On Nightwing Annual #2

April 21st, 2007 by | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Okay, so the last thing Devin Grayson did on Nightwing was have Dick Grayson propose to Barbara Gordon. I think that was a neat twist and kinda cool. Should they be together? I don’t know, but I am curious!

Then OYL hit and the plot was dropped entirely.

Nightwing Annual #2 hit this week and explained why they aren’t together, in addition to showing some scenes from their past. These include, but are not limited to:
1. Dick Grayson showing up six months after Joker shoots Babs, sleeping with her, and then hitting her with an engangement announcement for his wedding to Starfire the very next morning.
2. Babs going to Dick’s college dorm with flowers shortly after he declares his love for her, only to be meet with Starfire answering his door in panties, a t-shirt, and what I assume is Dick’s letterman’s jacket. They speak, Barb leaves in tears and Kory doesn’t think to tell Dick that one of his best friends just dropped by. PS this is followed by the revelation that Kory was Dick’s first sex partner, as revealed by an insufferably smug Babs Gordon who knows Dick Grayson just that well apparently. Barfo!
3. Babs and Dick being stuck in a safe together by Crazy Quilt of all people, leading to a scene where Dick is trying to hide his bat-erection from Batman.
4. Barbara making the executive decision to cancel her engagement to Dick, despite their twoo wuv (he swears to come back to her and she wears the engagement ring on a necklace) because a) he needs to go off with Batman somewhere and b) she feels that he defines himself by his relationship to others and he needs to find himself before he marries her.
5. Barbara Gordon being a thoroughly unlikeable and heartless person.
6. Dick Grayson being a thoroughly unlikeable and heartless person.
7. Some really awkward dialogue, lovey-dovey and otherwise.

Seriously, this was a bad comic. It was competently written, and I actually really dig the art, but it was bad in a “What were you thinking?” sort of way. Sins Past was bad, and artifically aged Gwen & Norman twins are bad, but this is beyond even that. Every single person comes off as horrible or unlikeable or both. Why should I care about these people?

I don’t even really like Nightwing. I read it because I was interested in that plot about the marriage.

This was like if someone asked me “Hey, what’re some things you don’t particularly care to ever see in a comic?” and then put everything I listed in that comic. It’s gross and not good. I mean, cool, heroes have/should have/do have sex and relationships but for some reason Babs talking to Dick Grayson about losing his virginity to Starfire just comes off mad creepy in that weird nerdy sort of way that comics do so well. I’m not even a prude, man. I own the Bomb Queen trade, I am all about some gratuitous nudity and graphic violence. This, though? This is yuck.

The worst thing is that Nightwing Annual #2, like the similarly useless World War III, feels so editorially mandated that you can picture Dan Didio sitting on your shoulder going “This patches that weird sequence from Tales of Nightwing #209, and this bit means that the guy from Adventures of Superman #132 isn’t in continuity any more, and this close-up shows that there was no penetration in Batman #133 so Robin technically didn’t have sex with his girlfriend…”

Seriously DC, stop with Continuity Patch Comix(TM). They aren’t good. We learned that in the ’90s. I almost wish this story had remained untold, because the reason the two didn’t get married is stupid and now both of them look like jerks because of the reason and the dumb-dumb flashbacks.

And if I never read a book with a Bat-erection in it again, it’ll be too soon.

I’ll talk about some good comics tomorrow. Ones that aren’t gross.

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10 comments to “On Nightwing Annual #2”

  1. Apart from the creepy factor, it’s amazing how much of the annual falls flat because of what (chronologically) comes after it. So Dick should go with Bruce to “find himself”. Then, when he comes back as a new man, him and Babs can try again. Except that this didn’t happen. So far, One Year Later, Dick has spent all of his time fighting shitty villains as Nightwing. He hasn’t even mentioned Babs as far I know.

    Apart from that, wasn’t the whole point of the Nightwing persona that Dick had already detached himself from Batman and become his own person?

  2. Continuity Patch Comix at work! Don’t expect it to make sense, just expect it!

  3. […] Brothers explains what’s wrong with Nightwing Annual #2. I was similarly astounded at the mercy f**k scene where Dick sleeps with Barbara one last time […]

  4. It’s the whole “Dick is destined to be with Babs” vibe that started (I think) with Chuck Dixon, then continually shoved down our throats. Even in Nightwing: Year One, we get Dick, while in a relationship with Starfire, going to Babs and hitting on her. It’s really bad characterization for all characters involved.

    I don’t mind that some writers want Dick and Babs together. But they could at least give better reasons for it, rather than adding retcons.

  5. IIRC, Devin Grayson was editorially directed to have Nightwing propose marriage. She’s said she had planned “the opposite” of what occurred.

  6. Okay, the idea that this was an intended storyline, rather than the mopping up of a dropped one, somehow makes all this worse. I could excuse a bit of sloppiness if you’re trying to tie up loose ends, kind of, but to have this be part of your OYL Plan? Bravo.

    I’ve been reading Nightwing from the beginning, and that first year or so is pretty rock solid. Dixon and McDaniel were doing good work! I’m up to issue 60 now, and the series took a nosedive when Greg Land came on. The Trevor McCarthy stuff I’m on now is okayish, but that’s about it.

  7. […] people didn’t like Nightwing Annual #2 very much. This was like if someone asked me “Hey, what’re some things you don’t particularly care to […]

  8. damn, i was surprised to see that everybody hated this so much. Compared to what the Nightwing run has been like lately, I think this was a breath of fresh air.

  9. Hey! Just found this. I also hate NW Annual #2 and thank you for this piece. Very much agreed.

  10. Oh, and I meant to say, I really, really like your thoughts on the editorial mandate process.

    Seriously DC, stop with Continuity Patch Comix(TM).