Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nightwing #1

DC Comics, 20 pages, $ 2.99

Writer: Kyle Higgins
Penciler: Eddy Barrows
Inker: J.P. Mayer
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual

Some comics strive to offer something unexpected and imaginative with every scene, others are more like Nightwing. Writer Kyle Higgins and penciler Eddy Barrows know how to communicate the plot of their story competently, but that’s about the nicest thing I can say about the book.

Nightwing jumps around, beats up a bunch of generic bad guys with a lot of blood splattering and meets his new/old supporting cast. It looks solid enough, to be fair, but then again, some of the layouts seem like they’re taken straight from Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man, of all things (look at that double spread with the credits). Meanwhile, rather than to dramatize his hero’s thoughts and emotions, Mr. Higgins prefers to spill them out relentlessly in 1990s-style inner monologue boxes that drone on and on, and on.

The villain of the story is wheeled in on the bus (!) and gets to show how badass he is when two potentially dope-smoking (judging from the art) brothers try to rob him. Alas, our Greyhound-ridin’ brother-buster may be smart enough to track and attack Dick Grayson, but he ain’t so smart as to make the connection when Grayson slips into an alley, puts on a tiny domino mask and then rejoins the fight.

Superhero comics require a certain “suspension of disbelief” at the best of times, so it behooves their creators not to put a spotlight on the genre limitations. Higgins hasn’t given the subject a lot of thought, it appears.

If there’s a contest for the most obvious and worn-out clichés in history, send in this comic.

Grade: C-

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