Review: Nightwing #14

by Matthew Lloyd
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor

Summary
So Dick is holding on the bottom of a Police car as it stops at a checkpoint early in the morning. Inside the Police car are Shawn Tsang and Detective Svoboda. Turns out Svoboda is one of the few straight cops in Blüdhaven. Nightwing is riding underneath so that he isn’t seen. They are on the way to Jimmy Nice.

Not surprisingly, Nightwing and Detective Svoboda save the day, but not without a little gamesmanship by the Detective. She wants to make sure that she gets credit for bringing in Nice because she wants the people of Blüdhaven to know that the Police are still effective.

Dick decides to stay in Blüdhaven and work at the Community Center where he continues to work with the Run-Offs.  Shawn leaves the Center, but surprises Dick by identifying him as Nightwing and Robin.  They share a kiss as Dick confesses to her that he wants to get to know her as Dick Grayson.  Dick is content to stay in Blüdhaven, but the other Nightwing in the red accented uniform may not be so happy about that.

Positives
There are couple of truly funny lines that remind the reader that Dick always maintains his sense of humor. This story actually ended up following through on the redemption angle for Shawn and the Run-Offs, and they all have hope for their futures. Shawn figuring out that Dick is Nightwing was a nice touch that seems very realistic. The Nightwing in red in the last panel recalls another old story line. Can’t imagine who this doppelganger will be!

Negatives
The explanation of the mystery was a bit muddled. Certainly the characters and their personal problems were much more interesting than the particular crime that was solved. Perhaps, this needed some more memorable plot moments. The guilty seemed to have very little screen time and seemed to just sort of appear at the end. Not Jimmy of course, but the whole plot behind his motivation was not not developed enough.  When there’s a mystery to be solved, clarifying the motivation and the resolution are a must.

Verdict
Not sure where I come down on Dick and Shawn being together, it’s a wait and see how it plays out situation.  The conclusion to the arc is mixed.  Dick’s personal growth was right on target, but the resolution to the mystery was a bit flimsy. However, Dick has been properly reintroduced to Blüdhaven and it gives Dick his own town to cover as opposed to being just another Batman. It worked 20 years ago and it seems like it will work again.

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