Review: Nightwing #15

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

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor

Despite the many girls that Dick Grayson has been involved with over the the years, from Bette Kane (sort of) in the ’50’s through Starfire in the ’80’s, Helena Bertinelli in Grayson, everyone knows he’s supposed to be with Barbara Gordon. Right? Right? Superman is supposed to be with Lois Lane, Barry Allen is supposed to be with Iris West. Batman is supposed to be with Catwoman. Haven’t you been reading Batman? Well, Nightwing #15 makes a great argument for Dick being with Shawn Tsang.

In a 68 days ago, 41 days ago, 16 days ago format, we get the low down on Dick and Shawn since the end of last issue. First date, first intimate encounter, first meeting of parents, Dick talking to his his friends and Bat-family, Shawn talking to her friends and family.  Whew. The talk between Dick and Babs is tough, I still can’t believe she didn’t clock him!  But, she really does want him to be happy…

So, Dick finally ends up talking to Bruce about his happiness and feelings for Shawn.  He relates his experience to the story of Hercules and Magara and the madness stricken upon him by Hera that compels him to kill her and their children.  Maybe, Babs has a chance with Dick after all.

This issue focuses heavily on character and emotion.  It recalls almost every issue of Grayson that so accurately captured the essence of Dick’s character. No matter one’s personal feelings on who Dick should be with, the way this relationship is built up and described is honest, believable and touching. The interaction between Wally West and Dick is a throwback to the 90s and fits perfectly, recalling the long friendship these two have had throughout the years.  Wally is characterized perfectly, and the chemistry between the two friends is not only deeply nostalgic, but another example of the character/emotional content of the issue. Don’t you just love Babs? No bitterness, no enmity. Dick can always go back to her (It’s because they are supposed to be together…get it?). Special mention goes to the painterly quality of Chris Sotomayor’s colors; this adds a unique look to the book that really seemed to stand out this issue.

Except for the fact that Dick is supposed to be with Babs, this issue is perfect.

I guess the finale of this issue sets up the next arc, but reading this issue is pure enjoyment of great story telling.  Even if you think that Babs and Dick belong together, you cannot deny how well this issue is executed.  This issue also serves as a great jumping on point for readers.  Everything is right about this issue, except for Babs and Dick not being together, but even then, the Dick/Shawn relationship is presented so impeccably, one can’t help but feel for them both.

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