Book Review – Nightwing: A Darker Shade of Justice

  • Title: Nightwing: A Darker Shade of Justice
  • Author:  Chuck Dixon
  • Artists: Scott McDaniel, Karl Story, Roberta Tewes, John Costanza
  • Line: 1990-Era (Early Modern Age)
  • Characters: Nightwing (Dick Grayson), Batman, Huntress, Oracle (Barbara Gordon)
  • Collection Date: 2001 (Original Collection Printing)
  • Collected issues: Nightwing #30-39, Nightwing Secret Files #1
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 7/07/2016

And this is where it all started. I found Nightwing a Darker Shade of Justice in a comic shop (not my normal Vault of Midnight but another one that was not pleasant to visit) and I loved it. However, I could tell I was walking in to the middle of the story. I started to look for other volumes, mostly on-line, only to find the series out of print. That DC Comics decided to start reprinting this series made me happy and excited – because this is my Nightwing and my Dick Grayson.

This particular issue overlaps with volume 4, Love and Bullets which I reviewed earlier today, but it also covers additional issues of the on-going comic. Therefore I was able to read more of the on-going storyline. So for this re-read, I skipped the issues I just read in Love and Bullets and started with “The Belly of the Beast”. From the last page of “Sister Act”, where Dick is interrupted by an urgent video message from Batman, Dick is sent on a solo mission to Blackgate prison. Blackgate is under the control of the vicious criminal Lock-up. Batman wants Nightwing to take back the prison and remove Lock-up from control, thus preventing him from realizing he has an army that can take over Gotham (this takes place at the same time as “No Man’s Land”). Dick breaks into the prison but is unable to take over from the con and is immediately attacked. This is, ultimately, how he ends-up in such dire straits in “Taking Wing”. Dick escapes and crawls to Oracle’s door. Barbara Gordon begins to nurse him back to health – but her hideaway is attacked by the Gotham PD task force and Huntress. Huntress, however, decides that the PD’s plan to eliminate Oracle – her friend whom she worked with in the Birds of Prey – is too lethal, so she helps out Dick and Barbara. The issue ends with Barbara and Dick heading back to Blüdhaven.

A Darker Shade of Justice being the original printing, collects the original newsprint books into a single volume. I must admit I felt a bit nostalgic holding and reading the old style of comic book printing. The colors aren’t as vivid as the contemporary Nightwing books, though, and the tones are more muted. I hope that DC Comics publishes the rest of the series, including this book, because I suspect they with continue on from where Love and Bullets left off and continue past the end of A Darker Shade of Justice.

Nightwing A Darker Shade of Justice collects issues 30-39 of Nightwing, and Nightwing Secret Files #1.

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