"Targets" (Part 2)
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artists: Dan Jurgens (layouts), Norm Rapmund (finishes), Moose Baumann (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics
After last month’s blast-off of a start (especially when compared to the previous writer’s run), this month’s issue comes across as more of a steady development than an outright blockbuster one. While the main plot and Nightwing’s part in it still takes center stage, time is also given to developing not only the mystery villain but also the "civilian" that is Dick Grayson. Along the way, new characters both show up and (eventually) fall by the side, but at the end of the day, the reader is left with a Nightwing that is more than just a man in a snazzy costume.
Introduced last issue, the Raptor takes a backseat and then reaches his end at the hands of yet another new character, one who seems to be the real villain here. From the conversation this mystery man has with his chauffeur (of his "Hummer-Limo"), it also becomes known that he was responsible for the murders that the Raptor got blamed for. Along with Raptor (Jace Lorens), Mr. I-Pod Listener also chocks up another kill in the form of Dr. Slater, Ex-LexCorp employee and one of the people who the Raptor was after (most probably for a cure for his worsening physical condition).
As for Dick Grayson and his (and Nightwing’s) new supporting cast, along with a short showing by the lovely Ms. Ryan, masseuse extraordinaire, there is another addition in the form of J.J. Nightwing’s answer to Batman’s Harold (well, before Hush shot him), J.J. is a tech expert, one who seems to have quite a story about him. What exactly it is and what was that he did that led J.J. to close himself off indoors, not leaving even for grocery, isn’t revealed here. Still, the small tidbits that are let out are enough to make up for the character’s rather so-so first appearance.
The art though with the same style as in the previous issue does show a few minor improvements. Along with an indication of the artists (Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Moose Baumann) getting familiar with the character, it is also makes for an overall better reading experience. Having found the last issue a bit lacking in the "backgrounds" and (sometimes) in the "color depths," I was glad to find appreciable improvements in both these sections.
Conclusion: Though not quite the juggernaut that the last issue made it out to be, this arc is developing quite smoothly, and is on its way to accomplish what it is intended to do, reestablish both Nightwing and Dick Grayson. Still, what happened to the mysterious silhouette from the last issue?
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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