Comic Book Review: Nightwing #124

Mercifully, Bruce Jones’ run on Nightwing comes to an end with Nightwing #124. Calling this title a total train wreck since the beginning of the One Year Later storyline would be too kind of a comment. Nightwing has been a miserable read since the end of Infinite Crisis. To be fair, DC set Jones up to fail from the start by deciding at the last minute to not kill Dick Grayson and replace him with Jason Todd. That sent Jones scrambling and created a monstrous mess on this title. Let’s go ahead and do this review and put the stake in the heart of Jones’ Nightwing.

Creative Team
Writer: Bruce Jones
Penciler: Robert Teranishi
Inker: Wes Craig

Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: This issue starts with Arsenal arriving on the scene to help Nightwing escape from the S.W.A.T. team that had him surrounded at the end of last issue. Nightwing assures Arsenal that the reports of the killer Nightwing was not him. It was Jason Todd. Arsenal tells Nightwing that he should leave New York and go back to Gotham. (I second that motion.) Nightwing thanks Arsenal for his help and the two part ways.

We cut to Dick arriving back at his apartment and engaging in sexual favors with Cheyenne.

We shift to Fireball talking to his young teenage girl sidekick. She has electrical powers and uses the word “dog” when referring to her mentor. Yippee.

We cut back to Dick and Cheyenne after they have been doing the nasty. They get in some insanely contrived and meaningless argument. Dick slips into his Nightwing costume and is off.

We shift to Fireball’s sidekick giving Barry Pierce a note. The note is from Cheyenne and asks Barry to meet with her at the back room of the Rendezvous club tonight.

We cut to Nightwing busting up a crime.

We shift back to Fireball’s sidekick showing up at Dick’s apartment and giving her a handwritten note from Barry saying that he has Nightwing captive and for her to meet him in the back room of The Rendezvous Club.

We then cut to the Rendezvous Club. Barry and Cheyenne meet each other. Fireball appears and reveals that he orchestrated this meeting.

We then shift to Nightwing arriving back at his apartment to apologize to Cheyenne for their ridiculous fight. There he sees a note for him.

We cut back to the Rendezvous. Fireball’s sidekick uses her electrical powers to short out Cheyenne’s powers. Nightwing then arrives on the scene and locks horns with Fireball and his sidekick. Nightwing defeats the two villains and rescues Cheyenne. As Nightwing makes off with Cheyenne, Barry Pierce yelling at them saying it will take more than the two of them to take down the Pierce Brothers.

We shift to Dick’s apartment. Cheyenne tells him that she has lost her power as a result of Fireball’s sidekick “shorting” out her powers. Cheyenne says she is accepting a job as a costume designer out in Hollywood. Cheyenne says that she was never a match for Dick. And with that she leaves. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: I know the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity mandates that I always say at least one thing positive about each issue I review. Well, the only thing positive I can say about this issue is that it is finally over. Jones’ run is done and hopefully, now DC can make good on their promise to make Nightwing a prominent character in this new DCU.

The Bad: Honestly, I’m not going to beat a dead horse with this review. I have listed all of my issues with Jones’ stories, the handling of the various characters and the general plotline in my reviews of the issues since the end of Infinite Crisis. I’m not going to just continue to hammer away at Jones. There is no point. Jones was given a raw deal by DC and there was almost no way that he could have possibly delivered anything resembling an enjoyable storyline.

Having said that, it certainly feels like Jones, in his frustration possibly, just totally mailed it in with his issues of Nightwing. Jones gave absolutely no effort at all to construct anything even remotely resembling a quality story with interesting plots and well developed characters.

Nightwing #124 was a fitting end to a miserable run on this title. The issue felt extremely disjointed and read like an extremely unplanned and rushed ending. Which is exactly what it was. Jones didn’t plan to write a storyline around Dick Grayson. And with DC replacing him quickly on this title, he needed to quickly end plotlines that were clearly meant to last longer and head in different directions.

The opening scene with Arsenal was truncated and felt purposeless. Arsenal quickly arrives out of nowhere and then just as quickly takes off after he and Nightwing get clear of the S.W.A.T. team. Their conversation was cursory and pointless. It seemed like this plotline was supposed to be longer and more detailed than what we got.

The scene with Dick and Cheyenne back at the apartment, their argument and then Dick leaving again and then coming back to find Cheyenne had left was poorly constructed and lacked any flow. Dick and Cheyenne’s argument made no sense. And it certainly made no sense that Cheyenne would leave a note in the apartment for Dick when she left to meet Barry because she thought Barry had captured Dick. After all, wouldn’t she meet Dick when she went to rescue him from Barry? Maybe I simply missed something in my reading of this issue.

And the final fight scene was just horrible. In three pages, Cheyenne loses her powers; Dick rescues her and takes out all the bad guys. They leave the scene with an angry Barry yelling at him. This scene was way too rushed. You could feel that Jones was just trying to wrap up his various plotlines as quickly as humanly possible before the end of the issue.

We then get a final scene that consists of a whopping 4 small panels. This is one of the most condensed scenes that I have ever read. Talk about a cursory way to wrap up the Cheyenne/Dick relationship. In just four panels!! I thought I was reading the Cliffs Notes version of this scene. It was as if Jones had to address this major plotline but ran out of space and had to cram it all into the very final page.

As far as the art is concerned, I’m just not a big fan of Teranishi’s style. It looks sloppy and rushed. It gives the comic book a dull and flat look.

Overall: All I can say is that this nightmare of a run has ended with Nightwing #124. Let’s bring on Marv Wolfman and hope that he can resurrect this moribund title. I like Wolfman, but I’m not sure that he is going to be able to bring this title back to respectability. It has been such a poor read for such a long time. This is going to be a very tough task for Wolfman. All Nightwing fans can do is hope for the best.

2 Comments

  1. …to help with the positives, the picture you guys are showing with the review looks pretty cool. The whole diving of the building…very Daredevilesque.

  2. Bruce Jones does that, as fr as I cna tell. His run on the Hulk was miserable and barely had the title character in the book and seemed to want to be more of a ‘crime drama’ than a comic. So for the last storyline, you could kind of see the inner four-year-old shouting, “Well, fine! Here’s your stupid villain and dumb monster smashing, nyah!’

    At least he’s gone to other things I don’t have to read.

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