Rags is back in the building! Itís always a great sign when you see his name plastered on the cover of a comic because you know the art is going to be extremely dynamic and chalk full of energy. And of course, Nightwing #148 doesnít let me down.
I think Rags Morales is one of the premiere artists to ever work on Dick Grayson. Itís like a match made in heaven. Moralesí style nails Graysonís fluid movements and grace. Itís been a pleasure to stare at Moralesí panel transitions when Nightwing is on the move because they always jumps off the page and looks so animated giving a real sense that Nightwingís body is in perfect physical shape, as a gymnast would be.
But donít consider Rags Morales a one trick pony because the man knows how to pull off quiet, emotional moments. I mean this is the guy who penciled Identity Crisis. This particular issue of Nightwing has a sequence between Alfred and Dick that is especially moving, carried through without a single thought balloon or word bubble. Peter Tomasi knows when to step back and let his artist take center stage and Rags doesnít let him down. The sequence I am referring to is none other than when Alfred performs emergency life-or-death surgery on Nightwing which perfectly captures Alfredís sentiment every time he has to work on one of his ďboys.Ē Itís an extremely touching scene that makes me wonder why it isnít shown more often. Itís such an obvious moment to capture; allowing the writer to slow down the action and place some emotional weight on all the fisticuffs that are sure to follow in the super-hero genre. However, itís here, and thatís what matters, so thanks to Rags and Tomasi for including it. You absolutely nailed it.
What has really drawn me into Tomasiís run on Nightwing is that he continues to make Dick Grayson a centerpiece of the DCU. This is, of course, great news because the character is one of my favorites. Having him square off against A-List villains is going a long way to prove how important he is to the overall scheme of the universe. This arc he continues his faceoff with Two-Face, who everyone knows is a staple of the Batman mythos. But thatís not all folks! Harvey has brought some friends this time, which Iím not going to spoil. Instead I urge you to pick up the book and find out for yourself.
If you have ever liked Dick Grayson you owe it to yourself to start picking up this book. Donít worry, donít be scared. There arenít anymore Jason Todd Nightwing-monster-beasts, or crappy D-List villains. This is the Nightwing we should have been reading about for ages with the high caliber talent that is necessary for one of the oldest comic book characters in existence. But you know the saying; itís better late than never.
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