Book Review – Nightwing vol. 2: Night of the Owls (New 52)

  • Title: Nightwing vol. 2: Night of the Owls
  • Author: Kyle Higgins and Tom DeFalco
  • Artists: Eddy Barrows, Ruy José, Eber Ferreira, Andres Guinaldo, Mark Irwin, Geraldo Borges, Raul Fernandez, Rod Reis, Peter Pantazis, Pat Brosseau, Carlos M. Mangual, Travis Lanham, Dezi Sienty
  • Line: New 52
  • Characters: Nightwing (Dick Grayson)
  • Collection Date: 2013
  • Collected issues: Nightwing 8-12 (2012)
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 1/25/2015

I really liked Vol. 0 (zero) in this book – nice to see the history of Gotham, as well as it’s founding citizens. And I understand, having read the book, why Alan Wayne was portrayed the way he was. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Bruce is a decent guy, despite his obvious issues, and his wealth. Thomas and Martha were good people (despite Grant Morrison’s story lines insisting they weren’t – which is one of many problems I have with Mr. Morrison). So it stands to reason that Alan Wayne would not be a paragon of evil along the lines of the many costumed super villains haunting Gotham’s streets. I have a major problem with the whole “the-Wayne-family-is-Evil-thing”. Really, I do.

So imagine how much I don’t like the idea that Dick Grayson was supposed to be part of an elite group of secret assassins known as the Court of Owls.

However, given that — the book is very good. The art is gorgeous. I felt Dick was a bit more in character than in volume 1.

The art in Nightwing, Vol 2: Night of the Owls is very good. Dick looks great in his black costume – though I still really prefer the blue on black traditional Nightwing costume over the red one. The black costume with the red bird symbol is just too close to Terry McGinnis’ Batman costume from Batman Beyond. And while that costume worked in that world – it makes no sense for Dick Grayson to be wearing such a costume.

This is the third time I’ve read this graphic novel – and it’s finally grown on me. I still hate the whole Court of Owls thing, and I really hate the idea that Dick’s parents were going to sell him to the secretive band of assassins called the Court of Owls. I mean, really? That certainly stretches credibility, even in a graphic novel.

I also found it very odd that Dick was so alone in this. Yes, it’s a Nightwing title, but the Bat family, has always – or well, for a long time, been the Bat Family – and considering how much Dick is getting stabbed – and his trouble with the police, you’d think Bruce or somebody would take some time to help him out. Or, worry about him, something… But the lack of character interaction and the lack of caring between the characters, is one of the main problems I have with New 52. If I wanted to read about cynical, paranoid, characters who don’t care one wit about anybody but themselves – I’d read Marvel. I’m not saying the characters need to be overly emotional, but come on – Dick is Bruce’s son and Alfred’s grandson – they should care what happens to him. And Bruce wasn’t even in this book. I did like that Alfred was in charge (from the Batcave) of the initial assault against the Talons though. And Damien’s brief appearance was priceless, “As the foremost authority on disregarding ancestors’ wishes for bloodthirsty killing…” Indeed! But no Red Robin at all, no Barbara Gordon at all, no Bruce Wayne?

Still, it’s not bad. The storyline is very disjointed, which is probably why I had to read this three times to get a handle on it. I just think both Nightwing and Batman could be so much better.

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