eh. he's no Batman.

Four months ago, DC decided to use "Batman R.I.P." to shake things up a bit between Detective Comics and Batman. They did two-issue arcs where a writer-artist team did one issue in one title, and concluded their story in the other title.

Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen, for example, did a really good "Faces of Evil" arc that focused on Hush and Catwoman, running in Detective Comics #852 and Batman #685. I reviewed them a while ago.

Neil Gaiman was SUPPOSED to have FINISHED an arc with Adam Kubert a while ago, but "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader" got horrendously delayed. Really, Whatever Happened to On-schedule Comics?

Denny O'Neil, though, with Guillem March did a tight two-issue arc on Detective Comics #851 and Batman #684. That's what today is about.

Detective Comics #851 
Batman #684 
by Denny O'Neil and Guillem March

Batman has a great supporting cast. That is fact by now, so really, I don't understand why Nightwing -- the guy who's been Batman's ward for so long that he went solo and even led his own team -- SUCKS so much.

Denny O'Neil was a former editor/writer for Batman, for pete's sake! He pioneered Green Lantern/Green Arrow and added social relevance to comics! I am disappointed that he fails to make Nightwing an interesting character. In the arc, Nightwing is a collection of insecure whines about how he isn't Batman, and how much he sucks without Batman.

he's no Batman

It was really formulaic, because after seeing everyone emphasize how cruddy a superhero Nightwing is, even 'wing himself, he ends up beating the bad guy in the end. Maybe it's because I've never read a Nightwing comic, but in this day and age, who wants to read something so by-the-book?

And the bad guy isn't even C-list. He's a Two-Face impostor.
The only thing enjoyable about O'Neil's arc is the dichotomy he sets up in Gotham. It was once a bright city for the arts and philanthropy, but then it devolved into a city of crime and corruption.

In the end, this isn't really about the story. It's about the art, because Guillem March draws everything so darn pretty.

Nightwing meets Millicent Mayne

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