Kyle Higgins, Brett Booth
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
Yet another great installment in the monthly adventures of Batman’s first and greatest sidekick, brought to us by veteran Nightwing writer Kyle Higgins and new series artist Brett Booth. This book continues to prove that the Batman line is the best in comics. The dialogue is witty, quick, and realistic and the art speaks to the 90s kid in me but also the adult comic reader within. It’s one of many examples of the New 52 line really understanding the necessity of pairing a writer with an artist who complements his or her own work. It’s something that can make a good book great, which is definitely the case in this new creative team.
We start right where we left off last issue, with the Prankster continuing his (or her) single-handed fight against… well… we’re not quite sure yet. We also get to see more of Dick’s roommate and surprise third roommate, who is both female and sassy, which means she is either going to be a love interest or a villain. But the humor of their first couple of encounters is very well juxtaposed with the horror of the Prankster’s crimes. Not to mention the behind-the-scenes search for Tony Zucco and his involvement with the seemingly corrupt Chicago mayor. Another highlight in this issue is the subtle posturing between Nightwing and his informant (one of Commissioner Gordon’s from his days in the Windy City). A lesser writer/artist team would have ruined this scene, but it comes off as flawless and really cool. Which leads us to the last part of the book, which includes the first official meeting between Nightwing and the Prankster. I’m still not entirely sure about the gender of the new villain, but I think that’s what makes it so cool. I even found myself looking at the eye color of various characters to see if I could get any clues on my own. No such luck. But I’m sure we won’t have to wait much longer, because even though the cliffhanger ending shows Nightwing in a jam (with the Prankster currently holding the upper hand), the next issue blurb and advanced solicitations hint that there is a team-up in the newly-acquainted masked vigilantes.
This could prove to be interesting for a number of reasons. First and foremost, we could be given an interesting take on the whole “tragic villain” angle that almost all of the villains in the Batman universe share. Perhaps the Prankster isn’t even a villain per se, but rather, a vigilante who is possibly just more realistic in his or her approach. After all, he or she is currently only targeting those who deserve it or cross him or her. Could this simply be a New 52 version of Nite-Wing, the vigilante who was simply a more violent (but effective) version of our beloved hero? Or does the Prankster have something to do with the secret not-yet-told story about what exactly happened to all of the “masks” in Chicago? And, of course, there’s the question of who is behind that mask? No matter what the outcome, or how long it is drawn out; count me in. This book rocks.
My Rating: 5/5