Nightwing #148 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Rags Morales
Inkers: Michael Bair and Bob Petrecca
Colorist: Hi-Fi

Issue Rating
Story: 8/10
Art: 8.5/10
Overall: 8.25/10

Issue Development
Continuing from last issue Nightwing, who has been shot in the shoulder and ribs, tries to muster all his strength to get him and Carol out of the snipers range. Nightwing is able to grab on to his winged-jet pack and is able to get himself and Carol out of the snipers sight. Nightwing takes Carol to one of the many safe house Batman has around Gotham to keep her safe while he goes to the Batcave to get some medical help from Alfred.

A semi-conscious and bloodied Dick is able to reach the Batcave with his badly damaged winged-jet pack exploding right when he reaches the Batcave and Alfred puts him on a medical table. Dick, who decides to be conscious during the surgery, and Alfred have some nice little banter back and for while Alfred works on getting the bullets out of Dick’s shoulder and ribs. During their conversation we find out Bruce is still missing (read Batman RIP for details) and that they are both worried about Bruce.

After getting the bullets out Dick takes a quick nap to recover from his injuries. While Dick takes his nap Alfred cleans up and starts to show signs of worry over this whole situation in a nice quiet moment. After cleaning up Alfred grabs a chair and sits down next to Dick and also falls a sleep.

A little bit later Alfred wakes up to finds a note saying “Thank Alfred” and sees Dick back in a new Nightwing outfit riding out of the Batcave in one of Robin’s motorcycles.

Nightwing goes to check on Carol at the safe house to make sure she is alright. After proving he is Nightwing Carol gets a phone call from Harvey. Carol ask Harvey why he sent Nightwing to protect her and Harvey just says becasue he still loves her. After a bit more talking Nightwing interupts the conversation. Harvey ask Nightwing how his stay was at Arkham Asylum (again read Batman RIP for details) and Nightwing just says that Harvey is going to go back to Arkham soon enough.

Nightwing hangs up on Harvey and tells Carol to stay at the safe house a little while longer while he goes to patrol the city for his shooter. As Nightwing is flying through the city in a new winged-jet pack Alfred tells Nightwing that the bullet he was shot with was laced with Scarecrow’s Fear Agent and that he needs to come back to the Batcave to get an antidote.

But before Nightwing can make a u-turn back to the Batcave the alarm at the safe house Carol is staying at goes of. Nightwing flies in through the window of the safe house only to find that he is surrounded by all of Batman’s rogue gallery. End of issue.

Highlights of the Issue
“There’s a reason doctor’s put patients to sleep during operations”

“A nice quiet touching moment”

“I don’t think this is the type of party Nightwing was looking for”

Nightwing #148 was another great issue by Peter Tomasi. Even though this is only Tomasi’s second story arc on Nightwing it is quickly looking like Tomasi may go down as the definitive Nightwing writer, at least in my eyes. While some people might have been upset that this is more of a Nightwing story than a Dick Grayson/Nightwing story but this issue is sure to please Dick Grayson and Nightwing fans.

The only real gripe I had with this issue is the obligatory Batman RIP dialogue. It really is not the fault of Tomasi or Morrison since DC is just trying to shove neccessary tie-ins to Detective, Nightwing, and Robin comics. I know that with the dialog between Dick and Alfred of Bruce beeing MIA and Harvey mentioning Nightwing’s time in Arkham Asylum and Black Glove will have many fans trying to figure out were this story fits in with Morrison’s Batman RIP. But for anyone that has read any of Morrison’s work should know that there is no writer other than Morrison that can actually write tie-ins to his story other than him and probably Geoff Johns and Greg Rucka. It is not saying that Morrison’s writing is bad but just that Morrison’s writing style is so unique, some say crazy, that when other writers try and tie-in to his story it usually leads to trouble with the story they are trying to tell.

So for anyone that is picking up this and the last issue of Nightwing I suggest you just ignore the bits of dialog that tie-in to Batman RIP and not worry were this fits in with Batman RIP. If you do this than you will enjoy this much more.

What made Nightwing #148, and Tomasi’s run on this title, so great is the interaction between Dick and his supporting cast, in this case with Alfred. I know that since becoming Nightwing most writers like to have Dick be as far away as possible from Batman and most of the Bat-family but I just think that is a mistake by writers. The best interactions in this title have always involved Dick and someone in the Bat-family. And Tomasi has realized this by having as many scenes as possible with Dick and someone in the Bat-family and how close of a family they are.

In the last story arc I liked that Tomasi had Dick and Tim interacting with one another since there have been few instances those two characters, who already acted like brothers before they were both adopted by Bruce. And in this issue I loved the banter between Dick and Alfred while Alfred was trying to get the bullet out of Dick. I love how Alfred can’t believe how Dick like Bruce wants to be conscious during surgery and Alfred’s comment about Dick and Bruce attracting bullets.

Alfred has always been the father figure of the Bat-family and I loved the quiet three page scene of Alfred cleaning up after taking out the bullets from Dick’s body. It shows just how much Alfred not only cares and worries about Dick, Bruce, Tim, and Barbara but that the life they have chosen has taken it’s toll on Alfred both mentally and physically. It was such a great scene and I have to give credit to Tomasi for allowing Morales art covey what Alfred was thinking without any though bubbles or captions.

I also love how Tomasi writes Nightwing as a guy with a lot of will power that he is willing to risk his life to save the life of Carol and make sure she is safe before taking care of his gun shot wounds. Again Nightwing shows that he is not only a confident hero but also very competent at what he does living up to DC’s quote of Nightwing skills being only second to Batman.

I especially love the dialog between Nightwing and Harvey because it just shows that these two advesary’s have a lot of history with fighting one another. The reader, along with Nightwing, has to wonder what Harvey really has in mind since anywhere Harvey is his Two-Face persona is never to far behind. And I kind of wonder that if the last scene with all of Batman’s rogue gallery actually real or is it Nightwing being affected by Scarecrow’s fear toxin from the bullet. Whatever it is that was a great cliffhanger to end the issue on.

With this issue Rag Morales again takes over the art duties, but for how long is beyond me. But what I have gotten from interviews with Tomasi, Morales, and Kramer is that the artist team will be rotating between Morales and Kramer. That aside the art in this issue was very well done and like I said before my favorite scene in this issue was the three pages of Alfred cleaning up after taking the bullets out of Dick. I just love it whenever an artist is allowed by the writer convey the emotions and what the character is thinking with the art alone and no dialog. That Alfred scene was probably one of my favorite scenes of the year.