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Guest Reviews: @DCComics Nightwing #16, Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, & Batman and Robin Annual #1

Nightwing #16 CoverRed Hood and the Outlaws #16 CoverBatman and Robin Annual #1 Cover

Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Nightwing #16, Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, & Batman and Robin Annual #1. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.

See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.

Nightwing #16 - Curtain Call


A “DEATH OF THE FAMILY” tie-in!


After the shocking events of last issue, it didn’t seem like things could get much worse for Nightwing, but when The Joker’s involved that’s never a safe bet!


Dick’s past is about to burn down around him – literally!


Preview



Curtain Call


I was not particularly impressed with the last issue of Nightwing which puts me in the vast minority. I would not say it was a bad issue, but it simply failed to wow me. Joker killed a guy who looked like him and then left him hanging in a creepy place, but beyond that, all he did was give Raya a dose of laughing gas and turn her loose on Nightwing. I found the whole setup rather boring because Joker uses innocents against heroes all the time, and Raya's death just felt like a waste of a potentially interesting supporting character. I certainly do not feel any personal loss over a character who was created for the sole purpose of betraying Dick Grayson, yet apparently, we are supposed to feel great loss over her passing. I'm afraid I do not invest in characters that easily.

At the end of the last issue, we are left with the threat of Joker heading to Amusement Mile to wreak havoc. Has Joker planned a fun filled evening of thrills and spills for Grayson, or is Dick's date with destiny a disaster?

In this issue, Nightwing confronts Joker at Amusement Mile where the Clown Prince of Crime tortures Dick with his past while destroying his future.

What a Finish!

I was extremely impressed with this conclusion, but I am not speaking of the conclusion of Nightwing's role in Death of the Family but the conclusion of Eddy Barrows penciling on the Nightwing series. Overall, I've enjoyed Barrows run, but I think this issue is probably his best yet. Nearly every page was a piece of art that stands above the crowd. Barrows really caught the elegance and flow of Dick's movement. The first page is beautiful and deserves to be screen capped and added to the Nightwing gallery page of BatWatch. Pages two and three featured a spread that has Dick's ghost movements tracking his graceful parkour move across the Gotham skyline. We get our first real glimpse at Joker's face on page 5 where Barrows has found a new look for Joker with the skin pulled so tight as to be near the tearing point and plenty of extra muscle showing around the gums. There is a beautiful, if morbid, spread featuring some unique use of skeletons on pages six and seven. Nightwing uses some throwing knives with a Nightwing symbol design I do not believe we have ever previously seen. (I'm a fan for whatever creators might be listening) Again, that panel deserves a screen cap. On pages nine and ten, Dick experiences some visions which are excellently executed. Throughout the rest of the comic, every move that every character makes seems to have real weight behind it.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' Review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4



Red Hood and the Outlaws #16 - Family Matters


“DEATH OF THE FAMILY” continues here!


Ties in to this month’s TEEN TITANS #16!


Tim Drake and Jason Todd have to survive a confrontation with The Joker and stop their respective teams from killing each other.


Considering how well they have worked together in the past, that shouldn’t be a problem, right? RIGHT?


Preview



Family Matters!


I'm really interested in this week's Red Hood and the Outlaws not so much because I want to see how the Joker arch concludes but because I've seen some very low scores on this issue from people who usually give RHATO high scores. I was not crazy about the last issue, but I did respect how Jason did not relent against the Joker, and I thought the labyrinth Joker set up for Red Hood was pretty menacing. Furthermore, Lobdell said months ago that Jason was going to hand Joker quite the beating in his cross over, and who doesn't want to see that? Is Red Hood and the Outlaws #16 getting an unfair reputation, or is this story a colossal misstep for a generally entertaining series?

In this issue, The Outlaws and the Teen Titans team up to stop a group of homeless people infected with Joker gas.

The Reason People Are Ticked

Well, I'm pretty sure I can guess why most people are disappointed. For the record, I never read other reviews before writing my own because I do not want to be copying the thoughts of others; however, lots of sites display a rating for comics right on the home page, so it is difficult not to catch that sort of information in passing. Anyway, I do not know why people view this as a bad issue, but I can make an educated guess. I'm going to reveal something that is technically a spoiler in the next paragraph, but I suggest that you go ahead and read the spoiler even if you have not read the issue because I think it will increase your enjoyment if you decide to read it for yourself.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' Review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.1



Batman and Robin Annual #1 - Batman Impossible


Robin leads Batman on an unrelenting hunt across the globe for family secrets that promise to change them both forever.


If you think you know Bruce Wayne...think again!


Preview



Batman Impossible


Normally when I introduce a comic, I talk about what has been going on previously in the series, but since this is an annual, I really have no idea what to expect. Sure, I could cheat and read the solicits, but I like being surprised. We know this issue cannot be taking place chronologically with the regular series since the last time we saw Damian, he was being dragged God knows where by Joker, so unless this issue features forty pages of Robin waiting for Batman to show up so we can find out what is under the darn platter, I'm guessing this issue probably took place earlier. The cover is also interesting having Damian wearing his grown up Batman uniform even though he is still a child, and unless I am mistaken, this cover is an homage to an earlier future Damian story. Anyway, I'm prepped and ready for this issue. Does Batman and Robin Annual #1 deliver a win or a fail?

In this issue, Damian sends Bruce on a worldwide scavenger hunt down memory's lane where the world's greatest detective reconnects with some secrets from his parents' past. Meanwhile, Damian dons the cape and cowl to guard Gotham while Bruce is gone.

A Comedy Tonight!

This is by far the funniest comic I have read in a long, long time. That is including the recent Li'l Gotham comics. Tomasi, the writer, does an amazing job keeping the serious tone that the series had during the Nobody run and yet putting the characters in scenarios that lead to huge laughs. Sometimes when a writer tries to be funny, he or she sets up some ridiculous situation which might be humorous but ruins the serious nature of the comic, but here, the humor comes from the personalities of the individual characters, and that takes skill.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' Review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.1


Pre-Order Joker Death of the Family HC (Save 20%)
Purchase Batman and Robin Annual #1
Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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