ACW #631 – Speedy & Nightwing

Action Comics Weekly #631 (Speedy & Nightwing)
“Rocks and Hard Places, Chapter Six: Old Friends, New Enemies”
Writer – Cherie Wilkerson
Pencils – Vince Giarrano
Inks – Tom Mandrake
Letters – Agustin Mas
Colors – Adrienne Roy
Editor – Barbara Kesel

Yes, that parenthetical after the issue number is correct (if, in fact, anyone even noticed)… this time out Speedy gets top billing over Nightwing (and really, at this point why shouldn’t he?)!  I’m not going to make a whole new blog “tag” for it, but figured I’d at least give him his moment in the title of the post itself!

We pick up right where we left off… well, sorta.  Speedy is still pursuing the Sanas thug who nabbed Button… but, it kind of looks like he’s on the other end of the train car this time out.  The car is rapidly approaching that other car full of explosives, which really denotes an air of poor planning in the Sanas organization.  As luck would have it, Speedy’s pretty good with a bow and arrow, and so, he’s able to hit a nearby switchbox which sends the train down a safer track.  The shift also throws the thug to the ground, causing him to drop his gun.  Button nabs the piece.

The thug regains his bearings, and… get this, goes to toss the brat off the car!  I guess she wasn’t all that important alive to the Sanas then?  I’m tellin’ ya, poor planners, these Sanas.  Speedy manages to swoop in just in the nick of time and save the tot.  Back home, Button and Moira come around to the idea that their new pal Roy is actually one of the “good guys”.

Elsewhere, Hunter (the train turlet guy) is talking to a fella who is warning him about his current investigation.  Basically, what it comes down to is “be very sure about any accusations you’re about to make.”  Well, when you’re going to accuse the police of being terrorists, I suppose that’s not the worst advice!

We rejoin Roy and the kids right after they’ve picked up… heyyy, is that Dick Grayson?!  Holy smokes, I forgot all about him!

As they drive, Roy realizes that there’s been a car on their tail for an uncomfortably long time.  He speeds up, Dick tells him to slow down… the car behind them begins to open fire, and so Dick tells him to speed back up.  Cute enough exchange.

Dick grabs a bow and arrow, and fires a shot into the passenger’s door of their pursuers… which allows them to get away.

We shift scenes to the police station, where an Officer named Clapton is outed as an enemy to the F.O.E.s.  In order to, uh, “mitigate any risks” pertaining to the Friends of the Empire’s Orange Day plans, he’s sent on patrol… right in the middle of a Sanas funeral.  Whoops.  The Sanas climb all over his squad car, and pummel it with blunt objects.

We wrap up at the Orange Day Parade… where some little kid pulls the old “drop and run” with a briefcase.  Moira immediately knows what’s up, and bolts into the street (without Button, mind you).  We close with a boom!

A good, if not just a little bit disjointed, chapter here.  Feels more like a series of vignettes than an actual story.  Just a lot of “bouncing around”… though, there’s definitely a feeling of progression.

Dick finally shows back up… even if it’s both out of costume, and for only a handful of panels, but that signifies that things are likely about to “heat up” (and come together) as we move forward.  Whatever the case, the overall narrative we’ve got going here is pretty darn intriguing.

The Police being in the F.O.E.’s pocket is interesting… though, I feel like we haven’t been properly introduced to this Clapton character.  From how he’s discussed, it almost feels like we should know him… but, we don’t… do we?  

I do wanna say that Moira running away, leaving her sister behind to presumably perish in the blast, felt a little bit out of character.  She always struck me as a “not without my Button” type… maybe I’m just missing something.

Overall, another good installment… this would probably read even better all in one go!

Tomorrow: Trippin’ Blackhawks?

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