Friday, January 3, 2014

Nightwing, Volume 3: Death of the Family

 And so we come to the NIGHTWING portion of the seemingly endless "Death of the Family" crossover.....

 Aside from reading the NIGHTWING chapters of the "Night of The Owls" crossover (Which I thought were quite good...), this is really my first exposure to Dick Grayson's solo title in "The New 52". Writer Kyle Higgins (With an able assist from Tom DeFalco) does a good job of capturing the voice of the Dick Grayson that I know from the pre-reboot DC Universe. So that's a plus. The book opens with an entertaining, if puzzling, story involving lady Shiva, which comes out of the blue and offers no resolution whatsoever. I'm assuming this will pay off in a later volume. From there, we settle into the crossover proper, and, aside from a few niggling issues that have bothered me throughout the storyline, it's handled very well.

(There are going to be spoilers from here on, so watch out!)

 Higgins does a decent job of making this accessible for new readers. I was able to pick up on the basics fairly painlessly, and I never felt lost or confused as he touched on, or wrapped up, various plot threads from previous volumes. Higgins presents a menacing Joker, who poses a credible threat to Grayson and his friends. My problem with all of this lies mainly in my own mind, and it's the timeline of this crossover. How The Joker could find the time to set up these elaborate deathtraps for Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, Catwoman, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Nightwing just boggles my mind. Plus, the fact that he physically overpowers all of them kind of stuck in my craw. NIGHTWING, VOLUME 3: DEATH OF THE FAMILY reprints the crossover's finale from Scott Snyder's BATMAN, and it fits well with the rest of the book, unlike some of the other crossover collections.

 Another problem that I had was the end, which reveals that the man who killed Dick Grayson's parents, Anthony Zucco, is still alive, having faked his death. Personally, there's way too much trading on the past going on, considering the fact that this is supposed to be a new universe. DC wants to have it's cake and eat it, too...which just doesn't work for me. They want new readers, but this reveal seems tailored to old, pre-New 52 readers. I wish DC would pick a continuity and stick with it.

 DC Comics provided a review copy.