Better than Batman has solid second act
A marked improvement over the first issue, Better than Batman finds Nightwing having second thoughts about his new partner.
For Nightwing, that largely means considering if Raptor actually could help make him a better vigilante.
Writer Tim Seeley injects some welcome humor to the action. A debate with Nightwing and Raptor over hero branding is especially enjoyable. As the more fun of the Gotham vigilantes, Nightwing requires a lighter touch. Better than Batman is at its best when Seeley just has Nightwing playing off of Raptor. Beyond the cool costume and fancy gadgets, Raptor is an engaging character. At this point, he could go on to become Nightwing’s arch-enemy or one of his closest allies.
Raptor and Nightwing’s interaction make up for what has thus far been a bland ultimate evil in the Parliament of Owls. Outside of the black masks and a more global scope, they’re just a shadowy organization that will require an extended build to mean anything. So far this take on the Owls is just more of the same. Seeley hasn’t done much to make them a threat worthy of Nightwing going undercover at this point. That storyline might not have the longest legs, but hopefully Raptor sticks around for a while.
There seems to be some disconnect among the Bat team regarding Batgirl and Nightwing’s relationship status. Seeley is making that a key component to his storyline. Yet Nightwing is barely mentioned in Batgirl or Batgirl and Birds of Prey. With Nightwing back on the globe-traveling circuit tying him down with Batgirl as a love-interest feels unnecessary.
Javiar Fernandez’s artwork is best when Nightwing is in action. He captures the fluid, daredevil style of Nightwing very well. The dialogue heavy moments remain a challenge, but there was a lot to like on the art front this issue.
Better than Batman was much more enjoyable this week. Seeley is going to need to raise the villain threat considerably to keep the stakes high. If nothing else we’re getting classic Nightwing action in the interim.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Images Credit: DC Comics