While reading a comic that might make it to this blog, I screengrab panels and pages that impress me.
It’s pretty rare that I want to reproduce the whole comic. But that’s S:SoK #9, an issue that had me smiling on every page. It’s full of smart moments, beautifully illustrated, as our young Superman joins forces with Nightwing to investigate the murders of superheroes.
The first half of the crossover in Nightwing #89 ended with Jon and Dick tracking the killers’ trail to Lexcorp headquarters in Metropolis. This issue begins with our heroes drawing out the three metahuman murderers by interfering with Lexcorp criminal activities in entertaining style.
In no time at all it’s Nightwing and Superman vs the unnamed nogoodniks, and it is delightful.
Did you notice something different about Dick in the first panel, there? Find out what that’s all about in this treat from writer Tom Taylor, artist Bruno Redondo, co-inker Wade Von Grawbadger, colourist Adriano Lucas, letterer Wes Abbott and editors Jillian Grant, Jessica Chen and Paul Kaminski.
As well as the team-up action there’s a development with The Truth, the alternate news outlet run by Jon’s boyfriend Jay. We’ve just found out that Dick is putting some of his newfound wealth into the project, but he’s envisioning some changes.
I can see the logic in this if we accept that Dick would invest in the Truth in the first place, but he’s going at this from the entirely wrong direction. He knows Lois Lane. He wants to invest in a news outlet. So why the heck would he snub the Daily Planet to put cash into a mysterious organisation whose chief won’t even show Dick their face? What happened to make Dick distrust ‘traditional’ media? He should be asking Lois to investigate the Truth, which could cause interesting conflict given Jon’s links. It’s really strange that Lois, a newspaper journalist to her core, doesn’t have anything to say about Dick’s offer
The next scene makes much more sense to me, as Dick checks to see how Jon is feeling following a disturbing moment earlier in the issue.
The close of the conversation is truly heartwarming. This issue also features a fantastic moment of Lois acting totally in character and Jay being either a total drama queen, or deliberately interrupting Jon and Dick’s moment of bonding (have I mentioned that I’m pretty sure he’s evil?). You tell me.
I’ve never seen Jon so relaxed in action as he is here, the dour young man of previous issues is all but gone. That’s Nightwing for you… a trained aerialist, a person feels safe in his hands. Dick’s home is in the air, he laughs in the face of danger, and his confidence is infectious. We’ve had many great Dick tales, but I don’t think anyone has ever given us such a rounded Nightwing as Taylor.
Bruno Redondo’s flowing compositions take us through the issue in masterful style. There’s an especially great page in which a tower block is used to clever effect, a vertigo-inducing panel that perfectly captures the confidence Jon and Dick have in one another, and a full-page hero shot that is, as they say, suitable for framing.
Wade Von Grawbadger has been applying his inking talents to DC books since the Nineties…and he’s so ruddy good I can’t identify which pages he worked on and which are all Redondo. So well done!
Regular Nightwing colour artist Adriano Lucas seems to be enjoying his visit to Metropolis, applying lovely, appropriate tones; the skies look like floating gelato, and his sense of drama nails an important transition scene. Letterer Wes Abbott, meanwhile, keeps narration and dialogue sharp, and does a fine job on the story title, World’s Finest Sons.
The cover by Redondo is an eye-catching completion cum continuation of Nightwing #89’s opening image.
Jon’s visit from Dick has given us the best issue since Superman: Son of Kal-El began. Hopefully we’ll see Superman and Nightwing together again soon.