Here’s the last comic under the Forever Evil storyline: Nightwing #30. What will happeen to Dick Grayson now that the world thinks he is dead and he enters his next comic, Grayson, in July? Is it good?
Nightwing #30 (DC Comics)
Batman has a job for Dick Grayson. The world thinks he is dead. His family thinks he is dead. Everyone thinks he is dead, but he’s not. However, he’s going to have to stay dead for this very special mission involving a certain group.
First, let me beat the ever loving s**t out of you as I give you the mission.
This was an odd issue to be sure. In a way, you can consider this Grayson #0 if you want, since it’s setting the stage for Dick’s mission in the book and concluding his time as Nightwing (for now at least). Other than that… I’m not even sure where to exactly start with discussing this issue. The trippy flashback scene with Leslie Tompkins as she recalls her first encounter with Spyral (you know, that super-duper organization that thinks its above being involved in superhero business), the crazy and extremely over the top beat down that Nightwing gets from Batman as he receives his mission, or the finale (which is the most grounded part of the book)?
Either way, to properly discuss this issue in question, there will be spoilers. You have been warned.
I’ll split my thoughts up on this. The opening is absolutely bonkers with the crazy mercenaries attacking a refugee/medical aid camp as Leslie recounts the events. It’s kind of fun almost with the absurdity of it, even with the encompassing brutality (what do these guys get out of this murdering anyways?). Still, the comic could severely tone things down and still get the same results.
Sometimes, you have to take a step back and wonder to yourself, how the hell did I get here?
The second part is the easily the weakest part of the book and where most of it falls flat. The whole scene is a fight scene between Batman and Dick as Batman gives him his assignment, with Batman explaining everything as they engage in fisticuffs. This fight scene is incredibly over the top with how much they beat the crap out of each other and destroy the Batcave in the process (there should be so many broken bones that it’s not even funny); it’s borderline Looney Tunes.
The problem is that this is supposed to be a very serious scene with Dick understanding what he must do now and what will happen next for him. That whole idea is lost here with the audience marveling with how much of an ass Batman comes across as in the scene as he lays the smackdown on Dick and doesn’t explain all the details. This scene was handled so much better in that single panel from Forever Evil #7 that it is not even funny.
The final part is where we see Dick fight bad guys across the globe, trying to capture the attention of Spyral so they can recruit him. This is easily the best part of the book without a doubt: seeing Dick take down tons of amusing looking bad guys in some very fun and enjoyable action scenes. If this is just a taste of what the comic Grayson will be like, then I’m more than excited to see what is in store for the book. Heck, they could have just released this part separately for Free Comic Book Day as a preview and I guarantee you it would’ve have been a big hit. The only off thing about this part is Dick Grayson recapping who he is, his life, and what happens next after being reminded of that just a couple of pages ago. Really odd to me.
I once was a police officer that carried a gun which people seem to keep forgetting.
With regards to the writing outside of the story and characterization, it’s perfectly fine. The structure of the book is good, it’s paced well, the story flows well from page to page and scene to scene, and the ending in general is promising. Like I mentioned previously, it’s just the story itself where things get most questionable. Nightwing #30 needed more fine tuning and work regarding the tone and feel, since it suffered quite a bit in different areas. I still maintain interest in the direction this issue is leading towards, but it’ll have rough times ahead with this debut and reaction it is already gaining on the internet.
The artwork is done by three different artists: Javier Garron (the first part), Jorge Lucas (second part), and Mike Janin (the final part). All of them are good artists (though fittingly enough the weakest artist, Lucas, drew the weakest part of the book) and they draw their portions of the book very well. Javier’s creativity with the mercenaries’ designs are fun, as are his panel layouts. Lucas’ work with the action is great, though it sort of lends to the problem with the second part of the book — displaying how brutal the action was and taking away from the heaviness of the scene. Janin’s part of the book is the best overall with his clean line work, fun and upbeat action, and great depictions of the character. It’s going to be great seeing how his work turns out in Grayson if this issue is any indication of what’s to come.
Now, there’s one final bit to cover to clear up some confusion and anger people are getting over the issue. See this woman here?
This lady is in fact, Helena Bertinelli, aka the Huntress in previous continuity. Now, before you comment, this is her real official design and look. The one that is probably circulating around the Internet, like on Bleeding Cool, is merely a disguise she was in to blend in. After all, if you read the issue and saw how crazy the mercenaries were, it would make sense to dress just as flashy and over the top if you were blending in with them. This is just to clear up some confusion and why I’m not taking any points off for the look.
Is It Good?
Nightwing #30 is a problematic issue, no doubt about it. It’s inconsistent in tone and feel and difficult to take seriously at times. The artwork is genuinely good and there are some bright spots in the book, such as the final portion. Even a common complaint people are having with the book isn’t even all that bad. However, all in all, this book just wasn’t that great in the end and may sour people’s hopes on Grayson before it even comes out.