There was a new villain called Spinebender. Who thought that he was just too slender. But along came Nightwing – who showed him a height thing – which involved a piano and an angora sweater.  Now for more information about this rubbish, ask Writer: Kyle Higgins; Artist: Trevor McCartney; and Publisher: DC Comics in January 2012.

So what’s the story morning glory?
In this issue of Nightwing – entitled ‘South Beach Connection’ – everyone’s favourite ex-Bat sidekick is presented with two problems and a quandary.

Problem One – Women Trouble – Barbra (Batgirl) Gordon goes to Miami to ask Dick for some help. However, when she gets there, she finds him with his current girl-pal, Raya – who takes an instant disliking to her.

Thankfully, thought, once Barbra and Dick complete their adventure together – Barbra has a word with Raya, just to clarify matters a bit more for her.

Problem Two – Batgirls Trouble – Barbra needs Dicks help in surveying and apprehending a meta-human thief, called Spinebender, whom is going to sell some microchips that he stole to a dubious fiend named ‘Asimov’.

Eventually, this Batgirl / Nightwing escapade is a fruitful one, and all seems to be well after a, BASH-BOOM-BANG!
The Quandary – Due to Barbra’s supple prompting, Dick has a fresh new perspective on Haly’s last words, and finds a hidden ledger with his name on it. 

To be continued...

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
It has to be when the hippy circus-hand says to the clown “Hmmm... well, the guy certainly has a type” – referring to Dicks taste in women, because both Barbra and Raya have red hair.

Was the story any good?
Now this is a difficult one to define really. For a start, this issue does feel like a ‘guest star’ issue – and disassociates itself from the existing storyline. Next, I would have to say that this tale focuses on clarifying Dicks and Barbra’s current relationship – which is a good thing if you do not pick up her title. And finally, as a story goes, it is kind of ‘substitute teacher’ in execution – if you get my drift.

So-so story – not a one bad though.

Was the art any good?
Even if the pencils do have a very different tone compared to the regular artists, I have to say that I did not mind guest-artist, Trevor McCarthy, work on this issue – its manga – its cinematic – and its well paced.

Though, at times, his character compositions do look a bit awkward on the page, and his Raya and Bab’s do look very similar as well. Moreover, the hues used by Guy Major on this issue, do come across as being a bit too sterile within the in-door scenes – too green. 

What is the best thing about this issue?
The one thing that I really did like in this story; was the character interactions between Dick and Barbra. OK, I know that we have all seen this many times before – but some DCnU re-clarification is needed, as you just never know, right?

Also, I liked the nod and the wink to the Green Arrow book – ‘Q-Core’.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
I was not too keen on Barbra’s excuse to turn up and seek Dick’s aide in this story – too pat for my liking. Plus, I found the whole concept that Dicks time with the Circus a fleeting one also, very disappointing – because it would be nice if he would stay with them.

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
Coming from London, there is an old saying when you are waiting to catch a bus ‘You wait for ages and two come along at once’ – such as Dick in this comic book about two red-heads.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
There are two redheads in this issue, right? So what better than the Chris DeBurgh song ‘Lady In Red’?

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Maybe if the regular artist was on this book, then it might have felt a bit less ‘substitute teacher’ in tone. Plus, if Bab’s and Raya went Lesbo in front of Dick, and then asked him to ‘join them’ – that would be very DCnU as well!

Final thoughts...
If truth be told, my biggest gripe with this issue is that Dick might be leaving the Circus when this tale is over. I hope that this not the case – Dick and the Circus have never really been chronicled in a continuing fashion before, and I find that this may be ‘the light’ for Dick, if DC want to take him in a new direction.

Marks out of 10? 7.5

NIGHTWING #4 NIGHTWING #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on January 02, 2012 Rating: 5
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