Writer: Benjamin Percy / Artist: Amancay Nahuelpan / DC Comics
The Greatest — and Deadliest — Motorcycle Race in the Cosmos…
When we talked to Percy a couple months ago, he mentioned that part of his Nightwing run would take a quick detour from the usual on the grounds of Blüdhaven to a more fantastical setting. Yet, fresh off Nightwing Annual #1, we jump from the newsroom to The Isle of Harm for the greatest motorcycle race in the cosmos in order to save his friends.
You’d think that the sudden shift in gear would be jarring, but instead, it’s in perfect lockstep with the cyberpunk stylings we’ve been enjoying and allows Percy to flex his high octane action over his last few cerebral offering. Harm’s Way, Part 1 is a much-needed breath of oddballness and fun visuals that new and old readers will absolutely devour.
As Grayson steps into the strange place where time and technological progress blurs together, the creative team clearly is working over time. Nehaulpan’s artwork blends various cosmic, urban, and scenic island backdrops. The action is fast and kinetic, and even in the chaos of various sequences, you can appreciate the details and illustration in every moment. It is a perfect complement to Percy’s playful narration and dialog, and he seems to be a particularly potent stride with his storytelling. Fans of the New Age of Heroes will also appreciate some of the foreshadowings for the next part of the saga. The premise of a high stakes motorcycle race isn’t new, but this particular take has a nice fresh coat of superheroic paint that makes it shine.
Between the commentary on social media, fake news, and information security, the Dark Web saga has largely been introspective. The action-packed premise of “win a race to save your friends” keeps some of the overtones, while being a bit easier to parse. Nightwing #48 is a fun issue that reads like a self-contained story, while doing some wonderfully intriguing worldbuilding. It’s one of my favorite issues of Percy’s run to date and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next part of the story.
9.5 “Techno-mythical Feats” out of 10
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