No Man's Land: Escape to Blackgate part one
Dixon, McDaniel, Story
reviewed by bluedevil2002
After staying out of Gotham for six months, Nightwing and the rest of "Team Bat" are called back in. Batman has given Nightwing the task of taking control of Blackgate once more. No easy task under normal circumstances, and No Man's Land is anything but normal.
The book opens with four full page spreads. The art is beautiful. The only downside is that it can be hard to tell if pages 2 and 3 are one two page spread, or 2 one page spreads. These opening pages give the background on Blackgate, and pretty much give anyone who hasn't been following NML to catch up on what they need to know.
Page four treats us to Scott's rendition of Batman, before he took over that book. Can't really tell too much, since there aren't any real full body shots, but the spiked shoulders don't look right.
One of the reasons I like Scott McDaniel's art is that he always gets good people to work with. Karl Story's inks are bold and fluid, and the coloring by Roberta Tewes is excellent.
The story by Chuck Dixon is great, as we see Nightwing trying to take Blackgate, and we see many villains that haven't been seen in ages, like the Trigger Twins, who I don't think have been seen since Detective #669. It's also interesting to see how the storyline has moved through the titles, and see the many villains from Detective Comics show up in this storyline.
The current subplots to the book are woven in nicely, so the newer readers can get into it, and not feel lost, and the older readers are pleased to see them advance.
Even though the series takes place in Bludhaven, a city darker than Gotham, we can see that No Man's Land is way darker and worse than Bludhaven ever will be. Tim Sheridan said it best in a letter column: "This issue had such a terrifying feel, given in the script, developed in the art, and exaggerated by the colors."