Sunday, March 31, 2013

Comic Book Reviews: Nightwing #18 and Red Hood & The Outlaws #18

It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted stuff, and I'll take a moment to apologize for that. It's certainly been an eventful last few weeks with March Madness, and that has occupied much of my time.

More to the point, after my rage against Gene Yang's little "What a twist!" homage in the latest Avatar: TLA graphic novel, I kind of hit a wall in terms of writing or even being coherent.

As such, I don't expect to be very long in my reviews here. I've got a lot of books to review, so I'll just do brief rundowns in my blogs as I rattle them off in hopes of catching up in time for the new Detective Comics to come out.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

All right, full disclosure here: I will probably be reviewing this title significantly less frequently from here on in. With Scott Lobdell being switched out for James Tynion IV, I'm seeing this as a jump-off point until I know the quality of the successor. Not that I don't trust Tynion's work (which is solid), but this book's tone definitely only works a few ways and this could go really wrong really quickly.

I'll still review issues when I can read in the shop/in trade form, but Lobdell did finish off a storyline here quite nicely, so I'm satisfied where the 1.5-year run ended.

Actually, this is probably Lobdell's best issue in the series, and if you can find copies still, it's worth your time. The artwork isn't as great and it's actually a sign of how much I'm going to miss Kenneth Rocafort, but the story is a great piece that shows where Jason exists in the Bat-family.

He's hallucinating through most of this book, but the sequences intertwined with Bruce's scenes combine to make a compelling story all the way through.

I came out of this book feeling really good about the place Jason is in, even though his situation sucks. It's clear he's growing as a character and I'm glad to say he's finally found a niche in the DCU I can get behind.

There's no Arsenal or Starfire in this one, but it sounds like Tynion wants to take on storylines for them soon, so good luck on that front.

Overall, I really liked this one, and I'd like to thank Lobdell for a year and a half of solid stories and wish him the best of luck with the Superman title. (Your Teen Titans is still a mess, though.)

Nightwing #18

Maybe it's just me, but did anyone feel like the art in the "Requiem" titles were all really screwy? (Besides B&R, I mean?) Everything felt really gritty and this book in particular felt off.

There were some nice flashbacks with Damian that Kyle Higgins wrote, but I couldn't get fully immersed because Damian looked like a grown freaking man in all the panels!

The storyline here was a nice one, as it sets up the new status quo for Nightwing after all these crossovers. Sonia Branch is becoming a unique and compelling part of Dick's supporting cast and I'm hoping she'll still be present while Nightwing begins his trek into the new city.

There's a good set of scenes with Batman and Nightwing that really captures the emotions DIck is experiencing, but again, all my praise for the writing is lost on the fact that I couldn't make myself as interested due to some really wonky artwork, specifically in the penciling and coloring.

If this thing gets novelized, great, but don't pay for what I can only assume to be guest artwork. The emotions are lost there and it's clear Higgins needs someone who won't act like they're drawing something so dark. It completely contrasts with Nightwing's character and even in a dark storyline, the art should reflect what Nightwing represents.

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