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Nightwing #149

Posted: Thursday, October 2, 2008
By: Erik Norris

Peter J. Tomasi
Don Kramer, Jay Leisten (i), Hi-Fi (c)
DC Comics
I consider myself a big fan of Two-Face. I think he is one of the best Batman villains and thatís saying a lot. However, I donít seem to recall his dual identity always playing out as it does in Nightwing #149. I also figured that both Harvey Dent and Two-Face occupied the same space in a single brain and whatever emotion Dent was feeling dictated the personality that rose to the top and projected onto other people. What Peter Tomasi seems to be doing is that of a pure schizophrenic; where identities compete to over-ride each other and have memories all their own. The best example being like in Me, Myself & Irene.

Iím not saying this is a bad approach to writing Two-Face, it just seems awfully convenient to plot service. Itís an easy way to make Dent angry at someone, in this case Nightwing, because he learns later what Two-Face did. I think I still prefer my Harvey Dent as a man struggling with an identity and respect and his alter ego ďTwo-FaceĒ is the extension of that instead of a man lost in two different minds.

Now that I've got that off my chest, letís move on to the actual contents of Nightwing #149. Most of the issue is comprised of an extended fight sequence versus all of Batmanís rogues thatís explained as Dick Grayson tripping on Scarecrow fear toxin. Itís a surreal sequence (beautifully illustrated by Don Kramer) that also manages to inject some homage to past Robin history; such as Robin II getting ďkilledĒ by the Joker with a crowbar and Dick rejoining his mother and father as the Flying Graysons.

I sound like a broken record when I bring up how I hate issues dedicated towards fighting but this was one of the better ones Iíve read in recent memory. There is some actual weight to this fight and itís not because Nightwing is facing off against the worst killers and psychopaths of Gotham City. Peter Tomasi knows what makes Dick Grayson tick and itís one of the best reasons why everyone should be reading this series.

Issue #149 is also the first where Don Kramer takes over full art duties on Nightwing. Unfortunately Rags Morales is off the title, moving to an arc of Superman/Batman, but Kramer is definitely no slouch. In fact, he is one of the best talents at DC Comics so itís nice to see that caliber of artist on a character as historic as Dick Grayson. The page of Nightwing attempting CPR is fantastically drawn with each panel easily transitioning to the next and is one of the artistic highlights of issue #149. Kudos to Don Kramer for that sequence.

While issue #149 isnít the best of Tomasiís run, it is another strong installment and reason enough to continue following the series. Now comes the wait for next monthís over-sized anniversary issue.



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