The Batman Adventures: The Lost Years #3
DC Comics (March, 1998)
“Now You See ‘Em”
WRITER: Hilary J. Bader
PENCILER: Bo Hampton
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
EDITORS: Darren Vincenzo & Scott Peterson
It’s been almost a year since Dick left Gotham, traveling the word and gaining skills just as Bruce had, even adopting the “John Smith” name. Now he is in Brazil, having learned with masters of Capoeira, the art that combines dancing with martial arts. Now he’s gone to Santo De La Rosa, but not for the Day Of The Dead festival. He seeks Los Invisibales (translated as “The Invisibles”), a legendary tribe who appear to be able to make themselves invisible. He finds them, but not before finding Two-Face operating a drug smuggling operation out of two different factories. After learning all he is able from Los Invisibales he returns to the factory he found and destroys the drugs, ruining the operation because there’s one factor left and Two-Face has an obsession to maintain. With that solved Dick returns to his “world tour”.
What they got right: This part of the story wasn’t part of Nightwing’s origin in the show, but I wish it was. We see the origin of Nightwing’s symbol in the DCAU and the early origins of his costume. There are some fun moments, good action, and it’s just enjoyable to read. We also see that Bruce is doing a bad job hiding that he misses Dick. Shut up, we aren’t on that chapter yet. Man, Wertham is haunting me everywhere lately!
What they got wrong: Even Dick wonders why Two-Face is suddenly into drug running. He figures it was Harvey not wanting to pass up a “two for one” deal but couldn’t it be a different operation?
Recommendation: Even if you know the story on the show, this is a missing piece that’s worth checking out for DCAU or Nightwing fans.