Nightwing #60 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Chris Mooneyham, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: Dan Jurgens has been writing DC comics for close to thirty years now, and in that time he’s rarely written a bad comic. The current “Ric Grayson” status quo seems determined to test that, but he’s still managed to elevate this title above the dumpster fire it’s become, at least in Nightwing #60. When we last left off, Ric and one of the new Nightwings, Hutch, were under attack by a mysterious monster that looked like a combination of Clayface and Tarpit, and was setting Bludhaven on fire. It didn’t take much to figure out that it was connected to the case of Hutch’s long-comatose former commanding officer and his vengeful daughter. The two heroes are bailed out by “Nightwing Prime” Alphonse Sapienza, who still doesn’t fully trust Ric due to his cloudy history. Jurgens at least seems to have stabilized Dick’s brain damage, making him less likely to spend the series randomly gaining new abilities, but watching him try to impress a group of dirty cops is kind of off-putting.
The title since the start has been trying to push the Nightwings as an answer to a hopelessly corrupt city, but the problem is the story is still glorifying police brutality. Presenting cops moonlighting as vigilantes as the answer to criminals getting off on technicalities has a lot of unfortunate implications. Mooneyham’s art is one of the highlights of the issue, as he definitely draws an effective monster, but the problem is that this is a mystery with only two suspects, and the heroes are immediately suspicious of one which means it’s going to be the other.
Jurgens works best when he’s playing with heroes who have a long history in the DCU and a rich backstory to play off. “Ric Grayson” has a thinly characterized love-interest and an ill-defined brain injury. I’d like to see what Jurgens could do with a Nightwing run that didn’t rely on this status quo, so him sticking around to ride out this mess and building the aftermath may be the best bet.
Corrina: Even Jurgens can’t save this awful plotline. Pass.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.