Writer: Tim Seeley / Artist: Javier Fernandez / DC Comics
While I enjoy Seeley’s Nightwing quite a bit, I do think it works at the strongest power levels when it tells a rooted, street level story. The times it has ventured outside of that preset are when it stretches what we feel are the capabilities and wheelhouse of Nightwing — a little like Batman when magic is involved. Which isn’t to say that this is a bad storyline. Quite the contrary, as Seeley co-wrote Grayson, he’s very much at home jumping back into the world of Spyral. But Agent 37 dealing with a transition from Nightwing is different than Nightwing dealing with the plot threads and tech mysticism that Agent 37 was involved in.
The book focuses on Huntress and Nightwing realizing that not only were they set up, but that they were set up by Spyral, who has apparently gone rogue. The book pivots between their attempt to escape and see what has happened to their former colleague Tiger King and The Runaways, who are all coping in different (not necessarily healthy) ways in the wake of Miz’s murder. The Spyral saga eats up a lot of page time, justifiably so, but it reduces the other storyline to a fly-by at times, with just hints of what is going on. The aspect that these plots will become more important could benefit from a little bit more time spent on them now, as I imagine big things will happen suddenly that Nightwing will have to come home to.
Fernandez is mostly good throughout with some really good action panels during the fight with Spyral and the surprising (and very cool callback) rescue attempt. It does feel like some inconsistency haunts the issue a bit, especially as it cuts away to the goings on of the Runaways. Enough to make it feel like two different stories, when it should feel like another part of the larger whole. The best art work shows up when it counts, especially to catch the emotional beats near the end of the issue, but it doesn’t feel completely cohesive from cover to cover.
Nightwing dives back into his Spyral days to uncover the mystery of why they’re being hunted with some pacing issues and artistic hitches, but nothing that derails the story. It still carries the intrigue that Seeley has built over this series.
Reading Nightwing? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.