Written by Kyle Higgins
Pencils by Eddy Barrows
Nightwing finds himself in over his head as the Joker starts to target those close to him.
Death Of The Family hits Nightwing, and it’s hitting him hard. While he is searching for his childhood friend, Raya, whom the Joker sprung from prison, the Joker kills Haly’s Circus star, Jimmy. In the wake of this event, Dick packs up his circus and forces his crew to leave Gotham. A lead traces Joker back to Raya’s location, but not before Joker gasses Raya.
I’m not sure if it’s just this issue being tied to the Death Of The Family event, but this issue seemed a bit thin on story. What we did get was pretty good; problem was there wasn’t much of it. In fact I blew through this issue pretty quickly. Anything with the Joker in it is sure to score points and readers, but this issue doesn’t really do anything to expand the Death event. I know its just a tie in, but I’ve found that with other crossover events, such as the Green Lantern ones, the other books always serve to fill in other parts of the story, but here we just get a story that includes the Joker. There’s no real tie in to the main story going on the Batman book. It almost seems like we are being taken on a separate ride here instead of riding along with Batman.
The story we do get works, it wasn’t the best read ever, but it was okay. Though even if this were to serve as it’s own story, it was still a thin read. I’m guessing the main purpose of this issue was to further cement the fact that the Joker knows the true identities of the Bat Family with the Joker striking those who Dick knows from his personal life, but it just didn’t feel like enough. The scene at the beginning was well done with the Joker stalking down Haly’s Circus clown, Jimmy, because his look resembles the Joker, and there was a great fight scene with a Joker gassed Raya, but even those didn’t seem like enough to truly save this issue.
Barrows delivers well enough here on the art side of things. Raya made for one creepy Joker gassed henchwoman. Some of the facial expressions do look a bit silly though, especially with an overly surprised Dick, but they didn’t deter away from the overall look of the book, so I’m not too upset about that. However nothing about the art really blew me away or had me doing double takes. In fact there was one part where Nightwing dodges an attack by planting his hand on Raya’s head, but it almost looked like his foot instead.
Overall this issue felt a bit lazy all around with the story telling and the art. Though neither was awful, I would say under delivered would be a good way to put it. Nothing here served the Death crossover event, other than the fact that the Joker was featured. I think Nightwing would’ve been better off if this hadn’t been a “tie in”, but rather a stand-alone story where the Joker targets Nightwing.
2.5 out of 5 nerds
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