Writer: Tim Seeley / Artist: Javier Fernandez/ DC Comics
Nightwing is in a bad place. About as bad as we’ve seen him since the end of the Raptor arc. Unable to catch the criminal in the last arc, losing his girlfriend, and having a friend get killed while helping him makes for a bad week. This issue deals with the aftermath of all of those items while putting Nightwing on the hunt for Giz’s murderer. Along for the ride, though is Huntress who comes to Grayson in his time of need. But, ya know, this is Helena, so not really. Still, she accompanies Grayson to track the killer and uncover the why behind it. I was wondering if this book would ever tie back into the Grayson book that Seeley and Tom King worked on prior to Rebirth and this is the strongest iteration of this so far. Clues and revelations keep tying back to Grayson in his old Spyral days which should make for some pretty interesting twists and turns in the story.
As for Nightwing himself, it doesn’t feel like we quite get his rage on display even if he states that where he’s currently operating from. There is a good panel in which Nightwing states that he often surrounds himself with people that he has to keep parameters on as a way to not indulge his rage, but this felt like a good time to let the mask slip a bit. But we don’t really get that, outside of Nightwing’s usual fight banter.
As for other aspects of the narrative, I’m happy to see that we’re going to stay with Shawn even after the breakup and that she’s getting her own storyline. Her hooking back up with her former partner in crime Pigeon doesn’t look like it will end well for anybody, but it is a Shawn storyline independent of Nightwing, so it definitely welcome.
There is an edge to Fernandez’s art this week, that demonstrates this fractured state of Nightwing. Characters are usually penciled much softer, to mirror the heart and nurturing personality of Nightwing, but this issue, there is an absence of that, which works pretty well.
Nightwing is on the hunt, but of course, the predator rarely stays in that role with a Nightwing book. We don’t see the range of emotion we expected following the last arc, but the inclusion of Huntress and the Spyral connections start this arc off in interesting ways.
Reading Nightwing? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.