Kyle Higgins, Will Conrad
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The penultimate chapter to the Chicago story arc hit the stands this week and, much like the entire series run of Kyle Higgins, it had a few surprises and twists for us. The only complaint I have about this issue is the art of Will Conrad. And let me go on record as saying that it is good, just not what I had come to expect from that of Eddy Barrows and Brett Booth in the past. He’s still a good artist and a very capable visual storyteller. I just think he’s a little bland, or, more accurately, safe. That being said, the issue is still great and you should go buy it.
Dick is going about his day, saving damsels in distress, facing gunfire and certain death with a smile on his face and a smartass comment at every turn. The Prankster’s hold on the city of Chicago is tearing it apart from within. Dick’s roommates are up to regular yet somehow still charming antics behind-the-scenes. Sonia Zucco’s true identity is revealed on the streets of Gotham City, which laid the groundwork for Dick’s inevitable return. And Zucco’s new wife (which means his child is not far behind) finally put two and two together, finding out that not only is her husband a liar, but also a murderer. So just when I thought they couldn’t cram more into one issue, Higgins and Conrad throw a wrench into the story with a cliffhanger that I’m not entirely sure works but definitely creates a great cliffhanger: Tony Zucco returning to Chicago and confronting the man he created, not with a fight, but rather, a proposition. Which leads us to the uncomfortable yet amazing scenario of a possible team up between Nightwing and the man who killed his parents.
This is going to be a great ending, I can just feel it. The Prankster is going to do something crazy. The mayor is going to have to do something terrible to avoid a scandal. And the fact that this Zucco storyline is making Dick’s character not only deal with his hidden rage, but in a way that no one ever saw coming is just amazing. Part of me hopes that the ending puts Dick back in Gotham City and under the protective (yet judgmental and baggage-filled) wing of Batman, but I would also like to see him stick around in Chicago for a while longer. Not too much longer, but maybe another storyline or two. Needless to say, the art is growing on me and the characterization of Kyle Higgins’ Dick Grayson is currently unrivaled.
My Rating: 4.5/5