Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: Nightwing, Vol. 4: Second City by Kyle Higgins Brett Booth (Illustrations), Norm Rapmund (Illustrations)

Release Date: July 15, 2014
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Goodreads

Kyle Higgins sends Nightwing to the Windy City to track down his parent's killer!
After the Joker's attack on the Bat-family, Nightwing finds himself in a new setting with an unlikely ally, The Prankster. Together they are being hunted by the mysterious Mask Killer while Dick tries to find the man who killed his parents, Tony Zullo. Twists and surprises are at every turn in this exciting new chapter of Nightwing!








Fun Fact:
Nightwing is in Chicago. Not Gotham, not Bludhaven...but Chicago.
Which is very Marvel of him, don't you think?

This didn't really start off that strong, but it picked up enough to be entertainingly decent by the end.
So.
Nightwing is in Chicago running down a tip, given to him by Red Robin, about the location of Tony Zucco.
Zucco is the guy who killed his family, the acrobatic team The Flying Graysons.
Drake had traced an email from Zucco to Chicago, but then he lost the trail. All he knows is that Tony might be running around somewhere in the city.
Grayson's finally got a chance to avenge his family, and nothing's gonna get in his way!
Especially not some skinny blonde kid who's been terrorizing the city for the past few months.
Anyway, the story opens with Dick getting shot at by Chicago's finest.
Why?
'Cause that's how they do that shit in the Windy City, beotch!
Ok, fine. 
The REAL reason is...that's just what happens when a superhero goes to a new city. 
Roll with it.
Dick flips and quips his way through fights with all his usual witty chitter-chatter, and whacks anyone who gets too close to him with his handy-dandy NightStick. And along the way he meets a few crazy informants who lead him to the one person who might be able to help him find Zucco...
The Prankster!
He's got the starring role as villain in this thing, but I'm not totally convinced he's going to make it to the big times. He's sort of like the Riddler, in that he leaves his victims in elaborate Death Traps that they can puzzle their way out of...if they're smart/strong enough. But the twist is that he's some super-duper computer hacker, as well.
Computers and Puzzles?
He's a double threat!
Eh. Maybe, maybe not.

The Zucco storyline played out much better than I was expecting. It had a nice bittersweet taste to it by the end. Kinda like, a Be Careful What You Wish For thing? Or maybe a Revenge Isn't Always Sweet, kinda thing? 
At any rate, I thought it was pretty well done.
However, the Hacker storyline started off better than it ended up. At first, he seemed like some sort of anti-hero (like Red Hood or the Punisher) who took things too far in his pursuit of justice.
Alas, he ended up being just another dirtbag with Daddy Issues.
*balloon deflates*

There was also something else kept this from being all that and a box of wine.
Some of the dialogue between the characters was really confusing, or just seemed plain weird.
For example:
The Prankster has set a bomb that will detonate and destroy several blocks of the city, unless the mayor can get through an angry mob of people to disarm it. He's getting trampled and beaten so badly that there's no way he'll be able to get there in time. Nightwing swoops in on a motorcycle, rescues him, and starts to make a run for the bomb.
Wait for it...
At which point, the mayor starts yelling at him saying, "You just can't stay out of other people's business, can you?".
HUH?
That makes no sense. He may have hated Nightwing, but he'd still be happy he wasn't dead, right?
And it wouldn't have been a pretty death, because that mob was trying to turn him into a squishy stain on the sidewalk.
There were quite a few scenes like that, where I thought I had missed a panel (or page!), and had to go back and re-read just to make sure.
My eyebrow got quite a workout.
Which was really a waste, because I'm not trying to tone up my eyebrows.
Arm flab? Yes.
Eyebrows, no.

If I get a chance, I'll keep reading Nightwing, but I'm not overly excited by what I've seen so far.





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