This week is another Jim and Mike comic focused episode, we discuss our newest purchases Jim’s being the first part of his Doom Patrol puzzle. Then we take a nice deep dive in the the Tales of the Dark Multiverse and the first 5 issues – Batman: Knightfall, The Death of Superman, Blackest Night, Infinite Crisis and Judas Contract!
This week its Jim and Mike talking comics!! Jim is up to date with Nightwing so delves into the current rebirth run, Mike talks about some books he’s read recently including Superman: Smashes the Klan and we take some time to chat about Mr Miracle. Also we need your suggestions for some books to read, so message us on Twitter or Instagram with your recommendations.
If you were a fan of Batman in the 1990s, you read many stories by Chuck Dixon. At one point in time or another he was writing 1/3 of the Batman related titles that were published, including other titles for DC and for many, he is considered one of three definitive voices for the Dark Knight for the 1990s (Alan Grant and Doug Moench winding out that incredible triumvirate of writers).
As great of a Batman writer as he was, his true gift was his ability to turn second tier characters, forgot ideas and literal scraps left by other writers into engaging stories, titles and characters… often all occupying the same space at the same time. His run on the first Robin series is definitive Tim Drake, he created Stephanie Brown/Spoiler, and boosted Oracle’s profile while giving her a leadership role in the Birds of Prey franchise. For me though, his crowning achievement is the work he did with Dick Grayson aka Nightwing.
This little Curated: Dick Grayson by Chuck Dixon is my recommendations for anyone looking to get into this character and really enjoy some incredible stories featuring this rich character!
Robin: Year One
This four issue co-written by Chuck Dixon & Scott Beatty with Javier Pulido on pencilling duties is nothing short of beautiful. It captures an often referenced period in the Dick Grayson’s time as Robin in greater detail. Robin is faced with his own challenges as a solo hero as well as sidekick to the Caped Crusader. The ending of this mini-series dovetails beautifully with Batgirl: Year One, sharing a pivotal scene between the two books.
The world’s first superhero side-kick finally gets his own series after some 60 years playing second fiddle, and it’s this groundbreaking series by Chuck Dixon and artist Scott McDaniel take the the former Boy Wonder to the utterly corrupt whaling/industrial town of Bludhaven to fight crime and discover himself (sounds just like the angsty Gen-X fueled 90s). Chuck Dixon spends a lot of time on developing Dick Grayson/Nightwing as a complex, nuanced character trapped between his desires to be his own man, and also his acknowledgement that he will always live in someone’s shadow. This collection gives you the first miniseries as well as the first eight issues of that solo series in Bludhaven.
NIghtwing: Year One
Re-united on the Nightwing title in the middle 00s for a six-issue retrospective, Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel give us a detailed look at Dick Grayson’s transitional year from losing the mantle of Robin to striking out on his own, with quite a few surprising guest-stars on the way. This is honestly, my all-time favourite Nightwing storyline, and it’s recently been collected again!
Nightwing: The Target (optional)
Before Dixon and McDaniel reunited on the title, they did a mini-reunion in the early 00s with Nightwing: the Target. It’s more of a Dick Grayson than Nightwing tale, the story itself is fairly boilerplate, but if you can find a cheap copy, it’s a pleasant albeit quick read, or…
Nightwing (Vol. 1) 25 (1998)
… save up a few extra bucks and look for this single issue Nightwing/Tim Drake as Robin team-up. It has an inventive main plot device that enables Scott McDaniel to truly cut-loose with the art, but enabled Dixon room to really breathe life into a special brotherly bond that these two characters at one time possessed. This is probably my single favourite issue of Nightwing written.
And that, gives you an incredible weekend of reading!
First off let me get this out of the way NIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHTTTTTTWIIIIIIIIIIINNGGGGGGGG GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Ok needless to say I was slightly excited for this episode and it did not disappoint! The opening ten minutes of the show was everything I’ve ever wanted in a live action TV show, Dick Grayson fighting Deathstroke in that suit gave me chills, I could watch an hour of it!
But there was more to this episode than just that, this episode was about the team as a whole, not the individual parts but what they can do together and what the will do for each other, how well they work when they’re all on the same page and they needed to be in the finale.
Gar and Conner are being controlled by Mercy Graves and Cadmus, Mercy is trying to sell off Conner as a super soldier programmed to do whatever she wants and using Gar as a threat to show off Conner’s skills to the highest bidder, but the problem with that is we have a newly reformed Titans with a very strong leader and they’ll stop at nothing to get their friends back!
While all these great moments are going on really solidifying the team, the unthinkable happens and we lose a member of the team, now I’ll be honest this moment felt a little bit out of nowhere but not in a shocking way, more in a ‘huh so that just happened’ way which felt a bit odd but it did add to the rest of the episode as this moment could’ve easily split the Titans again, but instead drew them together once again.
Lots happened in this Finale, it wasnt a massive big bad fight like a lot of shows tend to be in the last episode of the season, it was more a coming together story and I really enjoyed it, the team feels complete and ready for the next challenge.
We had a brief moment at the end pointing to the direction of the next season as it appears Blackfire is now on Earth looking for her sister!
I want more Titans and I want it now, this show is so good and so well done that I’m already hyped for Season 3, just a year to wait I guess……booooooo
We’re here, the penultimate episode of the season and we are so close to the debut of Nightwing! We get a hint at the suit but it stops before actually showing us, instead it was revealed in a unveiling event on social media, which if I’m honest is a little disappointing, I would’ve much rather seen the suit first time in the finale episode but with that being said the suit looks amazing!!! But that’s next week, what else is going on with the fractured team this week?
Well Hank is struggling, being on his own doesn’t fit him well and he’s cage fighting for money and once again has fallen off the wagon, which leads to no end of problems, he needs Dawn and he needs the Titans to keep him on the straight and narrow and keep him as his best self.
Meanwhile Rose reveals the true plan that her father had put in place to Jason, this is where we get pretty much the whole of Rose’s backstory and its awesome! But it doesn’t go down well with Jason, I’m intrigued to what they’re doing with Jason, obviously in the comics he gets killed by the Joker and returns later as Red Hood, you do get to see a lot of that attitude in the show but I wonder how far they’ll go with him?
Dawn and Donna are hot on the heels of Cadmus and very close to rescuing him, or is it too late as Cadmus operates phase one of their plan and where the hell is Conner in all this?
Then there’s Jericho, with the realisation that Jericho is alive we find out exactly how and its pretty amazing, Jericho used his powers and jumped into his fathers consciousness and is being held there by Slade so if Dick is going to save him its going to take a lot of ingenuity because what about his body? Can he even be separated from Slade again? And exactly how much Nightwing are we getting in the Finale??
This was a great episode, it does feel odd how we’re not necessarily building to a big bad showdown for the end of the season but more of a rescue mission, but I like that, it gives this season a different spin than the last.
It all ends next week and boy am I looking forward to it!