Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artists: Doug Mahake and Shawn Moll
Inkers: Christian Alamy and Rodney Ramos
Story – The Great Leap:…..And Into the Black – Epilogue
With Nightwing, along with Robin and Birds of Prey, being canceled in March Nightwing #151 felt like a last issue of a series since Tomasi closed up all the subplots he has been building since the beginning of his run. I actually went back to check if it said this was the last issue of Nightwing because it really felt like a last issue in a series. But a quick check at the solicits for January and Febuary the last three issues of Nightwing will all be tying into the events going on in the DCU: #152 is a Faces of Evil tie-in, #153 is a Last Rite tie-in, and #155 will mostlikely be a Battle for the Cowl tie-in(we wont know until Monday when solicits for March come out). So with that it the last issues having to be tie-in issues it is understandable that Tomasi wanted to close up some loose ends since he wont be able to with the last few issues of this series.
One of the things that I have enjoyed during Tomasi’s run is how he has been able to show how important Dick Grayson is to the DC Universe. While some may find it annoying that Tomasi has filled his run on Nightwing with a guest star in almost each issue during his run I actually love it. For to long many writers try and write Dick as Bruce Wayne-lite instead of being just Dick Grayson, and it is something that Tim is suffering from as well recently. One of the great things about Dick that makes him different from Bruce is that he practically has a positive connection to everyone from the older generation, to his generation, and younger generation. Through his time as a leader of the Titans, JLA, and Outsiders Dick is probably the most respected hero next to Superman. So it feels right seeing other DCU characters like Superman, who appears in this issue, or Wally appear in Nightwing since both characters are important parts to Dick’s history which is often ignored.
Another part of this issue that I really enjoyed was the whole scene with both Dick and Harvey at Arkham Asylum. It was a great scene. Unlike Bruce who has always showed sympathy and responsible for Harvey’s transformation into Two-Face Dick has no such sympathy. Both these characters since Dick’s time as Robin have always been friends and in many respects Harvey is to Dick what Joker is to Bruce. Tomasi also provides some foreshadowing that Dick and Harvey will be battling once again in the future, probably after Dick becomes Batman. And Mahake and Moll provided some great artwork. You could feel the animosity both characters have towards one another through the artwork.
While all these things were great my favorite part of this whole issue is the end were it was just Dick, Tim, and Alfred alone together at the Mansion after Dick broke a bunch of records by skydiving from from outer space. Tomasi knew that their was no dialog needed in this scene and just allow his art team, Mahake and Moll, to convey the meaning of this scene. The whole scene was just phenomenal. More than Batman RIP, Last Rites, and all the Batman RIP tie-in issues this last scene really showed the ramifications of Bruce’s disappearance has on those closest to Bruce. In many ways I feel Morrison should have used a scene like this at the end of Batman RIP to give proper weight to his story instead of the non-ending that we got. Overall it was this scene that made this issue a very strong read.
Story: 9.3/10 – Tomasi continues to amaze me with his run on Nightwing. It was smart move by Tomasi to allow his artist to covey the weight the last scene carried for the reader.
Art: 8.4/10 – Mahke and Moll provided some great artwork in this issue, especially in the Arkham Asylum and Wayne Manor scenes. Though the artist by committee did hurt the issue in the Nightwing, Superman, and Green Lantern scene in the middle of the issue.
Overall: 8.85/10 – This was another great issue of Nightwing and I hope that the last three issues of this series don’t hurt what Tomasi is doing due to them being all tie-in issues to the various DCU events.