Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
This has been a very fun series, and although it's not been perfect it has been very good, and deserves to be one of the Bat titles out the now. I've been really happy since Dick Grayson returned as Nightwing, and I'm happy with the work that Kyle Higgins has been doing on the series.
In the aftermath of Death of the Family Dick Grayson is dealing with all the terrible things Joker did to him, and the people round him trying to fix as much as he can. But Dick has a follower in current Robin, Damian Wayne, who believes that there's something wrong with Dick.
Although this issue isn't quite as good as the previous it is a nice stand alone issue to reflect on all the terrible things inflicted by Joker. Higgins did a fantastic job in showing how the events of Death of the Family have affected Dick, and I especially liked how he wrote the interaction between Dick, and Damian, but I'll talk more about that later. The only reason this wasn't as good as the previous issue was that it was all over the place, and although it had a purpose, it felt like a little too much was going on.
Something I wasn't too sure on was the art by Juan Jose Ryp. In some respects I liked this art, and overall it was very nice looking, but at the same time it wasn't anywhere near as good as former artist Eddy Barrows, or upcoming artist Brett Booth. The other problem I had with Ryp's art was that the facial expressions looked a bit awkward from time to time. Besides that the art was very good, and it's a Ryp is a very good choice to fill the gap between Barrows, and Booth (as there are a lot worse artists working for DC). The detail throughout is also very good, and he draws most of the characters very well. The only character that I didn't like drawn by him was Damian, an more importantly his hair. I didn't really see any problems in the way he drew Damian in general, but his hair looked very unrealistic.
What I liked about this issue was that it gave a chance for multiple characters to make an appearance. The appearance I liked the most (baring Damian of course) was current Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. The history between these two characters is vast, and I always enjoy seeing the two characters together. I especially liked how she saw something slightly strange in Dick's relationship with Sonia Zucco.
Talking about Sonia Zucco, it was nice to see her make an appearance in this issue. It's not a surprise that she made an appearance as she's been in most of the series, but it's still nice all the same. Although Dick has had many relationships over the years, and that he still cares about all the women involved in one way or another I like that there's a chance for him to move onto someone new, and even if they have a form of history between them it would be nice for Dick, and Sonia to work things out. Either way I'm looking forward to seeing how this develops, as whether they grow to love each other, or hate each other it should be interesting, and I don't expect to see anything in between (at least in the long run).
It was nice to see exactly all the damage that Joker has inflicted upon Dick. Although it was seen happening throughout Death of the Family it's hard to notice the exact lengths of Joker's actions, whereas now that it's all over and done it's a lot easier to notice the exact extent. What was mainly interesting was how Dick reacted to all this, and more so how he reacted to other peoples reactions. It leaves a lot of questions about Dick future, and not just the direction of the series, as it's also questionable about Dick's connection with Haly's Circus, and the employees of Haly's, as well as his mental state, and how he reacts to others around him. He's looking all calm the now but I wouldn't be surprised if it all got too much for him.
Damian's appearance in this issue was the thing I enjoyed the most, and when I noticed he'd be involved once seeing the cover, and solicit this is what I was looking forward to. I'd really enjoyed how Damian and Dick worked together in the original Batman and Robin series prior to the New 52, and since the New 52 they've not really interacted much at all, let alone on a personal level. It was nice that Damian was able to spot that unlike what Dick was telling everyone, that he wasn't alright. The only problem I had about this interaction however was that it didn't last long enough, and I hope that it happens again sometime in the future.
I'll finish by talking about the ending. I won't talk much as to avoid spoilers, but I will say that it's a very interesting turn of events, and bodes interesting things for the next issue.
This was a fabulous issue, and although it's not the best in the series so far it's still a very good issue. I would highly recommend this issue, as well as the series, and am looking forward to the next issue.