Monday, June 2, 2014

The Original Art Work for Nightwing #30

Before the delay with Forever Evil Tynion wrote Nightwing #30 and artist Meghan Hetrick did the art. I don't think Tynion has released the script but the art tells most of the tale as Hetrick has released the images as DC has allowed her to sell the pages.

Thoughts below the cut.

Pages 4-5: Can you image what this is like for Alfred? He already went through this with Jason and Damian. Although Jason is back for all he knows he'll never get the other two back. At one point he lost Bruce too, believing he was dead. So seeing Dicks' body then Tim, the only one of his surrogate grandsons that hasn't died, has to leave him an emotional wreak. I like seeing them hug because Alfred and the kids have a more open relationship. They can allow themselves to be fragile around each other in ways they can't with Bruce. With Jason Alfred blamed Bruce but couldn't voice it out loud. With Damian he feels responsible for letting him go. In this case he was far removed from the situation with no one to really blame.

Tim on the other hand isn't thrilled with Bruce. This could be for a number of reasons stemming off from DOTF (which he never really got over) and Bruces' behavior when he was grieving over Damian. I believe Tim places some blame on Bruce in Batman Eternal which also has Tynion writing it. Maybe Tim thought the family should have been called in. He did try to save Dick with the TT but that didn't pan out. Who knows what the others were doing at the time.

Pages 6-8: Having Jim and Harvey talk about Dick would have been interesting. Gordon pretty much thought good things about both Nigthwing and Dick Grayson. Still he knows two other Robins died so it would have been nice to get his opinion of Batman getting his kids killed. We rarely get Bullocks' POV on the Robins so it'd be a nice change of pace to see a frank discussion. The signal was a good touch although I don't recall them honoring the other Robins.

Pages 12-13: Can you imagine Halys' Circus finding out the surviving Grayson was a superhero then hearing he died? Of course these are the people that turned their backs on him after DOTF too. The girl is wearing the bracelet Dick gave his mother as a birthday present the night his parents were killed.

Pages 14-15: Again another open expression of affection which is always appreciated in comics especially in the bat family where we mostly get feuds over Bruce being an ass. Tim is more reserved around Barbara but it's still apparent that their close. Despite them rarely directly interacting in the New 52 I always got the impression he was the closet to her. Yeah Dicks' kinda the closest but half of the time she was screaming at him. I'm not sure if Barbaras' flashback has Dick making her trip to impress her. Since he's peering in at her at the window it seems kind of creepy and jerky.

Page 16: I've heard people debating why Barbara slaps Jason. Suggesting that it's because he's smiling (people deal with grief differently) or said something mean. Tynion hasn't written Jason well in RHATO but he never had him act like that, just some hapless guy that life screws over. So who knows. Barbara could be mad that he's alive instead of Dick. He could have grumbled that it's a better show up than his death, stated that Bruce keeps getting them killed or some remark that's half a jab at himself. I'm more angry at this being Barbaras' reaction. As I said before she's usually very hard on him, much harder than she is on others. Jason on the other hand doesn't return the insult and walks away. He's always canonly respected women far more than men so this doesn't surprise me. Regardless of the reason he's there to show his respect for Dick, he didn't have to come. The fact that he's there says he cares. BTW is he supposed to have grey hair on the sides? It looks a little odd.

Pages 16-17: Sheesh, I know she doesn't like Jason but Babs could at least be respectful enough to give him some space to say his goodbyes. Maybe their talking but still. I like the art but there's a few things that get me. I'll get to one of those later but all my complaints center around the costumes. In Jasons' flashback he's wearing his current uniform. I appreciated Rocafort changing the uniforms in his flashbacks which not only shows time passed but in some cases worked with previous stories. Jason would be wearing his UTH costume. While Rocafort did make a mistake in this regard (*1) the timeframe would imply the fight was recent which wouldn't make much sense. (Of course that may be a writing problem if it was supposed to be recent.) Jason honestly seems upset about his past with Dick although I would have liked to see a flashback of the two getting along. Despite Barbara acting so insufferable he still seems to be giving her the respect she doesn't deserve. (New 52 Barbara just ticks me off in general.)

Page 18: I know RHATO didn't touch much on Roys' relationship with Dick but people act like he never knew Dick existed. Once again the artwork has someone in the wrong clothing. Roy wouldn't have the same costume especially after getting his life together (he has the same hat at the funeral instead of his usual raccoon cap.) He didn't get the tattoos until after his recovering (his meeting with Killer Croc showed his bare arms.) According to Rocaforts' art detail Dick would have wore his "Discowling" suit during that time and ironically according to Tynion Dick was friends with Roy until he fell off the wagon. Still it's nice to see Dick tried to help him out.

Page 19: It would have been nice to get more of a story about Kori and her past with Dick besides scenes of them after sex. Again their relationship was mentioned in RHATO, Kori wants to avoid discussing it. (Again Tynion wrote that.) Hearing her reasoning might have been interesting but there likely wasn't enough room. Nice to have the trio here since they can be there for each other. I think Kori is wearing her pre-Flashpoint uniform because it doesn't look like the latest version.

Pages 20-23: I like the detail of Kori and Roy supporting each other by the coffin as Jason and Tim bond. Seeing these two Robins on good terms has been one of the improvement in the relaunch and means more now that (as far as they know) they are the only Robins left. Tim opens up and tells his story being there the night Dicks' parents died--which is part of his pre-relaunch origin. Seeing these panels of them opening themselves up--Tim putting the signed picture Dick gave him in the coffin--and Bruce watching from the distance? It really shows what an ass Bruce is. He's removing himself from a situation he created. The family is all suffering and he made them go through this. Because he doesn't trust them.

Page 24: I'd expect Jason to say something to Bruce but Tim is Tynions' favorite. Bruce could at least act more warmly since Dick isn't actually dead. But I guess he knows his family would never buy him acting like a decent person.

Pages 25-26: Why does Bruce have a dead Dick Grayson double ready and waiting? That's just disturbing.

Page 28: I'm not always a fan of superheroes dressing up in costume for a funeral. It didn't work for Lian Harpers' funeral and I don't think it works here. It makes it less personal and makes it have a different tone than the other Robin funerals. Why is Jason wearing his helmet? To hide his emotions? I'd buy that. Love Roy holding Kori during this.

1* Rocafort also drew Jason wearing the uniform although his had the bat symbol which didn't make sense in his flashback since the top would be added later. BTW the top is supposed to be one of Dicks' that was disregarded and he wears to make a statement. It's not the statement most people assume.

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