NIGHTWING #53 REVIEW

Richard “Dick” Grayson has lost his memory after being shot in the head.  ‘Ric’ as he is now known, is a cabbie with little to no memory of his former life as Dick, or Nightwing.  He knows he was Nightwing, but to Ric it feels more like someone telling him stories of someone else’s life.  He neither remembers it, nor does he miss it.  When given the chance to reclaim his mantle, he torched his gear and walked away.

During his nightly route, he runs into Nightwing.  Detective First Class, Alphonse Sapienza found the abandoned vigilante gear and picked up the mantle.  Ric’s response?  He doesn’t really care that someone else has taken his suit. After a brief back and forth, Nightwing cuffs Ric to his cab to keep him out of trouble as they look for a missing cabbie.  Ric remembers some of his training and easily slips the cuffs.

This is where we witness what we take for granted.  Where our normal superheroes go crashing through skylights to effortlessly land on the ground below, ready to engage the baddies, Alphonse falls through and hurts himself as he crashes to the ground below.  Luckily for him, Ric can’t quite shake the hero bit despite not wanting the costume.

Ric provides a distraction for Nightwing to get back in the game and started slugging baddies while Ric got Burl out of the building.  For Ric and Burl that was the end of the night as Burl was taken to the hospital.  Ric then proceeds to go on a date/not date with a pretty bartender to whom he had spent the night spilling his guts about not missing the life so many want him to resume.

Then we are shown the other side of the picture.  Det. Alphonse staggers to the home of his friend, Deputy Fire Chief Malcolm Hutch.  Where Dick’s Nightwing would have polished off the petty thugs in time to beat the morning rush with no scars to show for it, Det. Alphonse is battered and bleeding, barely able to stand.

This issue shows us two things.  The first is Ric’s mind set.  He remembers shades of who he was.  The skills surface when needed, but there is no connection to who he was.  He is happy with his job.  He just had breakfast with a woman where there is obvious chemistry after talking all night.  What motivation does he have to return to the life of crime fighting where any given night he returns home looking like Det. Alphonse?

The second thing is that there is a clear difference between a cop attempting to keep a mantle alive and the trained professional who was born to wear the mask.  Det. Alphonse may have good intentions.  He is 100% right that the criminals are noticing if Nightwing is on the streets or not, but these were petty thugs.  What happens when the big guns show up to Bludhaven?  Someone like….Scarecrow?!

 

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