18 January 2009

Robin! Don’t Jump!

When Peter J. Tomasi took over writing the Nightwing comic books this year, he did what a lot of new scripters apparently do: change the tone, give the character a new base of operations, and de-emphasize or even get rid of the previous writers' supporting casts.

Tomasi also gave Dick Grayson an absorbing new hobby: skydiving. This provided the title and a few non-fight action scenes in the first collection of his issues, Nightwing: Freefall.

When I read about that change on scans_daily, I had trouble seeing what the excitement was about. After all, we've seen Dick parachute out of planes since the 1940s. And often he wasn't even wearing pants.

You can tell Batman's nervous by the way sweat beads burst right through his cowl! (This is an example of what I call "showing the invisible" in comics art; it's a visual symbol of action, emotion, or sound.)

Having taken the new identity of Nightwing in the mid-1980s, Dick started wearing pants. But in jumping out of planes he sometimes eschewed other things.
Those panels come from the Outsiders: Looking for Trouble volume.

And with that history, Tomasi's Dick Grayson is excited about ordinary skydiving?

Well, as I learned after reading the collection, he's trying to break the altitude record for a parachute jump, coming down from about 150,000 feet. So it's something he's never done before.

Still, skydiving. Kind of tame.

No comments: