Nightwing #53 – Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Writers; Travis Moore, Patch Zircher, Artists; Tamra Bonvillain, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Ray: So this new Nightwing run continues to be a trainwreck, balancing a ridiculous status quo with a pair of lead characters that barely seem to be in the same comic. The first, of course, is “Ric Grayson”, the brain-damaged former Nightwing whose injury seems to be amnesia with a weird MacGuffin ability to pull any skill from his former life out of his back pocket when he needs it. He’s handcuffed? Suddenly he can pick locks! Someone throws a sharp object at him? He catches it out of thin air!
This is essentially a soap-opera amnesia plot, with “Ric” getting more and more functional by the issue. At first he was isolated and confused, but now he’s coming off as a normal, charming guy who goes on dates with his bartender and is pretty content with his new life and doesn’t really want to dig into what came before. It just makes no sense according to any sort of medical science, and it’s impossible to get past when judging the run.
The other story in this comic is slightly more interesting, as it turns the focus on Detective Alphonse Sapienza, a veteran Bludhaven Detective who has decided to take on the Nightwing costume to try to clean up the city after the original’s disappearance. He’s older, experienced as a cop, but a mixed bag as a vigilante who gives it his all but spends a lot of time getting his ass kicked. His team-up with Dick has some fitfully amusing moments, but it seems pretty clear he’s headed for a bad end so it’s hard to get invested.
The frustrating part of this title is that there are some things that work – Dick’s old cabby friend Burl is one of the best supporting cast members he’s had in years – but the title is a jumbled mess overall that makes it hard to get invested. The ending seems to be there just to remind us that Scarecrow is the overall big bad of this run, but the book feels like it’s running in circles.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.