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BatWatch Reviews: @DCComics Nightwing, Batman and Robin, Batwoman @BatWatcher


Here are today's Guest Reviews by Jeremy Sims from Batwatch for DC's; Nighwing #23, Batman and Nightwing #23, and Batwoman #23. 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 #23 - World Turned Upside Down



A city under siege as the Prankster’s attacks take over Chicago! Can Nightwing find the madman before he kills again? And just what is the Prankster’s endgame? Plus, don’t miss Tony Zullo’s shocking decision

Preview



But, What's My Motivation?


I have not been feeling great the past few days. I'm not sure why. I'm not sick in the typical sense, but I just feel like I'm lagging a bit, and thinking is a real effort sometimes as I struggle to force my brain to work through my mental sludge. In addition to this, I've just read Batman #23 which did not thrill me as much as I hoped. So on this evening of sleepiness as I strive to focus my brain and have fun with today's comics, I am hopeful that Nightwing will handsomely reward my efforts. Higgins has done a great job with Nightwing since the move to Chicago, and I can only hope that this Prince of Gotham continues to reign gloriously in the Windy City.

Does Nightwing #23 continue this series' superb run or have the good times come to an end?

In this issue, Nightwing tries to stop Prankster's thugs as the police draw closer to Prankster.

The four week trend of rating nines or better to this series has come to an end. I simply did not enjoy this issue quite as much as the last several though there is still a lot worth checking out. There are a few teeny, tiny little hiccups in the story, but the main issue is that I no longer understand the motivation for most of the characters.

In the plethora of ill defined motivations, Prankster is the lead of the pack. He started off being a sort of dark vigilante preaching that the government was screwing up and people needed to pay attention as he dealt justice to those bad guys who had slipped through the cracks. Okay, that's a villain I can support, but last issue, he went much further by attacking innocents, presumably killing many, and inserting police officers in death traps. This shifts my understanding of Prankster. He's still motivated by a desire to see justice done to those who appear beyond the reach of justice, but he's willing to be a terrorist and kill people he believes are working for the corrupt city, like police officers. He goes even further and is willing to kill civilains riding on the Chicago subway. You could still see that as targeting a government system, so there is kind of an anti-government connection there. "Wake up to corruption or I'll kill you," is his basic message. It kind of a Timothy McVeigh sort of thing.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict -4.3
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Batman and Robin #23 - Acceptance


Could Batman have saved Damian’s life after all? Guest starring Nightwing!



Preview



Redeemed


The Stages of Grief arc has been a bumpy ride for Batman fans. On one hand, I think most of us wanted to see the grief we were feeling for Damian's death acted out by Batman and the idea of showing Batman going through different healing processes in attempt to attain peace is a creative blend of psychology and nerdology. However, Batman doesn't really seem to have moved any further through the grieving process than anger, and three weeks of anger have proven to be a bit much. Also, the series has starred a rotating cast of Bat Family costars many of which have been given little to do.

Now, the time has finally arrived for Batman to experience acceptance, but considering the way the other stages have been handled, I'm not sure Bruce will even reach this turning point. At least we have Nightwing on board to make the ride more entertaining.

Does this final issue prove this arc to be a story readers can accept and enjoy or does it leave fans as a boiling cauldron of rage?

In this issue, Batman and Nightwing enter an Internet 3.0 simulator program to relive the night Damian died and figure out how they could have saved him.

After a long, painful scramble to get to this point, we finally get to the end and experience some acceptance. It's not enough to negate all the rough patches getting us to this point, but it's certainly enough to wash most of the bad taste out my mouth and make me more fond of the arc.

Grayson, for his part, is well represented in this issue. Thank goodness, we don't have any of the snobby, petty disdain Dick was throwing Bruce's way last time they met. (Detective Comics 19 if I'm not mistaken) Grayson is clearly back on good terms with Bruce or at least on good enough terms to do him a solid in his hour of need. When Nightwing enters the issue, Batman has already spent countless hours reliving VR scenarios where he tries and fails to save Damian. Knowing he can never convince him to stop, Grayson instead decides to join with Bruce.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4
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Batwoman #23 - This Blood is Thick: Veins


Batwoman must confront the chaos and destruction that she helped unleash in Gotham City as part of the DEO’s scheme to destroy Batman!



Preview




Stop with the Head Trips


It was three issues ago that we learned the setup for the upcoming battle. Batwoman was blackmailed by the D.E.O. into turning on her namesake, Batman.  Her options were to bring Batman to justice or let her family suffer, and she chose to save her family and rat out the Bat. At the time, I expected the next issue to feature a battle between the two, but the creative team had other ideas. The next episode was a one shot following up Killer Croc's story from the Medusa arc. We then had an issue amounting to little more than planning as Batwoman and Maggie Sawyer gained intel from Bruce's enemies. Finally, we come to the present issue, and I was really wondering what J.H. Williams and Haden Blackman had in store for us.

Scarecrow toxin seems to be the name of the game. Kate wants a clear head and a clear conscience before she puts it all on the line for her family, so she will inject herself with Scarecrow toxin just as she did to Maggie. Now Kate will be able to face down her demons and make penance for her earlier crimes, but her timing is suspect with the battle against Batman being just around the corner.

Does Batwoman's use of the fear toxin prove to be a move of strategic brilliance or are we witnessing Kate Kane's Waterloo?

In this issue, Hawkfire and the Kane crew kidnap a D.E.O. agent while Kate injects herself with fear toxin to exorcise her demons.

If I wasn't already swamped with things I need to do, I'd spend time going back through the past year's Batman comics just to count the amount of crazy head trips our heroes have experienced. I'm not sure what the final tally would be, but I know it's at least half a dozen. Whatever the amount, I'm tired of it. I want to see no more psychic prying, no more bad dreams, and no more toxins. When I realized that this issue was going to take us down another broken road of shattered thoughts, I was inwardly groaning and fearful of what this issue might hold. Thankfully, the creative team managed to reward me trust in them once more.

Read the rest of Jeremy Sims' review on Batwatch

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 2/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7
 - (Buy Batwoman #23) SAVE 10%

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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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