I'm dangerously on the verge of dropping The Outsiders. Two issues into its' "One Year Later" run and and two things have just been grating on me.
One: Nightwing's sanctioning the kidnapping and "interrogating" of a loyalist to a corrupt regime. Writer Judd Winick goes through great pains to explain Nightwing reasoning. "Metamorpho's pheromone treatments would take too long... a seven-foot psychotic woman in a leather mask is scarier than me..."
So, after Infinite Crisis has gone through the trouble of setting up Nightwing as one of the bright lights of The DC Universe, what do we get? Nightwing sanctioning this s***. Just... bad. Where's the continuity?!? Why'd they even bother?
Two: Thunder, the daughter of Black Lightning, is sent undercover to infiltrate the cabinet of President Benin, a corrupt African dictator. Benin is portrayed as pure evil, sanctioning the rape and killing of those he considers rivals. Eventually, Benin turns his eye towards Thunder and she, not wanting to blow her cover, "consents" to sleeping with him.
When Thunder confronts Nightwing with the things she's gone through, Nightwing tells her "it was good work." Seriously, what the f*** is this s***? I don't think anyone will ever label me as a feminist, maybe a humanist, not so much a feminist. That said, I call "bullshit" on Judd Winick and his treatment of the Thunder character. Seriously, was her "sleeping with the enemy" absolutely necessary in order to complete the goals of the mission? Was it completely necessary?
Admittedly, I have no idea what brought these characters to this place in that missing year. What I do know is that the Dick Grayson I grew up with would never ask a teammate to do any thing he wouldn't be willing to do himself. Dick Grayson would never have condoned any member of any team he's ever been on's "sleeping with the enemy" for "the sake of the mission." He wouldn't have it with Donna Troy, he shouldn't with any other character.
It's not in his character and it's just so glaringly wrong. Normally, I really enjoy Mr. Winick's work but on this one he's done many characters a disservice just for the sake of the story he's trying to tell.
That said, this raises another question: "Would someone ever write a story where Nightwing would have to... I don't know... s*** a d*** for world peace?"
I'm betting "no."