Monday, February 29, 2016

Review / Commentary # 6 - Nightwing # 6: “”Good Girl Gone Bad”

  • Writer: Kyle Higgins
  • Penciller: Eddy Barrows & Geraldo Borges
  • Inkers: Eber Ferriera & Ruy Jose
  • Colorist: Rod Reis
  • Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
  • Editor: Bobbie Chase
  • Assistant Editor: Katie Kubert

Detailed Impression:
The cover to Nightwing issue # 6 is a little misleading. Nightwing does indeed get into a big fight against a crowd of thugs inside. The difference is that the fight mostly takes place off panel before the start of the first page. The cover illustration itself is well done, but there are two fights against super criminals inside that could have been highlighted instead. The effect of the cover is boring by comparison.
Higgins gives the reader some meta commentary in Dick's opening internal monologue. “Different month. Different city. Still the same story.” He also has Dick quipping again, reminding us that still gets a kick out of experiencing the ride even while mired in a highly dangerous mystery.
We learn that Dick's investigation has been hindered by his own false assumption. (Saiko is a contract killer. Saiko is out to kill Dick Grayson whom he now also knows is Nightwing. Therefore, Saiko was hired to kill Grayson.) Dick instead finds out that Saiko has some kind of personal grudge against him and concludes that Saiko's recent inactivity has just been another tactic. Saiko is biding his time so that he can really stick it to Dick personally at a Haly's Circus tribute performance memorializing the anniversary of the Flying Graysons' death.
The chapter title “Good Girl Gone Bad”, refers to Dick's current love interest, Raya Vestri. As we discovered in the previous issue, she has a secret romantic relationship with Saiko who happens to also be her and Dick's childhood friend Raymond. Raymond and Raya have been plotting revenge against Dick for some time, although we don't know what the two are avenging. Raya seems hesitant to follow through with the plot, but falls for some pretty obvious manipulation by Raymond. The scene could definitely have been handled more subtly. Maybe Higgins was struggling to keep the scene to just one page. Mr. Haly's son Brian also makes another appearance in this issue to stir up resentment against Dick among the circus members. First he attacks Dick while drunk. Then he seems indecisive and sorry about his involvement in the plot during a drunken conversation with Saiko. Now he's back to hassling Dick again. The younger Haly's overall characterization has just been inconsistent through the arc.
Speaking of inconsistency, this issue again has two pencillers. Even Barrows' own work shows some inconsistency. Some of the early pages in the issue just look rushed. Geraldo Borges' pencils are serviceable. His storytelling is pretty solid, but if Barrows needed help finishing the issue, then why not go back to Fernando Pansica like in issue # 3? Borges does get to illustrate the main battle between Nightwing and Saiko and the results are pretty decent. His character work was less compelling during the brief cameo by Alfred.
Saiko's attack at the circus is to be expected. Its severity is anything but. There will be a lot of fallout for Dick Grayson to deal with in both of his identities as we wrap up the first arc with the next issue.

Overall Impression:

In the penultimate issue of this first arc of Nightwing, Higgins and company really throw a ton of stuff at the reader. Most of it works. Some of it doesn't work as well. Higgins throws some clues in that sow seeds for his next major arc and anyone with enough familiarity with their relationship will appreciate the scene with Alfred. The final result though, is just pretty good when we are now used to, and expect, great.

No comments:

Post a Comment