The Casual Geekery

Subway Shorts – Queens and Kids

A fun pair of books this time around, as Nightwing gets into some fights and has a scare and the debut issue of The Once and Future Queen starts off with an interesting first issue.

Nightwing 16
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor

Nightwing has finally started to settle in to his new digs in Bludhaven, which was his established base of operations before the New 52 set in five years ago. He has a new job as a counselor to a bunch of former Z-list Gotham villains who fled to Bludhaven to escape Batman and Nightwing. He has a new girlfriend, who is also a former Z-list Gotham villain, The Defacer. Everything seems to be going Dick Grayson’s way, which is always where the hero is before life turns to complete crap.

And yeah, in this issue, Nightwing’s life starts to turn to complete crap. He leaves his girlfriend to respond to a police scanner report of a robbery and things start to go downhill from there, starting with a visit from the newest Robin, Batman’s son, Damian Wayne. Damian was looking at social media, finding people praising Nightwing over him and saying Dick would be the next Batman and, being a petulant brat, goes after his brother to let Dick know that Damian believes himself to be the rightful heir to the Batman mantle.

I absolutely love it when Damian gets taken down a few pegs, because I find his character to be completely obnoxious in almost every way. So, Nightwing taking him down when Robin went after him was one of the best moments of the week for me.

Nightwing’s anger was probably misdirected, though, as Robin attacked shortly after getting some surprising news from his girlfriend.

I love the look on Nightwing’s face here. It’s exactly how a ladies’ man like Dick Grayson would react when hearing those words.

And this isn’t even where Nightwing’s life turns to crap. When he finally gets back to his girlfriend’s apartment, she’s gone and Nightwing is concerned that she might have been kidnapped. To make it better, he’s got Robin in tow to “help” him. Then the final page reveal of the coming of Deathwing should ramp up the danger in the next few issues.

This was probably one of the best first issues for a new story that I’ve read since the Rebirth kick-off, which is saying something given the high quality of the comics DC Comics has been putting out. Writer Tim Seeley has been doing a great job with the book and the character and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story turns out.

The Once and Future Queen 1
Written by Adam Knave and DJ Kirkbride
Art by Nick Brokenshire

I picked this up on a whim because I had such a small number of my regular books this week, and I’m glad I did. The creative team here is the same one that did the Amelia Cole stories which, while I wasn’t a regular reader, I always enjoyed the tales I did read. Here, they’ve turned to Arthurian lore to create a modern-day telling of the creation of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table.

A chess prodigy from Portland, Oregon, heads over to England for a tournament but gets distracted by a blonde girl in the audience and loses on the tournament’s first day. It sets off a chain of events that leads our soon-to-be hero, Rani Arturus, to pull Excalibur from its stone, and then she meets Merlin. From there, everything goes a little haywire. The girl from the chess tournament, Gwen (get it?), follows a hunch to fly back to Portland and finds Rani. The two together go get some food and run into Lance (yeah…) at the restaurant and at that point, all hell breaks loose. The Fae come after Rani and Gwen and Lance step up to fight by her side.

Oh, and the trio see Rani’s favorite YA author, a woman named Morgan, at the restaurant. She dashes out before the Fae attack, so, clearly, something is up with her.

This was a great first issue that offers up a lot of fun potential storylines for future issues. I’m looking forward to seeing where the creative team takes the story. I certainly recommend anyone who’s a fan of Arthurian legend and fantasy stories pick this issue up.

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