Monday, April 04, 2005

NIGHTWING #106

I've spent an inordinately long time trying to come up with something more profound to say than "Geez, thank heavens that is over". And I'm having no luck. It probably didn't help that I bought a $2 trade of A Lonely Place of Dying at Big Apple Comicon this weekend.

The bottom line on whether or not you loved or loathed the Nightwing Year One arc is whether you loved or loathed the original Dixon run on Nightwing. Because this is the prequel to that run, cheerfully ignoring anyone else's canon before or since. And it's a good deal more frustrating now, when there are years more of canon for Dixon to pretend doesn't exist, than it was back then.

As I've mentioned before, I came to the Nightwing title after having read the Wolfman/Perez run on New Teen Titans and it's hard to go from that Dick Grayson to this one. Dixon's run had its moments and never made me throw books across the room in pained frustration, but I never liked Dick Grayson as an ADHD himbo who needs Babs to think for him and Alfred to change his diapers. Dixon was aiming for playful and missed, ending up with brainless and that's not something I necessarily want to return. Devin Grayson can produce a terrifyingly lobotomized Nightwing, but she has a Dick who is more mature in his stupidity and not some Looney Toons character who needs to be told not to stick his tongue in the electric socket.

Similarly, I liked Dixon's take on Dick-'n'-Babs up until they actually got together -- they were like Dave and Maddie on Moonlighting with less name-calling, the anticipation so much sweeter than the payoff. But that hasn't been fared well in this Year One revisionist take. I don't think of Babs as Dick's True Love and I don't think it was ever totally obvious that they were always meant to be -- forgetting the Pre-Crisis age and maturity difference. Babs may have been the first girl he really noticed, but it's ridiculous to say that she was the only one Dick ever really noticed. It's terribly disrespectful to Kory to minimize the impact of her history with him.

Year One stories always suffer from the truism that you can't go home again and this one, as much as the Batgirl one from the other year, emphasize why.

Next month's story begins what looks to be a preposterous arc (hey, at least nobody's getting raped this time) and the begin of Phil Hester and Ande Parks' run as the art team. Having known the joy of Patrick Zircher on this title, I am somewhat failing in the enthusiasm department.

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