All Cards On The Table: Reviewing ‘Nightwing’ #95
by Scott Redmond
‘Nightwing’ pits the will of two powerful men against one another as a variety of threads that have been weaved for almost two years are starting to come together to help create a picture of Blüdhaven’s future. This series continues to be a beautiful character-driven emotional ride into the heart of the DC Universe, bringing some great energy to the Batline of books.
Since this current run began, the creative team has been guiding Nightwing and Blockbuster to a huge confrontation as the two powerful men have very different visions for what Blüdhaven can and should be. In the penultimate issue of the current story arc, those forces collide in a devastating and potentially game-changing way.
One of the things that have been referenced time and time again within these reviews, is how much I like and appreciate how Tom Taylor is making sure to really lean on Dick Grayson being one of the hearts of the DC Universe. We’ve seen his Bat family, Titans family, and more rise to the call and help him in a variety of ways. Always there to have his back whether as Grayson or Nightwing. That truly pays off with this issue where all those familiar faces answer the call once more and help tear down everything that Blockbuster has built within this city.
Everything within this issue works rather rapid fire, it is the penultimate issue after all, and feels rushed but in a very intentional narrative sort of way. There is a ticking clock in the world, and everything is reacting to it and rushing to do these things, and we can feel the frenzied but controlled sort of energy. The heroes are making a strike while they can, and the villain isn’t panicked but is terrifyingly composed at what he must do next.
I must say that ending was not what I expected to happen, never figured anyone would hit a hero hard enough to cause that, but I’m intrigued about where this will go. Part of me figures it’s the sort of thing that will be resolved within the concluding issue of the arc, but at the same time it could go on beyond that.
Just like what Geraldo Borges pulled off last issue, Bruno Redondo returns and keeps portraying just how massive and terrifying Blockbuster truly is an individual. One of those initial panels with him in shadows looming over Dick and Melinda, that’s some truly piss your pants sort of terrifying. Not for our hero though, as he’s ready to throw down no matter what.
Redondo and Adriano Lucas together just always depict such a detailed, colorful, and beautiful Blüdhaven, even when it’s under siege, creating a true life and energy for this fictional city. Across the couple of pages that Caio Filipe stepped in to help with inking, they have all the same feeling as the other pages, fitting in perfectly alongside the work that Redondo did on all the other pages.
All that rapid-fire energy referenced above is felt on the page because of how Redondo depicts that action and movement through the panel choices on the page. There are no panels where one could even begin to catch their breath as things go because we see the heroes’ attack played out on the same page through four panels, then we chart the destructive path of Blockbuster through each panel over pages. It flows and feels like it’s moving, and almost has the same sort of energy as the one long panel/full issue they pulled off last year.
It’s really neat to look at how Lucas’ colors are similar but quite different depending on the artist, matching the tone or energy of whoever is drawing the pages. With Redondo, it’s back to a lot of bright toned-down flashy colors including vivid hues of green or purple, or pink splashed across a page depending on which character the page is somewhat tied to.
With so many characters and bits of stuff to get out the great lettering style and energy of Web Abbott are fantastic to have. No matter the rage or power/terror, I love that there is so much care into having Blockbuster’s dialogue so controlled in tone most times, showcasing the controlled exterior he tries to keep on. While allowing emotion to slip through at times with bolder/bigger words, and fully emerging for others on the page through the same and bigger means. Abbott always makes sure that tone/volume is clear with either big bold font or smaller font or even having whispers be not only smaller but faded font to indicate that it’s being said quieter.
Those sorts of things just really elevate everything because it helps with making every single intention of the creative team for this story clear on the page.
Within comic books SFX are either something one has none of, a bit, or goes all in with. Truly I appreciate how much this team goes in on the SFX and how much they incorporate it right into the moment. There is a whole panel where the two characters on the page are shadowily drawn right into the giant vibrant red SFX as a panel. That’s some inspired awesome stuff right there.
Nightwing #95 is now available from DC Comics.