Dixon (w), Woods (p), Delperdang (i)
Reviewed by JYD
Even though this Brentwood Academy place is apparently right around the corner from Gotham, I can't help but feel that Tim is fighting crime in Mayville along with Opie, Andy, and the rest of the gang. I thought Dixon's story was excellent and the new setting is providing a lot of new challenges/plot devices for Tim, but the series has gotten so LIGHT lately! I guess that's OK... Tim's not such of a dark character as Bruce or even Nightwing, plus his cast of characters is always entertaining... So I shouldn't complain. Plus, I think Pete Woods is a very good artist--I think he could work on the dynamism to his layouts and the perspective (while they aren't "blah" so much, there is more room for action). I especially like how Woods drew Stephanie/Spoiler and also Tim's new look. Though I still liked it back when Tim had sideburns (around issue #20 or so).
The skateboard: who else thought one of this issue's influences was the "Tarzan" movie? Now we have a completely happenin' crimefighter who can do skateboard tricks down stairways, etc. I was pleased to see the few pages Dixon lent towards Tim learning skateboarding, the new love interest in this "Star" chick with the ugly hair, and--just to make sure things aren't all roses--the demerit Tim gets, the sleepiness he has to fight and the beat down by the "sk8tebratz". Overall, the story was good--but just good. It lacked the fire of other stories I've read--it was satisfactorily good (if that's even a category). A pleaser for a one-issue story--and at least it didn't have that goofy "1 of 1" logo the bat-books were sporting for a while post-"Legacy" until the editors realized that hardly any of the core books were 1 issue stories.
So, to wrap-up--I'm OK with the new direction, I like the art, I think the skateboard is kind of cheesy, but it's growing on me. And did anyone else NOT see Man-Bat showing up from a mile away? And with all his family members in tow... Sheesh. They're almost getting as bad as the Clayface people!
The straight dope: Robin's got a new direction which, while seeming like something out of 90210, has the possibility for a whole slew of cool (but lighthearted) stuff.
The JYD's grade: B+