Monday, December 18, 2017


I'll stop short of saying it couldn't be done well, but I've never liked when a super-hero attempts to be a policeman for a civilian identity. The old, Simon/Kirby Guardian was a beat cop before becoming a masked vigilante, and I think he was actually more approachable as the vigilante. Captain America had a brief stretch as a patrolman, where he failed to recognize an unmasked Batroc; and in that old post we mentioned today's hero's time as a cop as well: from 2005, Nightwing #100, "The Ride's Over" Written by Devin Grayson, pencils by Mike Lilly, inks by Andy Owens.

Dick Grayson is behind bars as the story opens, musing that odds had always been he was going to end up there, statistically. He flashes back to earlier that evening, when as Nightwing, he ended his partnership with Tarantula. She was the second Tarantula, replacing the Golden Age mystery man; and her relationship with Dick had some ups and downs: she had killed his villain Blockbuster, orchestrated his break-up with Barbara Gordon, and nearly had him sign a marriage license! After a crossover with Batman (War Games) Dick had his head back together, and was ready to turn Tarantula in for killing Blockbuster--and himself for letting it happen.

Dick confesses to everything--except to being Nightwing, since he couldn't have that traced back to Bruce. He leaves a message for Barbara, then broods over the training and lessons he learned from his father, and Batman. Although his guilt is killing him, the cops instead give Dick a virtual parade, for the successful completion of his undercover assignment! That he wasn't on. His captain covers for him, since while she wasn't positive what happened or understand Dick's "altruistic warrior's code," she knows he wasn't the killer. She feels he's going to have to "atone" some other way, other than "sitting around in some prison cell feeling sorry for yourself..."

As he storms off in a huff, Barbara leaves a message for Dick, that sounds like she wants to be supportive but not get back together, not yet anyway. In the Batcave, at the display case of Robin's uniform, Alfred is shocked to find Nightwing's abandoned outfit. Seriously, shocked: he acts like he found a damn body down there. This issue was listed as February 2005, but this storyline wouldn't be picked up again until June 2005: the next six issues were Nightwing: Year One.

I was almost sure there was a book where the hero was a cop by day, but murder-vigilante by night; can't place it yet.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

I can give you two off the top of my head; The original Nite-Owl from the Watchmen and the Jester from Quality(?)comics/DC.