Nightwing and Huntress soap

I haven’t had much of a chance to read anything good lately. Well, no… I did discover a few GN’s of Gail Simone’s original run on Birds of Prey, so I’ve been rereading those, as I find them across the house. But it’s hardly news that Simone writes some of the most fucking awesome comic work published by DC. However, as tempting as it is to vomit up an incoherent post about Simone’s brilliant writing, well, it’s already been done. Really, if you have any interest in comics and any taste whatsoever, you already know this.

Cover image of the Nightwing/Huntress graphic novel

The cover in all its cheesy glory

I did entertain myself by reading some utter shit though. Easily the worst of this and probably the worst comic I’ve read – since I made the mistake of reading Green Arrow/Black Canary (and god knows I dropped that fast enough) – was Devin Grayson and Greg Land’s Nightwing/Huntress GN.

Huntress and Nightwing facing away from each other

Dramatic turned away poses! Nightwing realises how hard it is to sulk without a cape on.

I don’t really know where to start here: the cliched plot, the terrible contrived dialogue in the attempted romance one-night-stand between Nightwing and Huntress. I write this as a person with a huge boner for the Nightwing/Huntress relationship who loves the idea of Nightwing hooking up with Gotham’s vigilante badgirl. I mean, it’s a cute premise. Batman’s eldest child hooking up with the girl Batman disapproves of most. But, they make it awful and so melodramatic, The Bold and The Beautiful wouldn’t be caught dead using the script.

I mean, seriously: having the golden boy only deign to sleep with Huntress while daddy-bats is out of town, having him spend half the GN angsting over the relationship for pages is pretty terrible. Huntress’s response is split, half (reasonably) treating it like a one night stand and moving on, the other half bitching him out for not telling her his identity. The way it’s implied she only did it to get an ‘in’ with the Bat-crowd. Basically, the most melodramatic and unimaginatively generic secret-identities conflict possible. Which, well, as I’ve already said, I’m over it. Either handle it well and do something new, or just fuck off home.

So why do I own this trade? There’s basically two reasons:

Nightwing kicking two henchmen at once

Dick draws attention to his namesake.

1. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I love the art in this. Normally I’m not a huge fan of Land, but he does draw the 90s Huntress costume nice and curvy. And, well, I really like the 90s Huntress costume and there are beautiful shots of it here. Also, Land seems to have taken this miniseries as a challenge to see how many crotch-first shots of Nightwing flying through the air he can do. Yes, this is the biggest plus of the book: gratuitous shots of Nightwing’s crotch flying through the air.

2. I find that Huntress is one of the most interesting characters in DCU, but has been so badly burnt by bad handling, characterisation and underuse. So even with its major flaws, the things I like about Huntress (especially what stuck out in the 90s comics) can be glimpsed through the grimy layer of utter shitness here. If you squint.

Okay and the fact that it was on sale helped. A lot.

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