Pick of the Week

January 26, 2005 – Batman #636

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Size: pages

Story by Judd Winick
Art by Doug Mahnke
Inks by Tom Nguyen
Colors by Alex Sinclair
Letters by Rob Leigh

Published by DC Comics | $2.25

I admit it, I blew it.

Last week was my assigned week to do the Pick of the Week and I blew it. Every so often you have one of those weeks and last week was one of them.

I could make a long list of all the things that got in the way but that would just seem like me making excuses. I felt really bad that it happened, and I will do my best to not let it happen again.

Moving on.

This week’s comics were not an overly spectacular bunch, but one of the solid standouts was definitely Batman #636.

I don’t think that there’s anything in this comic book world that I enjoy more than a good team-up between Batman and Robin/Nightwing/Dick Grayson. I read once (I think it was in Bob Kane’s autobiography) that Robin was created so that the young male readers would have someone to relate to, someone they could imagine being. That worked like gangbusters on me growing up. I remember going to West Side Comics on 86th and Columbus with my dad. I would root through the back issues looking for any issues of Batman or Detective Comics that had Robin on the cover. Meanwhile, my dad would day “for the price of one old one, you could get five or six new ones.” My response? “Oh, dad. These are older!” I kinda wish I had listened to my dad now.

If Batman is my number one favorite comic book character, then Dick Grayson (in whatever incarnation) is 1A.

I was really excited about the current storyline in Nightwing. Featuring the return of modern-day Bat-Demi God Chuck Dixon, Nightwing: Year One promised to be this Batgeek’s dream come true. Then Part One hit, and the happy feeling I got seeing Dick in the red and green tights again was quickly replaced by the punch in the stomach from the crazily over-the-top Batman. Quite frankly I was shocked, stunned, and saddened by that issue. This week part two was an improvement — Dick travels to Metropolis to seek Superman’s advice after getting fired by Batman — though Dick traded in the Robin outfit for civilian clothes–

**I’d like to interupt this regularly scheduled POW to air a grievance. What do editors and assistant editors do, exactly? It seemed like a good 50% of the time there is a flashback featuring the original Robin costume, it is colored like the current costume – green legs, black and yellow cape. It happens twice in this week’s Robin… on one page, which would make sense except that it is colored correctly on the same page. Check it out — page 9. This happens all the time. Where’s the oversight?**

–while helping Superman save the President. While the issue was enjoyable — Superman and Robin is my second favorite team-up — I needed something else.

And I got it in Batman #636.

It started off kind of scary. Nightwing shows up in Gotham to check on a post-Gang-War-Oracle, Robin and Batgirl-less Batman (he made them leave town after The Spoiler died and the GCPD turned on him). He’s curt with Nightwing in the typical Batman way, but then he makes a joke and smiles to himself like a proud papa watching Nightwing kick ass and all was right with the world.


Conor Kilpatrick
Open up your eagle eyes.

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