Almost there… almost there. Higgins’s Nightwing writing is improving by leaps and bounds. Though the soft cliffhanger is weak and there’s a big irregularity in the timeline (Dick’s parents were alive “five years ago,” meaning Batman’s been through three Robins in four years in the new DC universe?), it’s a decent issue.
Barrows and new co-penciller Eduardo Pansica help a lot. Though it’s still too static in the regular people talking scenes, there are some good pages in this issue. One sequence has Dick tripping out and hallucinating; it looks great.
As far as the plot goes, it’s still old Robin comics recycled, but Higgins earnestly presents it all. Sure, Dick probably won’t take over day-to-day control of a circus and be Nightwing in his off hours, but this issue convincingly presents it as a possibility.
I’m almost onboard, but still wary–Higgins hasn’t exactly proven himself reliable.
I love not reading the other parts of this crossover, it makes my brain work a little to catch up. Rucka’s back as co-writer here (and Igle and Sibal get help from Pansica and Ferreira). Again, no idea what Rucka does and doesn’t do. Similarly, Pansica matches Igle (especially with Sibal on inks) close enough it’s hard to tell them apart. There were some pages I really liked, reminding me of Igle before Sibal… then I realized it could be Pansica and Ferreira.
Anyway, Gates and Rucka manage the action versus plot development well here. There’s also a nice tip of the hat to–oh, wait, no, complete rip-off of–”Battlestar Galactica” when it comes to everyone finding out the gods are real.
Still, it packages well. And Lois finally has something to do in this issue. Though she’s not surprised at all her father’s a mass murderer.
The Hunt for Reactron, Conclusion; writers, Sterling Gates and Greg Rucka; pencillers, Jamal Igle and Eduardo Pansica; inkers, Jon Sibal and Julio Ferreira; colorists, Nei Ruffino and Pete Pantazis; letterer, Jared K. Fletcher; editors, Wil Moss and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.