with the help of Saiko half a dozen issues ago. I guess she's invited to the party! Yay!

Nightwing #14 Rating: +1 Ranking. Holy fuck cows! Did I just increase a comic book's rankings while Tom DeFalco was at the helm? I can't believe it! Maybe it's because I'm all hopped up on caffeine and YouTube videos of kittens getting their hats smacked off of their heads. Seriously though, I enjoyed this story and I still really like Nightwing even with DeFalco writing him. Fuck. I think I'm becoming a Fanboy!

Oh, um, plus the art was enjoyable. Good job, Guinaldo and Irwin!

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