Writer: Tim Seeley / Artist: Marcus To / DC Comics
After (what we assume is) the false arrest of the criminal formerly known as The Defacer for murder, Nightwing is doubling down on his quest to support the Runaways as he’s learning more and more how hard they are trying to reform and how hard someone is working to set them up. This leads him to go out on a limb and try to join forces with the very people he used to beat up on in Gotham while trying to track down who’s responsible for putting their friends behind bars.
Two things that Seeley accomplishes very well in this issue. One, the soft spot and empathy of Nightwing, which further separates him from Batman. Where Batman would be like, yo, get your shit together and follow me if you help, Nightwing approaches this much more like a partnership, as he feels legitimately bad about dealing with them as criminals even though they were very much criminals at the time.
The other success is bringing obscure characters to the forefront, like having Orca be the scary antagonist for an issue, even though she’s part of a much larger development. The inclusion of these Runaways and cast-offs taking center stage in this book has been a pretty engaging arc thus far, one that makes it feel more grounded, while leaving you to root for these background characters.
To’s art matches the story too. The characters are a bit softer and relatable. Even the fight scenes give the sense that these are fighters and brawlers, but serious harm can be done to them against the might of Orca, so the stakes seem higher.
Nightwing continues to be a damn good book and the Blüdhaven arc is getting more intriguing with each issue. This is a very Nightwing story, heart, detective work and resiliency.
Reading Nightwing? You can find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.