Nightwing #95 from DC continues the war between Nightwing and Blockbuster. Tom Taylor continues as the writer, with Bruno Redondo on pencils and Caio Filipe jumping in for inks on pages 13-17 and 19-21. Adriano Lucas delivers those lovely pastel colors while Wes Abbott surgically places letters. In the last issue, Mayor Zucco tried to outwit Blockbuster, only to get literally zapped by the Electrocutioner. She’s his captive, stuff has hit the proverbial fan, and the countdown to the confrontation between heroes and villains begins.
Yes, heroes in the plural, for Taylor continues tugging on a cord he introduced in this Nightwing series. Teamwork. Back in the 90s, Nightwing was forever telling us the tale that Nightwing had to prove he could manage a city on his own. To this end, he sort of took on Batman’s mentality of keeping friends away while he juggled Bludhaven’s dirty politics alone. While it was understandable, it didn’t really feel like Dick Grayson, who has been a team player from the start. I get it, though. If you bring in the Flash, Blockbuster’s reign is over in less than a second. It makes sense but goes against character.
So this time around, Taylor has taken the wise approach of including the Titans and the Batman Family, which in previous issues has made things all the more fun and put extreme pressure on Blockbuster’s organization. That’s a strong, smart tactic. Blockbuster has the entire city, the police, and even the mayor. Nightwing needs to apply pressure. The villain has to feel the hero’s presence and no longer feel safe. Perfect. This issue ups the ante as Nightwing brings everyone along for the ride to take down Blockbuster’s empire in one fell swoop.
It’s great to read, and we even get a smidgen of a subplot involving the newest commissioner, Maggie Sawyer, who replaced the corrupt MacLean. Don’t worry; you’ll see MacLean in here as well and all the major players in a rapid succession of converging plot threads. I think the only gripe I have is that the gathering of heroes inspires so much cheer and brightness that it seemed too much so. It briefly broke the mood for me, lessening the tension of a ticking clock and high stakes.
Zucco seems to be on Nightwing’s side now, but no one is safe. Thankfully all of this plays out with Redondo’s usual acrobatic flair for action and fine lines. I really appreciate the detail in up-close facial expressions this time around. Filipe’s inks play out a bit more than Redondo’s and do so during the story’s darker moments. Lucas makes daytime crime look lively and energetic, and Bludhaven stands out in all of the comics thanks to his eye-massaging hues. Abbott gets huge SFX and a ton of wordplay in this issue that harmonizes with the rest of the artwork. Things move very fast, but the double-page spreads, action, and dialogue art are amazing.
Nightwing #95 is a crime countdown that reads in a surprisingly fun, almost light mood until you reach the final pages and the gloves come off. It’s a good superhero version of a partnership with law enforcement that moves at a good clip. I don’t know where it’s headed next month, but I’m along for the thrill ride and think you should be too.
Nightwing #95 is available wherever comic books are sold.
Nightwing #95 is a crime countdown that reads in a surprisingly fun, almost light mood until you reach the final pages and the gloves come off. It’s a good superhero version of a partnership with law enforcement that moves at a good clip.