Nightwing: Love & Bullets
by Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel
(DC Comics, 2000)

I pity poor Clancy.

Dick Grayson's Irish-Chinese landlady can't catch a break in Love & Bullets, a collection of Nightwing comics from 1997-99. She's been stood up or left hanging so many times by the man, it's a wonder she keeps flashing that fetching smile his way. Anyone else would have raised his rent and shut off his heat by now.

Of course, we who know him must cut Dick some slack. Unlike Clancy, we realize he keeps cutting her loose because he has important, masked-vigilante type stuff to be doing. Still, couldn't he swing one evening for dinner and dancing?

In Love & Bullets, Dick certainly has a full dance card. He protects a felon in witness protection, invades a shark-shaped shopping mall, terrifies a looter, buys some real estate, lines up a bit of structural engineering, raids a hospital, beats on some skinheads, solves a 15-year-old murder, flirts with the former Batgirl, battles assassins, rides a train (unconventionally), helps to train a new Boy Wonder, saves a baby, reunites with an old flame, invades a morgue, rescues Huntress, is rescued by Huntress, rushes into a burning building, kisses -- but heck, I don't want to give it all away!

Also in this collection of stories, the twisted Soames gets a new lease on life, and misguided vigilante-wannabe Nite-Wing has a very bad first day on the job. Oh, but he'll be back.

Dick Grayson went from sidekick to star when he became Nightwing, and Chuck Dixon's run on the book is a big reason for the series' success. Keep up with business in Bludhaven with this and other classic story collections.

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 9 July 2005

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