Written by Chuck Dixon
Pencils by Scott McDaniel
Review by Matt Morrison
It’s very rare that a story comes along that elicits a strong emotional response in a large number of readers, be it sadness, anger or just outright ecstasy at the coolness of a situation. It’s even rarer for people to get strong feelings for a single issue of a comic. Simply put, Nightwing #38 IS such a comic.
I don’t usually pay much attention to the art in a comic but the first splash page in this issue just grabbed me. Maybe it’s just because I’ve always had a crush on the classic Batgirl but something about it just grabbed me by the shirt and pulled me with it. And talking of the art, Scott Daniel’s proves in this issue that he can draw quiet talking scenes as easily as he can the high-action scenes for which he has become famous.
The issue continues the on-going story line of Nightwing’s involvement in No Man’s Land and also refers back to things discussed in Birds of Prey #8. BOP #8 was a flashback where Babs and Dick went on a date and had a moment that was romantic, touching and awe-inspiring all in one.
I will not go into detail of this issue, simply because doing so would be a great disservice to Chuck Dixon, who tells this story in a way so well that for me to strip it to the bare bones would be sacrilegious. Quite simply, Dick and Babs talk, they open up to each other and then all Hell breaks loose when a gang of rogue cops break into Babs’ apartment to capture “the Brain behind Copland”. And a surprise guest shows up, who nobody is that happy to see. Trust me. You will not regret spending the $1.99 on this issue.
Okay, I know I’ve done nothing but harp on about how GOOD this issue is. Surely there must be something bad about this issue, right? Well, there is ONE flaw.
As I said, this issue continues the storyline involving Nightwing’s attempt to retake Blackgate Prison… and yet, no mention is made of how Dick wound up beaten, bruised and on Babs’ doorstep. This is a part of the one flaw that keeps me from giving this issue a perfect rating. While it’s highly likely that most of the readers of Nightwing are Dixon fans who have read the BOP “date” issue (which is rather indirectly referred to by Babs) AND have been keeping up on what’s going on in No Man’s Land (and who the guy leading the cops is), the fact is that the issue is dependent upon the reader’s knowing what has been happening in other books and mini-series in order to enjoy it to its fullest. Also, no reasonable explanation is given for how the head cop knows Babs is planning things in the Copland.
Forgive me an overused melodramatic statement, but there are no words in the English Language to describe how good this issue is. This is undoubtedly one of the best things Chuck Dixon has written and you would be sorely remiss if you did NOT read this issue.