My Guess Is Gilda

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Batman #707
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

The whole mess with the mask of the beholder ends here…it wasn’t my favorite story but it wasn’t bad either. I liked that it set up Peacock as a possible Dick Grayson love interest and the ending of this issue was just awesome. Daniel’s art has improved tremendously since Battle for the Cowl and it shows here too. So who is the mysterious woman at the end of this issue with the two-face coin? I am not sure but I have a feeling it’s Gilda Dent!

Girl Sidekicks

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Batman #706
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

There seems to be a theme of girl sidekicks running through this book as both Riddler’s Daughter and Catgirl show up. I am looking forward to seeing more of Enigma as her backstory has never been really explained but Riddler does act like she may be his actual daughter in this. Though you would think the Riddler would know better then to mess with Batman’s suit? As always Daniel continues to utilize Gotham City to its fullest and I am loving his run so far.

Surprise Guest Star

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Batman #705
Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Daniel

 

I almost didn’t like this issue…this whole mask of the beholder thing doesn’t really interest me. I think Daniel works best when he plays with the Gotham cast and didn’t want to read about this Peacock and her brother — until the very end when he saved it all by bringing in a character not seen since Geoff Johns’s Teen Titans. I wasn’t expecting her to show up. Awesome!

Robin 164 – 180

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Robin #164
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Meh….this issue was just a waste. Dodge recruits a bunch of Gotham Metas I don’t care about to take out Robin and Robin gets asked to be on the tennis team. I really don’t care.  Williams’s art, while I liked it at first, is kinda getting on my nerves. I don’t like how cartooney it is and how everyone’s mouth looks so strange.

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Robin #165
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Now this was more like it. Robin fights off Dodge and his goon in the hospital. I like how Beechen is great at explaining how Robin can take out these guys who at first glace seem so much more powerful. He uses brains over brawn. I knew there was no way Dodge would want to kill Robin, but I wonder how this girl knows Robin’s real name or if she even does.

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Robin #166
Written by Adam Beechen
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

While this storyline took a little long, I must say that I really enjoyed this finale. I hope Dodge comes back again. There is something so sweet about his flamebird-like wannabe attitude. I also must say that I was not expecting the whole Zatara/Ravager twist at all. This was a good issue.

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Robin #167
Written by Brandon Thomas
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

This filler issue was very very good and a nice story about a boy who misses his father. Sometimes these mourning stories can get a little tiresome but there hasn’t been that much focus on the death of Jack Drake in this series and this issue make up for it. The best part has to be when Batman tells Jack “That he will take it up from here.” Meaning of course that he will take care of Tim.

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Robin #168
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

This is part of the Ressurection of Ra’s al Ghul crossover and is one of the better issues in this crossover. I totally understand why Robin is freaking out on Damian. I hate that little brat and I don’t trust him either. And it’s not like Damian is being subtle about wanting to replace Tim, I mean he runs around in a Robin shirt! How old is Damian supposed to be? Just curious.

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Robin #169
Written by Peter Milligan
Art by David Baldeon

This is another part of the Ressurection of Ra’s al Ghul and in it we see Tim tempted by the idea of joining with Ra’s if it means he can bring back those he has lost. I was shocked at first that Robin would consider it, but then I thought about it and realized….this boy has lost his parents, his girlfriend, and his best friend. I think it is very human of him to be tempted to do that, but I trust he will make the right decision in the end. Oh and I like Baldeon’s art better than Williams’s art.

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Robin #170
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista and Jamal Igle

Chuck Dixon is  back on Robin and it looks like he is fixing DC’s biggest mistake in the bat-books of this decade, the death and mistreatment of Stephanie Brown. Dixon wsa the writer of Robin when I first got into comics (writer of most of the batbooks actually) and I have tremendous respect for him as a writer even if I don’t agree with his politics. This is a fantastic issue and a great start to his new run. I can’t wait to see Stephanie again. And I loved the mention of the memorial (or lack of) in the cave.

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Robin #171
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista

This was a good issue, Dixon is back in the game like he never left. And I love how he is seeing Spoiler jumping across rooftops. If she is alive, was that issue of Batgirl where she talks to Stephanie in a near-death-experience just a hallucination? Anyways, Violet has an ugly costume. I wonder what is going on with Ives.

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Robin #172
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by David Baldeon

Robin busts up an illegal casino led by Maxie Zeus this issue, all the while trying to stop Violet. God…I hate her. I hate her costume and I hate her attitude and I HATE those stupid goggles. All and all I have got a lot of hate for her. I question since she isn’t the Spoiler, what the point of her character even is? I guess just to throw people off thinking she was Stephanie. But Stephanie is back in her old Spoiler this issue! But Tim doesn’t know it yet.

r173

Robin #173
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista

Spoiler shows up but Robin doesn’t believe it is Stephanie behind the mask. I liked how he gets angry that someone is impersonating her as I think I would be too. I almost feel like Dixon should have waited to not show the readers Spoiler was back until the moment Robin saw her, it would make it more dramatic.

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Robin #174
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Chris Batista

Well Stephanie is back and Dixon has fixed one of DC’s worst mistakes, her brutal death. He even makes Batman look like less of jackass by saying that Batman knew that she was still alive and that is why there was no memorial in the cave. She apparently faked her death with the help of Leslie. Now I would like to see Batman and Leslie reconcile. It was really awesome to see Tim give her a big hug and kiss when he saw her. I know DC will try to play it off as if this was there plan the whole time, but we all know it wasn’t. I am just happy it is fixed.

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Robin #175
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Joe Bennett

This issue begins a crossover with R.I.P and more so of a crossover then Detective or Nightwing is (They are not really crossovers at all) but around the same level of crossover as Batman and the Outsiders. Dixon left DC before this issue and his remaining stories were chronicled in the Robin/Spoiler Special. I am not going to get into that whole dabacle, but I will say that this is good stuff. Nicieza is always good and is a perfect replacement for Dixon. I don’t really care for the flashbacks to 52 with Dick and Tim though. It just doesn’t interest me. Robin searching for the missing Batman does though and his strange relationship with Spoiler.

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Robin #175
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Joe Bennett

The R.I.P storyline begins and it is revealed that the Spoiler has been trying to steer Robin away from finding out what is going on with Batman because Batman asked him to. R.I.P is turning out to be an awesome storyline, and this crossover is really exciting as we see Tim dig deeper and deeper to find out what happened to Batman. Still don’t care much for the flashbacks but it works in the context of the story. The art is fantastic as well.

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Robin #177
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

I didn’t expect to see Ragman in this issue but I guess I forgot he lives in Gotham. As for who the new Red Robin is if it isn’t Jason Todd, I have no idea but I have always liked the Red Robin costume. I doubt Stephanie is actually paying Lynx to kill Robin. If she is that would be stupid and Nicieza is a better writer then that. The writing is good that I wasn’t even annoyed by Williams’s art.

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Robin #178
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

I am confused. I don’t know who that guy was at the end or what is going on with Spoiler. I really don’t care about this gang war, it bores me. This was kind of a dull issue and this time around I did notice Williams’s art.

r179

Robin #179
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

Okay everything is spiraling out of control for Robin who is trying to keep Gotham safe, Spoiler is acting weird, and there is a guy running around as Red Robin who seemingly wants to kill Robin. This is a lot to take in, but the annoying thing is that Tim mentions him and Dick are taking care of thing in Gotham, but so is Cassandra! Why no mention of Batgirl, damn it.

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Robin #180
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Freddie E. Williams II

I am sure Robin escapes the explosion at the end….but I was very underwhelmed by the reveal of who Red Robin was. I was expecting someone way cooler then that, some former Robin villain now a little muscled up. At least it looks like Anarky is coming back, although he sort of disappeared from comics around the time I started reading them so I don’t have that much of a connection with the character as some people do. Hmmmm…..not sure where this is going exactly but I guess I am along for the ride.

Batman 669 – 680

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Batman #669
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.H. Williams III

Ya maybe because it has been a while since I read the start of this story…..but I sooo confused by this. What happened? It seemed like pages were missing or something? So Mayhew was behind this? He is being paid by the Black Glove? So confused….maybe I have to go back and re-read the last two issues.

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Batman #670
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

This is the prelude to the Ressurection of Ra’s Al Ghul Bat-crossover and I have to say I liked it more then some of the other issues of this crossover. I was a bit confused by Ra’s saying Damian was grown in a tank? Did I miss something there? As for the storyline itself, I really could care less about it. But this was still a good issue.

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Batman #671
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Also, a little bit confused by this issue. Was that really Ra’s father? It really didn’t seem like much happened in this issue. Very quick read….really only okay for a comic, a big failure for a comic written by Morrison.

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Batman #672
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Wow…Morrison’s run is very confusing, but you know with Morrison it will all make sense in the end and when you reread things you will catch things you did not catch before. I didn’t notice the Zur-En-Arr stuff the first time I read this. As for what Bat-Mite is doing here, I do not know. But I am intrigued by everything, even though I am confused.

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Batman #673
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Batman is having heart attack this issue, and flashes back to some interesting moments in his life where he has hallucinated. I like the flashback to the Robin Dies at Dawn storyline and it’s paralells with the Thogal ritual. I even liked the Joe Chill stuff, even if I was a little against the idea of bringing that character back. Tony Daniel is a fantastic artist and his work is perfectly suited for Morrison. I am not sure why some bloggers seem to not like him…to each his own I guess.

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Batman #674
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

Now things are getting really good! We learn the truth behind the three Cop-Batman’s that have been plaguing him. Apparently, they were created by Dr. Simon Hurt to take Batman’s place in case he died. But it looks like Hurt was a psycho who even went to the lengths of having one of the cop’s familes murdered to do the same psychological damage to the cop as Bruce experienced as a boy. Interesting stuff, I really think the overall theme of Morrison’s run is Bruce’s psychology, and the state of his mind. This is all coming together rather nicely. As for Bat-Mite, he seems to represent the readers, as he seems to know things only the readers of this book would know and is trying to clue Batman in. That would fit with the whole characters being aware they are comic characters thing that Morrison has been dealing with since his run on Animal Man.

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Batman #675
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Ryan Benjamin

Well, this is the prelude to R.I.P. The storyline that is supposed to change Batman’s world forever. Benjamin’s art is pretty bad. I did not like it at all…the facial expressions just seemed off. As for Jezebel finding out that Bruce and Batman are one and the same, I think Bruce could have easily said that he wasn’t Batman, but it looks like he does trust her for some reason.

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Batman #676
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

This is the first part of R.I.P and I must say that I really enjoyed it…especially on the second read. Yes, it is no Hush, this isn’t some stupid popcorn summer movie flick type comic, this is intelligent stuff. You have to read it multiple times to catch things. I am not sure if the Black Glove is the same as the club of villains or if the Black Glove is an actual person behind the scenes. The club of villains are interesting and I look forward to learning more about them. I am getting suspicious of Jezebel…could she be the Black Glove? The Joker’s first appearence in this story was particularly frightening….the perfect way for Batman’s arch nemesis to make his entrance.

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Batman #677
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

If this stuff with Thomas Wayne is true, then this WILL fundamentally change Batman as a character forever. I hope it is not. That is too much of a messing with the mythos. I hope this was created by the Black Glove to throw Batman off, to make him go crazy. I still am suspicious about Jezebel, I think she is involved with the Black Glove somehow. This is the most original Batman story I think I have ever read.

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Batman #678
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

I can’t help but think of that old Batman: The Animated Series episode where Batman forgets he is Batman and ends up on the streets while reading this issue as essentially the same thing has happened, except Bruce has also gone bat-shit crazy! He’s running around in hand-stitched costume saying he is the Batman of Zur-En-Ahhr! I have to say, I have no idea where this story is going, but I am loving it!

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Batman #679
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

The club of villains have taken over Arkham, and everything is going to hell in a handbasket. The Batman of Zur-En-Ahhr is one crazy bastard, but Bruce is sitll in there I know it. There was certainly a lot of red and black symbolism in this issue, although I probably would not have noticed if I hadn’t read about it in annotations.

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Batman #680
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Tony Daniel

I was correctamundo! It looks like Jezebel Jet is the Black Glove or is at least working with him/her. This was one INTENSE issue as I really got the feeling I was reading Bruce’s final days. It is both creepy and amazing. I can’t wait to see how this arc ends.

Detective 833 – 848

Detective Comics #833
Written by Paul Dini

Art by Don Kramer

The first time I read this issue I was pleasently surprised that Loxias turned out to the Joker. On a second read-through, it was fun to see the clues early on. What a great reveal. Dini may have a Zatanna-fetish, but he does know how to tell great Batman stories with her.

Detective Comics #834 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer

Dini is probably the greatest Joker writer of the modern era. This issue supports that. The Joker is hilarious and I love the line about the Justice League Picnic. The ending was awesome where Joker stages his final act. And it was nice to see Batman finally forgive Zatanna for mindwiping him.

Detective Comics #835 Written by John Rozum
Art by Tom Mandrake

This is a particularly creepy Scarecrow filler arc from a writer I have never heard of. The art here is fantastic; dark and moody, fitting the story very well. Scarecrow is one sick fuck.

Detective Comics #836 Written by John Rozum
Art by Tom Mandrake

This concludes the two-part Scarecrow story from last issue. Scarecrow is scaring the heck out of Gotham without his fear gas. Hats off to him I guess haha. He does some scary shit here including almost convincing Robin to go to sleep with a bear trap as a pillow. I question why Rozum brought in this love interest, Kay. She served no point in the story and it’s just a filler so it’s not like she will be staying around. Odd.

Detective Comics #837 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer

This countdown Tie-in worked really well I think. Anytime we have Dini writing Harley Quinn and the Riddler in one issue it is going to be good. Now that I think of it, have we even seen Harley since Countdown ended?

Detective Comics #838 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Ryan Benjamin

This is Part 3 of the Ressurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul crossover. Eh it was okay. I have never really gotten into Ra’s al Ghul. The only story I really liked with him was Tower of Babel but more for the Justice League then him. So it is really hard for me to care about this story.

Detective Comics #839 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Ryan Benjamin and Don Kramer

This was the conclusion of the Ressurrection of Ra’s al Ghul Crossover and I actually liked it a lot better then the previous issue’s part. Ra’s is not alive inside his son’s body and I did like the moment where they all share a Christmas drink at the end (although I wish Cassandra Cain were included in the family moment)

Detective Comics #840 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Don Kramer


Dini is the master of creating new villains. Many modern writers do not create new villains, they use the old ones (which I have no problem with) or they just use a generic monster or gangster. But Dini know how to create a good old fashioned Batman villain and the Globe – a guy obsessed with maps – just fits right in with the rest. But the Globe isn’t even the main attraction of this issue, Ra’s Al Ghul right after being ressurected is drugged and locked into Arkham by Batman. After all that, Dini put Ra’s right out of action….awesome.

Detective Comics #841 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

The things that I love about Dini’s work is how he writes the Bat-villains (and how he utilizes them, for the greatest group of villains in comics, a lot of writers choose not to use them) and he does it again with the Mad Hatter here who although tricked into starting a Wonderland Gang by Tweedledee and Tweedledum, gets his revenge in an awesome way. I miss Kramer’s work on this title, but Nguyen’s artwork isn’t half-bad.

Detective Comics #842 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

This was a good filler. This Suit of Sorrows reminded me too much of the black suit from Spider-Man but all in all, it was a nice little story.

Detective Comics #843 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

This is another great issue of Dini’s run in which we finally find out the real name of the new Ventriloquist – Peyton Riley. The name sounds familiar but I am not sure where I have heard it before. One does have to wonder how she could make the scarface voice as a female, but I guess that is just suspension of disbelief? Oh and I am not sure how I feel about a Zatanna-Batman romance.

Detective Comics #844 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

So I am still not sure if Peyton Riley has appeared before, but her origin story is pretty cool and I hadn’t even noticed that she had been hiding her eye with her hair this whole time. I garuntee you she’s not dead, as she just fell into the ocean and that always means they will be back. I wonder how she will get a hold of Scarface again, considering he’s in the Batcave now.

Detective Comics #845 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

I really liked this issue – Catwoman and Batman interacting is always fun – and I especially liked the Detective chat room Batman was in with the Riddler and Detective Chimp. Nice touch, Dini!

Detective Comics #846 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

So this is Hush’s return – and I must say Dini’s take on Hush may be even better then Loeb’s. His backstory is explored much better here and Dini seems to be on the road to making him a more developed villain for Batman…..and I like the idea that even a lion could cuddle up with Catwoman lol.

Detective Comics #847 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Yep, I can tell you now that Dini’s Hush story is much better then the original – his back storie are making Hush a more well-rounded and frightening character. The conversation between Catwoman and Zatanna made me smile and I can’t help but get excited for the next issue.

Detective Comics #848 Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen

Oh my gosh, that was an intense issue. I was so scared for Selina there, thank god she is alive. How she is living without a heart I do not know. Hush is one sick mother fucker….and I wonder how this all connects to Peyton Riley, the Ventriloquist. And why did Selina recognize Hush as someone else before he stabbed her? This is really really good and I hope people are reading this….because this way better then Hush’s debut arc and actually more enjoyable then RIP.

Nightwing 134 – 142

Nightwing #134
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Jamal Ingle

Hmmm…this was an interesting set up for the mystery of the new Vigilante. It isn’t someone who knows Dick and Nightwing are one and the same but it seems like it is someone who has dealt with Nightwing in the past. I am glad to see Dick isn’t sporting the rudiculous hair dough he had when Bruce Jones was on the title. Anyways, I liked this issue but I am wondering if I am really going to care when the Vigilante’s identity is going to be revealed.

Nightwing #135
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Jon Bosco

Now this was a good issue. I liked show it showed Dick’s glass half full view of the world and how that makes him different then Batman and the Vigilante. I liked it especially because I see things the same way as Dick (But I haven’t experience evil in the way Dick has so Dick is definitely a stronger person then I am). The art was good too, especially for fill-in.

Nightwing #136
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Jon Bosco

Um kinda confused by this. Do Eddie and Liu work for the HIVE? What is the new Vigilante’s connection to Adrian Chase? And why do they want Dick Grayson’s DNA, do they think he’s a metahuman? Hopefully we will get answers next issue.Nightwing #137
Written by Marv Wolfman
Art by Jon Bosco

Damn…a cliffhanger. Wolfman is leaving this book and writing a Vigilante Series…I will pick it up but geez that’s a big cliffhanger just to leave people hanging. Anyways, I loved the 321 days and the missing years between the end of the Teen Titans and the beginning of the New Teen Titans….I totally get the timeline now. But anyways, Wolfman’s run was decent, better then Jone’s run. I look forward to see what Tomasi does with this book. Oh and the last page of this issue was awesome!

Nightwing #138
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Don Kramer

DC’s go to fill-in guy Nicieza tackles this issue of Nightwing, part 2 of the batbook crossover “Ressurection of Ra’s Al Ghul”. It was okay….this crossover is just okay. Nothing too exciting to write home about. I like Ra’s Al Ghul but he isn’t my favorite Bat-villain (Not even close) so nothing here really excites me. It it is totally in character for Nightwing to try to save the villain’s lives though I liked that. Oh and Nightwing using a teleporter is too easy and lame for a Bat-book.

Nightwing #139
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Don Kramer

This is part 6 of the Ressurection of Ra’s Al Ghul crossover, and I did like this a lot. Although it was more a Robin story then a Nightwing story it was good to see Nightwing’s thoughts on what Robin has been through. You can’t blame Robin for wanting to bring his friends and family back but I think he made the right choice in the end.

Nightwing #140
Written by Peter Tomasi

Art by Rags Morales

Peter Tomasi’s first issue of his Nightwing run was a real treat. I have never read any of the former editor’s stuff (I think?) and he is really good. This blows Bruce Jones and Marv Wolfman out of the park. Of course, Morales’s amazing art helps as well. I love the characterization of the bat family and the idea of Nightwing building his base in a museum he is now the curator of. This was just awesome! The only problem I had is he always refers to himself as Richard, not Dick, in this issue. Huh?

Nightwing #141
Written by Peter Tomasi

Art by Rags Morales

Tomasi is quickly turning this into one of DC’s best monthly books and that is an amazing turn around from what it was before. Tomasi takes the time this issue to show what is going on with Nightwing’s relationships with different people in the DCU including the Flash and Batman. Tomasi knows how to use the DCU effectively and doesn’t forget that the JSA operate out of New York as well. Awesome! All writers should follow Tomasi when it comes to utilizing the shared universe concept.

Nightwing #142
Written by Peter Tomasi

Art by Rags Morales

With three great issues, Tomasi has proven himself as a great writer for Nightwing. This issue was full of awesomeness with the art and the story perfectly awesome. Robin and Nightwing’s brotherly relationship was great to see and it is always nice to see Ma Hunkel! Tomasi better be on this book for a long time to come. I don’t know that I care for the use of Talia so soon but o well, that’s only one problem in a book of awesomeness.