REVIEW: ‘Nightwing,’ Issue #97

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nightwing #97

Nightwing #97 from DC Comics rolls out a new storyline from the ashes of the war with Blockbuster. Tom Taylor is the series writer, and Bruno Redondo on artwork, with Geraldo Borges handling the art on pages 8-16. Caio Filipe is on inks, colors by Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott remains on letters this issue. So last month, the showdown came and went. Blockbuster is dead, taken out ignominiously in an alley. By Heartless, no less. The war for Bludhaven’s heart is over. For now, anyway.

Cue ‘Power Vacuum,’ Part One. With Roland Desmond a corpse, Nightwing is left with Mayor Zucco looking over his archenemy’s corpse. You’d think this would be cause for relaxation, maybe even celebration. But no. Grayson realizes Blockbuster’s demise from Heartless means the villain will never face prosecution. There will be no public legal pursuit to show the locals that the wheels of justice can function so this man can face punishment. There is a hole in Bludhaven, a bigger one than in Blockbuster’s chest. The king is dead. Everyone will now want to claim the crown. No party tonight. 

And it shows as Boss Maroni, long under Blockbuster’s thumb, finds out the big guy is deceased and so, under police interrogation, has no more protection save the law. Those who will find out Maroni is about to flip on the crimelords in town will move fast to finish him off before he can talk. Enter guest star Commissioner Renee Montoya from Gotham. Maroni is getting relocated for safety. Yeah, you already see where this is going. Safety doesn’t exist in the state that holds both Bludhaven and Gotham City.

Nightwing #97 brings the action fast and furious. It keeps Batgirl around (yes!) for the fighting and for some other important reasons, and I must say, this issue ends in a way I never saw coming. I have no idea how to process it, to be honest. It could be epic or a very bad idea, but I can’t wait to see how it unfurls in the months to come. Darn you, Taylor. You’ve been writing the most consistently solid Nightwing run in some time, truly giving the character the respect and progress long overdue from the jump. But he has given an unexpected end to the Blockbuster era, thank goodness. I prefer Heartless, the monotone opposite face, to Nightwing. That is a war I’m hungering for.

Speaking of hunger, your eyes get to feast once more on the pretty lines and smooth moves from both Redondo and Borges, to Borges and Filipe’s deep-cut inkwork. Redondo and Filipe’s pencil work blends so well that I suspect they are one and the same. The lines, shading, inks, and hues on the faces of the characters in the interrogation scene are remarkable. This carries on throughout the issue, from the adorable body language of Barbara to the chase scene and on. Lucas’ blue spectrum scheme surfs a gray wave that seems to foreshadow the clouds about to dump acid rain on Bludhaven and its hero. Abbott continues to get imaginative with the SFX letters, so Nightwing is a visual treat.

Nightwing #97 delivers a superb story that stings readers with a sucker punch. I would love to be a fly on the wall as fans reach the end. Well done, Taylor. Kudos to the art team for making everything sublime.

While you’re taking your three-legged doggie for a spin, stop into a comic shop, beat up the goons, and grab Nightwing #97. Save the day.


Nightwing #97
5

TL;DR

Nightwing #97 delivers a superb story that stings readers with a sucker punch. I would love to be a fly on the wall as fans reach the end. Well done, Taylor. Kudos to the art team for making everything sublime.

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