Return of Lady Shiva
By: Andrew Hines
There’s been a lot going on in Dick’s life since #1. His old “home” came back to town. (The dude grew up in the circus. It’s complicated.) His old buddy came back from the dead, became a freelance assassin and came after Dick. Then, Mr. Grayson got handed ownership of Haly’s Circus. He wants to employ everyone in a concrete location at the old amusement park of Gotham. Add to that someone framing Nightwing/Dick Grayson for a double homicide. That’s where things get tricky. He’s thwarted that and now two of his deadliest enemies have returned to Gotham.
Let’s have a moment of silence for Kyle Higgins leaving Nightwing for this issue and the next. . . . Okay, now let’s deal with Tom DeFalco’s writing. Suffice it to say, it’s average. Better than even the writing of Liefeld, but then again, it’s Liefeld. DeFalco gives us some interesting pages, but it’s not the best pacing. The dialogue is alright, but only really shines in a few panels. The action sequences are written well, but then we’re partly back to the issue of pacing. Then there’s the fact that the issue is supposed to be about Lady Shivabeing back in Gotham. She’s only there for a page or two and has absolutely no lines. The writing could be a lot better, so here’s me looking forward to issue 15.
Andres Guinaldo’s art is pretty good and feels pretty consistent from issue to issue. the pencils are great and the different angles don’t really change the look of the character much. For some artists, this is a problem, but Guinaldo, as I said, is quite consistent. Mark Irwin’s inks lend themselves nicely to the nourish setting of Gotham. It pulls the pencils and colds together pretty well. This leads me to Rod Reis’ colors, which are superb as usual. The dude rarely misses a beat. He really puts his all into it as is shown in the lighting on the page shown at right.
All things considered, this issue earns a “B-“, which is probably the lowest grade I’ve given an issue of Nightwing to date. I say buy it if you’re a completist or for the artwork, not the writing.