Thursday, November 13, 2014

80-Page Thursdays: Nightwing 80-Page Giant #1!

Sometimes, a character can be a hero in one type of story, and a villain in another. Take the example of a young policewoman from a family legacy of cops; who becomes a media darling in a city rife with corruption. At a photo op with three generations of her family, someone uses thirty pounds of C-4 to wipe her family out. Somehow, she survives, horrifyingly burnt, her tear ducts burnt out, even her mouth fused shut by the heat. After being found wandering the streets, she's taken to the burn ward, but then disappears. Maybe to a Tibetan monastery, maybe to a voodoo priest in Haiti...maybe to a cadre of mad scientists who give her a new, experimental drug called Venom. She would return to her city, to get murderous vengeance on those who wronged her and her family; if this was a Punisher comic, she'd be a super-hero, and Frank would have her back.

Unfortunately for her, it's a Nightwing comic. From 2000, Nightwing 80-Page Giant, "Hella!" Written by Chuck Dixon, art by Manuel Gutierrez, Mike Collins, and more. This issue falls during the stretch when Dick Grayson was working as a cop for a day job, and dating Barbara (Oracle now) Gordon. (I know there was a stretch of old Captain America issues where he was a cop, and I remember thinking it might be a good way to get info and be on the scene, but tough to get away from to change outfits!) Nightwing gets on the case when the mysterious Hella throws the former police commissioner--a one-eyed double amputee--into a wheelchair and out onto the interstate. He works the case, and finds more than a few police officers involved.

Hella goes after police chief Redhorn, who had been on the run since he thought the crime boss Blockbuster had put a hit out on him. Nightwing intervenes in their shootout, but Hella is presumed killed in a fiery boat explosion. But that hasn't stopped her before...

Unlike even most of these DC 80-pagers from around this time, this one works a lot into the book's regular continuity. Which makes it read like a longer, regular issue, but nothing wrong with that. I was mildly curious if Hella returned, since sometimes when Batman villains get stopped from their initial goals, they turn their attention to killing Batman. Well, maybe we'll see sometime.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Not bad a one here actually. Dick as a cop was an interesting angle that could've worked longer. Maybe not. But yeah, good way to work in plan sight.

No more Hella? She'd at least rate a one return visit in the old days.

Speaking of old days, what do you think about Convergence and the whole semi-return of the old Pre-NU52 guys? Secret Wars?