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Nightwing #147 Review

Nightwing #147 review by Hugo Bravo

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer

After the conclusion of the Infinite Crisis back in 2005, Nightwing had been on a bumpy ride in his solo book. He was taken to new lows with writer Bruce Jones, in a story that concluded with fellow ex-Robin Jason Todd turning into some sort of octopus creature that devoured gangsters. The story was such a flop that even Marv Wolfman, the creator of Nightwing, could not resuscitate the character, even with a good follow-up story about Grayson's past. Peter Tomasi has been the headwriter of Nightwing for about six months now, and in that time, he's given the book quality that Dick Grayson deserves. His last story was a great introduction to what Tomasi had planned for the character, and his follow-up looks to continue the great work he has done with Black Adam, the GL Corps, and the Martian Manhunter's funeral.

The Great Leap begins much like his last one did, with Grayson skydiving right when Harvey Dent shines Nightwing's unofficial logo in the NYC sky. The highlight of the book is a scene and coversation between Grayson and Dent that elevates the book from good to great. It reminds us that Tomasi is not afraid to bring in some Batman A-Listers into Dick Grayson's world. The back-and forth between Dent and Grayson gives us a brief glimpse into the brilliant character, or characters, that is Two-Face. Don Kramer's interpretation of Dent stays interestingly close to his portrayal in this summer's The Dark Knight, down to the half-burned suit. Even better, we see a few flashbacks of Chuck Dixon's Robin: Year One, where Dick's first encounter with Two-Face left him beaten to a pulp and Robin's crimefighting career almost over before it really began. (DC has just re-released this formerly out-of-print story). You can really feel Dick Grayson's hatred for Harvey Dent, and his reluctance to strike a deal with him that involves Nightwing saving the life of a fellow DA from Dent's past.

I have failed to say that this storyline is, strangely enough, a Batman R.I.P. tie-in. It seems that the word ‘tie-in' is synonymous among comic book readers with ‘subpar story that you won't understand unless you're reading the main story'. Luckily, Tomasi knows better than to even attempt to connect anything from Morrison's genius, but convoluted Batfest into what is already the start of a fine Nightwing story. Batman's saga in his own book is only referenced in one line of this issue that will only be caught by devoted readers of R.I.P. Tomasi is no stranger to tie-ins to a major comic book event, however. His work on Green Lantern Corps was more crucial to Geoff Johns's epic Sinestro Corps than this storyline is to Batman R.I.P. The cliffhanger at the end of the issue may or may not lead to further connections to Batman R.I.P.

The Nightwing/Two-Face stand-off sets the bar so high for the rest of the book, that it's almost impossible for the rest of the book to catch up. Luckily, this is not a critique on the rest of the story. It's hard-hitting life-saving hero fare, wouldn't expect anything less from a Nightwing book. It's just that the opening scene is so good that it's hard to not look forward to Dent's next appearance in the story.

Rating: 8

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