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@BatWatcher Reviews: @DCComics Nightwing, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Batman Incorporated


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch. Included are DC's; Nightwing #20, Red Hood and the Outlaws #20, and Batman, Incorporated #11. 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 #20 - Flying Blind


After witnessing so much death in the past few months, how will Nightwing react when he learns a key figure in his life has returned from the grave?

Preview



Blinded by the Prankster


In general, I have not been too impressed by Kyle Higgins run on Nightwing, but holy crap was I ever blown away by the last issue of Nightwing. Throw Dick into Chicago, and he spontaneously develops a supporting cast. Intrigue was around every corner in last issue as we met a host of new characters, and maybe I'm wrong, but it also seemed as if Dick had a bit more of his pre-Flashpoint skill, flair and humor back. Regardless, I laughed, (well, I chuckled) I cried, (well, okay, no, but it was cool, okay?) and I enjoyed myself thoroughly with Nightwing #19. I'm definitely ready to learn more about the corruption of Chicago, the history of Tony Zucco, the motivation of Prankster, and the psychosis of Mali.

Does this issue prove that Windy City is the place for Dick Grayson or does all the progress of the last issue swept aside in this one?

In this issue, Nightwing meets his new roommates and gets a lead from Spade, the police come across more of Prankster's handiwork, and Tony Zucco is revealed as a much more complex character than we originally suspected.

Upgrade

It seems like the entire dialogue of the book has really stepped up a notch or two...or three. Whereas most of the previous issues of Nightwing have never really made me feel overly attached to the characters, the people in this issue all seem to have depth and personality. Mike gets some more development this issue, and Dick gets to know his other roommate, Joey. Joey seems like an interesting character, and she is yet another suspect for the identity of the Prankster. The conversations between Dick, Mike, and Joey felt completely natural and really gave a good sense of who these new characters are in just a few pages. Similarly, Tony Zucco and the mayor also had a conversation in this issue which did a lot to deepen the plot while building intrigue and making these characters feel more fully realized. There is still a definite and even probable chance that the mayor and Zucco are evil, but at least they are not the typical mustache twirling variety of villain.

Booth's pencils continue to look amazing, and I think he is the perfect artist for this book. His sleek, fluid style just pairs well with Nightwing. Also, I've grown more and more appreciative of Dick's new costume. It was not really announced because it was not a huge change, but if you look back to the way Eddy Barrows drew it to the way it is now, there are many small tweaks. The red stripe across his chest is thinner and it now goes all the way down to his fingers like his pre-Flashpoint costume. Booth also added a neck stripe and hip stripe which, though small, actually help break up the otherwise all black of the suit. I've always felt Dick's pre-Flashpoint suit was better, but now looking at this one, I feel a little torn for the first time. Replace the red with blue, and I think I'm sold on this being the superior design.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 5/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.4
 - (Buy Nightwing #20)


Red Hood and the Outlaws #20 - Confessions


The return of Proctor sees Arsenal and Kori reliving Red Hood’s memories—including his battles with the League of Assassins!


Preview



A Life Stolen by a Thief of Memories!


James Tynion IV (current writer of Talon, Red Hood and the Outlaws, and Batman) has steadily grown as one my favorite writers since he started Talon, but I was dismayed to find myself disappointed in last months' Red Hood and the Outlaws. It was not really a bad issue, but it felt off as Roy and Kori stalked across the tundra to find Jason without any obvious motivation. Throw in a couple of lackluster fights, and you've pretty much summed up the last issue of RHATO except for the big reveal at the end where we learned that Jason had his mind wiped to forget all his pain. This concept intrigues me, but I can only hope that Tynion picks up the pace a little in this issue.

Does RHATO #20 restore the fun vibe the series used to have or will Hoodies need a mind wipe when all is said and done?

In this issue, S'aru the Proctor gives Roy and Kori some insights into Jason's life.

Now This Is More Like It

This issue was much better, yet it did not address one my main complaints about the last issue. One of the things that annoyed me most about the previous issue is it failed to add any humor or fun action sequences into the mix, and really, this issue is the same way. However, this issue feels fresh and gripping because all the action is happening on an emotional level. S'aru might not be trading blows with the Outlaws in the physical sense, but he is definitely taking swings at them emotionally.

S'aru takes the Outlaws into Red Hood's memories and allows them to see first hand the pain that poor old Jason has endured. Some of the scenes were simple rehashes of previously established events, but other moments, like the first meeting between Arsenal and Jason, shed new light on the Outlaws' relationships and Jason's psyche. S'aru's main target is Roy who desperately wants to restore Jason's mind and is willing to use force to force S'aru, but the Proctor also has some medicine for Starfire, and he sews some serious strife into the team.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3.3
 - (Buy Red Hood and the Outlaws #20)


Batman, Incorporated #11 - Interlude: A Bird in the Hand


Batman’s world has been devastated by his war against Talia, but is he willing to give up on his own humanity?


Note: The previous solicit does not hold. This issue was written by Chris Burnham and features a self-contained story with the Batman of Japan.


Preview



Featuring the Batman of Japan


Batman Incorporated has forgotten the epic battle it had staged at the end of the last issue and is now trying to make us believe a story of Mr. Unknown, the Batman of Japan, can be just as exciting. Like most people, I was annoyed when I realized I would have to wait another month to see how a crazed Bruce Wayne man-bat wearing a new prototype exoskeleton and the Suit of Sorrows would fair against Talia's army, but I soon found my anger abating as I realized that this was exactly what I've been asking of Batman, Incorporated this entire time. Don't get me wrong, Bruce's fight against Leviathan has been entertaining, high quality fun, but I always thought Batman, Incorporated should be less about Bruce and more about the international team of Batmen. It looks like we will finally get a taste of what this series would look like with a new Batman each week; it may be too late to see rotating Batmen become a monthly reality, but if I get to see a hint of this before the series is gone, I'm not going to complain. Besides, I suspect we might learn some important information relevant to the Leviathan plotline before this issue is finished.

Is Batman, Incorporated #11 a fun and necessary break before the epic finale or is this just an unnecessary and unappreciated filler issue?

In this issue, Mr. Unknown and Shy Crazy Lolita Canary track down some nanobot infused bikers.

How Goes the Great Experiment?

I was wondering how Batman, Incorporated would work as a series that focused on a rotating cast of Batmen. As far as this issue is concerned, I have to say it was not overly pretty.

This issue has some problems though it also has some strong points.

The preview made it clear that this issue had a different tone somewhat parodying anime television shows, so you should keep that in mind if you read this. Personally, I've never been a big fan of anime, but I do think that an issue or even a series exploring a Japanese take on the superhero with all Japan's many cultural idiosyncrasies could be a lot of fun. Sadly, it only partially works here.

On the positive front, I liked all the crazy visuals designs. The head villain of this issue has a really ridiculous yet fun design, and the look and function of Hiro's version of the Bat Cave has lots of echoes of the original Bat Cave even including variations of the giant penny and tyrannosaurus rex. There was also use of the all but forgotten Internet 3.0 concept in this issue. Lots of little things like this made me feel like I was truly seeing a Batman of a different culture.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 3/5
Story - 3/5
Verdict - 3
 - (Buy Batman, Incorporated #11)

Purchase DC Comics
Jeremy Sims is a blogger at https://batwatch.squarespace.com/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.

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