ACW #615 – Nightwing

Action Comics Weekly #615 (Nightwing)
“Tracks of a Killer!”
Writer – Marv Wolfman
Pencils – Chuck Patton
Inks – Tom Poston
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Colors – Adrienne Roy
Editor – Barbara Kesel

Something I meant to draw attention to the first time we discussed the Nightwing feature… take a look at that Inker.  I didn’t realize we were dealing with a celebrity here!  I mean…

George Utley in our DC Comic?!  I choose to believe that this inker Tom Poston and the one pictured above are one and the same.  He had a pretty short career in comics, so I’m just going to assume he filled-in between seasons of Newhart.

OH!  One more thing… today marks our TWELVE-HUNDREDTH DAY of Daily Discussions and Reviews!

After a bit of a recap… least I think it was a recap, we join Nightwing as he rides over to Lord Lawrence Hill’s place.  This fella’s a bigwig in Parliament, and he’s been expecting Dick’s visit.  Nightwing tells him that, per his association with Speedy, he’s here on C.B.I. business.  This does come as a bit of a shock to his Lordship… more on that later.  The pair talk about who might be paying Cheshire for her the assassinations, especially in this age of supposed Glasnost.  Hill brainstorms, reflecting that many countries are in serious debt at the moment.  Dick brushes those concerns off, because… get this, he took economics in college!  Global debt doesn’t stand a chance against a kid who took ECON-101!

When the conversation ends, Nightwing does the Bat-vanishing act on Lord Hill.  We then swap scenes, joining Cheshire, who has just sunken a shuriken into some poor dude’ face!  Turns out, it was another ambassador, cranking her kill-count up to five!  Seven, if we’re counting his aides!

We follow Jade back home, where she lovingly cares for her daughter, Lian.  She scolds her… older male companion for referring to her by her “assassin name” in the house.  While there, she is not Cheshire… only Jade.

We shift scenes to Lian’s daddy, Speedy, who has a fella named Weist in a pretty uncomfortable position indeed.  He wants answers, and isn’t afraid to fire a bolt or two into some very… sensitive areas in order to obtain them.  Weist decides squealing is a preferable option to a long-range vasectomy, and Roy leaves him be.  We don’t get to hear the answers, but I assume they’re coming.

Roy makes a tearful phone call to Dick, and when confronted with withholding information, promises to be straight his partner the next time they meet up.

Turns out, this isn’t good enough for Mr. Grayson… and he decides it’s time to involve the rest of the Titans.  We wrap up with the revelation, via Danny Chase, that Roy Harper was canned from the C.B.I. a few months prior… so, whatever it is they’re doing in London… this is Speedy’s gig, and Speedy’s gig alone!

Now, this is how you build a mystery… and keep a reader engaged!  While there’s another story in Action Comics Weekly we’ve been reading/slogging through over the past several weeks, which seems to be getting everything wrong, leave it to Marv to get everything right.

We leave this chapter with the revelation that Roy Harper is acting of his own volition… but, the question remains: Why?  Well, maybe it’s kind of obvious… Cheshire is the mother of his child, so he has a vested interest in anything she might be up to.  But, why now?  Ya know?  He could have drafted Dick into a “Cheshire Contract” at any point in time… why now, while she’s picking off Ambassadors like they’re going out of style?  I suppose we’ll find out in time…

It was nice seeing the Titans, and I’ll hand it to DC… it took them until the third chapter to include ’em!  I mean, the Titans were among the top dogs at DC… it almost feels wrong that they’re playing such a small role.  Then again, if we’re looking for “heavy hitters”, Batman’s only shown up in like a single page of the Green Lantern feature… and not even in costume!

If I had to pick out something I didn’t totally like in this chapter, it would probably be the explicit duality of Jade/Cheshire.  I remember in the mid-2000’s, I had a pal who kept pressing me to watch The Sopranos.  He talked about it like was the best thing ever put on television.  When I finally sat down to watch an episode, it ended with a “hit” (or some other sort of nastiness) going down, while Tony was getting all teary-eyed watching a recital or something.  I thought that was just so cliche… and just such forced “depth”, that I never watched it again.  I’m feeling similar pangs of that here.

Overall though, Nightwing continues bringing the quality and has proved itself to be a most welcome addition to the rotation.


Tomorrow: The Penultimate Black Canarying!

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