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Nightwing #83

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Devin Grayson
Artists: Rick Leonardi (p), Jesse Delperdang & John Lowe (i)

Publisher: DC

Plot:
After getting fired from his day job, we see Dick finds himself struggling to deal with the fact that he now has a huge void in his days where he has nothing but free time. However his first nightly patrol brings him back into contact with his former boss, as he works to discover the identity of Chief Redhorn's killer. Meanwhile Blockbuster has come across evidence that suggests Nightwing played a role in his mother's death.

Comments:
Now the opening scene presents Dick as a bit slow on the uptake, as he almost seems surprised that Amy is asking him to leave to police force, when surely he had to recognize that he would be asked to leave. I mean if nothing else his being a costumed vigilante makes his police work suspect, as he's shown a willingness to operate outside the law, and he makes a regular habit of committing crimes such as breaking & entering and assault. Now the fact that he's only committing these crimes for the public good, and most of the people he's takes down are trying to kill him, might have some people willing to turn a blind eye, but given she was one of a handful of honest cops in the nest of corruption that made up the Bludhaven police force, the opening scene makes it clear Dick is a very poor judge of human nature, if he expected Amy to simply look the other way when it comes to his nighttime activities. I did enjoy the scene where Dick found himself bored out of his skull waiting for the nighttime, though with his current membership in the Outsiders, I imagine he would have very little trouble filling his daytime hours. This issue also offers up a rather clumsy attempt at giving Blockbuster a real reason to want Nightwing dead, as apparently Dick's continual interference in his criminal enterprises wasn't enough.

Rick Leonardi is given an issue where there's precious little action to make his job easier, and as such his ability to deliver what is largely a talking heads affair is put to the test. To a certain extent he manages to pull it off, as there's a nice range of facial expressions, such as the look on Dick's face as his removes his badge. On the other hand the art doesn't exactly have all that great an eye when it comes to keeping the work visually engaging, as it delivers most of the scenes from a rather unimaginative straight on perspective.

Final Word:
Not the most exciting of issues, and following on the heels of what I found to be a highly disappointing arc involving Deathstroke, I have to confess that I'm starting to question whether Devin Grayson is really the best choice for this book. I mean it's clear she has a genuine affection for the character, and she's pretty good at playing with the various plot elements that were left hanging in the wake of Chuck Dixon's departure. However, she has yet to really offer up any moments that I would consider to be all that exciting, and this talking heads issue never really grabbed my interest until the final page. Sure having Blockbuster fly into a rage, and swearing vengeance upon Nightwing makes for an interesting bit, and frankly I'm glad to see Dick has been fired from his day job, as this book could stand far more costumed action. However, this issue has a flat, almost going through the motions feel to it, as except for the last page revelation, nothing that occurred in this issue wasn't something I had already seen coming at the end of the previous issue.



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