REVIEW: ‘Nightwing,’ Issue #98

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nightwing #98

Nightwing #98 from DC Comics certainly flips the script this time around. Tom Taylor leads the way as series writer, with guest artist Daniele DiNicuolo on pencils, Adriano Lucas on colors, and Wes Abbott on letters. In the last issue, the story pitted Nightwing and Batgirl in a secluded Bat-lair with a captured mob boss, trying to find a way to get him to Gotham to stand trial. There was tension and sexy times, the whole nine. That issue ended with a taxi cab pulling up, driven by no other than Ric Grayson.

Ric has the worst secret identity in comics, mainly that ID belonged to a Nightwing tale that saw him shot and amnesiac for about two years’ worth of issues. Not to mention a sour fanbase that had grown weary from a New 52 DC trying to off Nightwing every few years. Bringing Ric around is a bold enough move, and making him a separate entity from Nightwing is as confounding as it is frustrating.

But then this issue hits, and things swing wildly in the other direction. First, it begins with a little girl in her room, under threat from mysterious voices claiming they’re coming to get her—creepy factor on high. The dead serious mob story is gone (well, for a minute). Then we jump back to Nightwing having it out with Ric right before the weird hits. We get introduced not just to why Ric is here but also to Nite-Mite! No, I didn’t have a stroke or make up a name on the fly. Just as Batman has Bat-Mite, a fifth-dimensional imp who worships him, now our hero from Bludhaven has his own uber-cool, annoying, chatty bobblehead buddy from beyond. But Nite-Mite is here for more than just hero worship. He comes with a plot that might set the stage for a story way down the road, fills in some story for another character altogether, and overall makes for one surprising tale. I never expected the mob tale to turn on a dime into this. I had to sit back and think about whether that was great, bad, or just fun.

Nightwing #98 was a sucker punch of a good time. Not only did Taylor take what I think was a very risky move, but he also turned it into something useful for various plot points. I can’t speak for what he does in other books of his I don’t read, but in Nightwing, he swings for the bleachers and has yet to miss. Lucas and Abbott have been stars in coloring and lettering from their first issue here, and nothing they do runs astray. Brightness. Beautiful hues. Bold lettering. Clarity. Professionalism from start to finish. But what sets this issue off to a tee is the introduction of DiNicuolo’s hand. His artwork is immaculate at capturing the eccentricities of Nite-Mite, and the goofy, embarrassed expressions people (read: Nightwing) exhibit from his antics. As one can expect from an imp, Nite-Mite turns things upside down, and DiNicuolo clearly had a grand time drawing every panel. Once again, get this artist a monthly title.

What I thought would turn bad quickly became an enjoyable read full of stories and potential. It’s wild and woolly, but it adds a new vibe to the expanding Nightwing mythos, especially as he gets more prominence in other areas of the DCU. Grab this issue when you hit the comic shop. And seriously, this character needs some humor in his life. Don’t we all?

Nightwing #98 is available now wherever comic books are sold.


Nightwing #98
5

TL;DR

What I thought would turn bad quickly became an enjoyable read full of stories and potential. It’s wild and woolly, but it adds a new vibe to the expanding Nightwing mythos, especially as he gets more prominence in other areas of the DCU. Grab this issue when you hit the comic shop.

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