Nightwing: On the Razor's Edge
by Chuck Dixon, Greg Land
(DC Comics, 2005)

On the Razor's Edge is as much about the women orbiting Nightwing's life as it is about Nightwing himself.

Nightwing, of course, is Dick Grayson, the original Robin all grown up and protecting the city of Bludhaven, on the outskirts of Batman's Gotham. The first chapter of this book begins with Catwoman waking from a Batman-filled dream; when she runs into Nightwing on a jewelry heist (she's there to steal the diamond, he's there to prevent the theft) she uses her considerable feminine charms in a misguided effort to make Batman jealous. It's a stand-alone chapter that ends on a high note!

The story moves from there into a move on Bludhaven by hired killer Shrike, who has a bone to pick with Nightwing from a previous encounter. But the focus keeps lighting on Grayson's girls: Clancy, his Irish-Chinese landlady; Amy, his police trainer and immediate superior; Black Canary, a fellow hero who ends up saving his butt; and of course Barbara "Oracle" Gordon, the former Batgirl, whose romance with Dick proceeds apace in this book.

Through it all, there's a harrowing rescue under the ice, a domestic disturbance, a trial for assassins, an electrical shock, ninjas, police corruption, an elusive drug kingpin and the formulation of a plan for two Nightwing foes to break out of prison.

It's another fun chapter in the life of a hero who is a lot like Batman but is never so grim. Dick Grayson is a strong favorite among readers, and the quality of the writing here is a good reason why.

by Tom Knapp
16 December 2006

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