Now if you want to know the slightest hint of what Dick Grayson got up to before the events of 'Forever Evil', then please clap your eyes on this very in-your-nose adventure created by Kyle Higgins, Will Conrad, plus the Publisher: DC Comics, in December, 2013. Or don't. See if I care.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this STORY entitled 'Some Strings Attached'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: 'Get your slippery paws off of me' says Mali to the ever loving Nightwing, whilst he chases her upon the rooftops of Chicago's Rush Medical Center. 'I've got the stolen drugs, agreed, but you're not going to get me' she continues 'Unless you strip buck naked and dance the fandango in high-heels'.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: Well? Errr? Yes and no I suppose. On the one hand Mali does manage to get away from the one time boy wonder. Whilst, on the other hand, she doesn't manage to get away with her drugs still intact.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Yes. Dick is introduced to two new people by his two new roommates. Firstly, Joey introduces him to her houseguest, Jen. And secondly, Michael introduces him to his police contact, Detective Maxwell Morgan.  
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With a surprise appearance from a buck-toothed hat wearing cretin that's completely bonkers.   

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Now me being a right sucker for a wise cracking superhero, I couldn't help but grin from check to check, when Nightwing said to Mali the second time they met...

'We've gotta stop meeting like this'.

... because I honestly think he's starting to turn into DC's version of Spiderman.   

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) Now anyone who's lived with me knows for a fact, I can be a very tidy and economical person twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. So, as you might have guessed, I got a right kick out of that scene were Joey told Dick about cleaning up after himself and conserving energy. To me, it's scenes like these that make this book very-very relatable to read.  
(+) From my point of view the most intriguing aspect about this adventure is the conceit of a thief having to steal some medication so she can abate her schizophrenic tendencies. Honestly. I've worked in the 'mental health' field myself, and I can safely say that this sort of 'broad archetype' does exist in the real world, as they always try to change their ways despite their lack of knowledge or direction.
(+) When I first saw that Will Conrad and Cliff Richards were going to share the art duties on this book, a small part of me was slightly concerned about how this collaboration would turn out. I shouldn't have bothered though, should I? By page three I was more than satisfied with their collective efforts, because I found they complemented each others styles in both clarity and in tone. Good job.
(+) At the moment I'm sitting on the fence about the two characters introduced to Dick in this issue. I'm not saying I didn't like them. And I'm not saying I did like them either. What I'm saying is... errr... let's wait and see, shall we?
(+) Now without giving too much away, I did enjoy the 'big reveal' at the end of this adventure, and I can't wait to see how this will play out next month.

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) I suppose the only slight gripe I had with this escapade was the manner in which it was structured. You see, it started off with a 'pursuit style' story-line, and then it segwayed off into a number of relatable sub-plots, until it went back round to where it all began again. Hey! Please don't get the wrong impression. I didn't mind following the conceit behind this narrative. It's just that when you put it all together, I would have much rather preferred the whole thing to be a hunter / hunted type of tale, than a 'snatch and release' type of tale.
(-) Another slight gripe I had with this issue would be that scene where Mali beat up those two 'tough guys', because I thought it didn't add anything to the overall story-line except as an excuse to break-up the flow and pace.

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, or add and extra dimension to it by default?
'MONSTER' BY THE AUTOMATIC: On a purely conceptual level this tale and this tune both give off a very paranoid and schizophrenic vibe that's too close for comfort.

If this story gave off a scent, what ODOUR would it be and why?
NOTHING: Yep. That's correct, folks. I've said that this story smell's of nothing. And do you know why I say it smells of nothing? Well, according to the medical experts, people with schizophrenia are unable to correctly identify smells, and in this book there were two people with schizophrenia. Mali, plus the 'special guest star'.

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'Schizophrenia cannot be understood without understanding despair' -- R. D. Laing

Now for those of you who are unsure about the true nature of schizophrenia, I thought that this would be a good place to give you a brief run down on what this long-term mental health condition is all about.

Firstly, anybody can catch it. And I do mean anybody. Although some medical experts do say that genetic and environmental conditions do play a factor, and normally one person out of every hundred is diagnosed with this illness between the ages of 15 to 35.  

Secondly, I suppose I should add that schizophrenia has a wide range of symptoms, varying from hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts, and abrupt changes in behavior.

Thankfully, this sort of thing can be treated properly if caught within ample time, usually with a combination of medication and therapy appropriate to each case. Furthermore, if it is managed well, it's entirely possible to reduce the chances of severe relapses later.

Anyway. That's enough of that methinks. Cause if rattle on too much, you might think I've turned into a doctor or something. And trust me, I'm no doc. I'm a geek. A geek that got a right kick out of reading this well thought out and presented issue of 'Nightwing'.

Nuff said.

NIGHTWING #26 NIGHTWING #26 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 31, 2013 Rating: 5
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