ACW #614 – Nightwing

Action Comics Weekly #614 (Nightwing)
“First Blood”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Pencils – Chuck Patton
Inks – Tom Poston
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Adrienne Roy
Editor – Barbara Kesel

Been looking forward to this one.  Really dug the first chapter… and it’s now starting to feel like this whole Action Comics Weekly experiment is starting to hit its stride!

We pick up where we left off, with Cheshire about to assassinate that Ambassador.  From above the clock of Big Ben, she spies in her scope… Roy Harper!  She decides that she’ll try and complete her contract regardless.  Before she can pull the trigger, however, Nightwing pushes the Ambassador out of the line of fire.  Unfortunately, this leaves a fella named Nicolas wide open for a shot through the heart (and Dick’s to blame)!

Roy reacts by firing an arrow in the exact direction of the bullet… which winds up lodging right up Cheshire’s barrel (getcher minds out of the gutters).  Roy then charges toward Big Ben (or whatever the actual building is called)… and winds up getting his butt kicked by his former squeeze.

Nightwing joins the fight, and takes some battle-damage via Cheshire’s poison-tipped “toe claw”.  Jade goes to make her escape, but not before tossing an egg-shaped explosive into the crowd.  Luckily, Dick manages to catch the thing…

… and toss it into the drink before it explodes.

We rejoin our heroes back at their hotel.  Here, Roy gives the quick-n-dirty on how me met (and mated with) Cheshire.  While working undercover in Japan for the C.B.I’s Drug-Trafficking Division, they’d meet… feel an instant attraction… and, well, you know.

We shift scenes over to the Ambassador’s room, where he’s having a bit of a fit.  He doesn’t like being under constant watch by his bodyguards, and excuses himself to take a shower… only, this shower proves to be fatal!  The old-man scrub-a-dub action is cut short when we learn the shower has been rigged with gas.

Shortly, Nightwing is on the scene to investigate… and is starting to feel pangs of doubt about how much he can trust his partner.  He feels as though Roy isn’t quite telling him everything… and, duh, he’s right.

We wrap up with Speedy in a darkened alley calling out to Jade.  She appears behind him, but tells him not to turn around.  She tells him that he’s the only man she’s ever loved… but that won’t stop her from killing him.  Then, Poof!  She vanishes!

Another fine chapter… that managed to intertwine exposition and story-progression.  So often we only get one or another… and here, in only eight-pages, we get both… and it’s great!

Establishing the link between Roy and Jade was necessary.  Regardless of how many folks know the ins and outs of their relationship, you almost have to write with the assumption that there will be a great number of ACW readers who might not be so familiar with it.  The way it was handled here was really well done (with an editorial note to check out New Teen Titans #20, if anyone wanted further information).  It didn’t overstay its welcome, and was told in an easy to follow way.

As for the action, this chapter delivered.  Not only does Jade fulfill her contract, she also got to take out one of the Ambassador’s bodyguards as a “bonus”.

I’m enjoying the Dick and Roy dynamic… with Roy giving just enough information to keep Dick in the dark.  What he doesn’t realize, however, (though he probably should) is that Dick is on to him.  I’m looking forward to watching this all play out.

Good stuff!

Tomorrow: Superman opens a door.  Really, that’s it!  So, uh… I’ll probably see y’all in two days then?

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