After a month delay, the concluding chapter of the Prankster arc hits the pages of Nightwing! Check out the DCN review of the final confrontation!
So Villains Month is finally over, which means we finally get the opportunity to read another issue of Nightwing. When we last left the bootylicous vigilante, he had been sought out and offered assistance by the man who killed his parents – Tony Zucco. Which Chicago on the verge of collapse, it’s up to this unlikely pairing to stop the Prankster. Once again, it’s Kyle Higgins providing us the script to Dick Grayson’s life, and the capable Will Conrad on art duties.
When Zucco shows up at the end of last issue, images of buddy-cop movies flashed in my head. However, Nightwing’s reaction of tying up Zucco and strapping him to the back of his motorcycle was an unexpected and humorous turn. From there, Will Conrad’s art takes over, and this book is beautiful because of it. The action sequences are well laid out and choreographed, and the detailing on every panel is incredible. Even the closing pages, which are not action-oriented, are drawn with the same amount of attention and care. To summarize, the artwork is insanely good.
Higgins does not shy away from strong themes and dialogue. Responsibility is a key theme that comes to the forefront in multiple forms. From the backstory of the Prankster to Zucco’s final actions in this issue, taking responsibility for one’s actions consistently rears its head. Also, although it’s a given Nightwing will come out on top – we are talking about serialized comics after all – it’s presented in a manner that is still thrilling and enjoyable. And the final pages of this tease some big things for the future of this title.
The biggest question is how does this work in the continuity of Forever Evil? The best answer I can come up with is don’t even try to make the continuity fit, otherwise your head will explode. It is a problem, just not a big one in the eyes of this reviewer.
My only big problem I had was that Prankster has a classic slasher-movie moment with an (attempted) surprise kill near the issue’s end. Though the attempt ultimately proves to be fruitless, I could not help but wonder “how did he know to show up there?” It took me out of the story for just a moment, but a moment is all it takes.
Nightwing #24 is a great conclusion to Dick Grayson’s first romp in the Windy City. The team of Higgins and Conrad give us a story in the vein of classic superhero stories, with a bit of a modern twist. After a month of reading villain books, it’s good to see heroes back in the spotlight. And don’t forget that Dick Grayson returns later this month with Nightwing Annual #1.