Nightwing #2 Review

Posted August 4, 2016 by Alexander Handziuk in Comic Books

Written by: Tim Seeley

Art by: Javier Fernàndez

Publisher: DC Comics

Dick Grayson has always been a character of great integrity and joy, stemming back all the way to the 1940’s when he was introduced as Batman’s partner. After all, the reason he was introduced was to brighten up the dark, gruff Batman and Dick achieved this with his good heart, signature quick witted puns and lack of love for wearing pants.

In this issue Seeley plays with this idea of darkness and Dick’s new partner Raptor is one that thinks of himself as having one foot in the shadows, like Batman. I’m not going to descend too far into spoilers, but suffice to say that Dick makes a decision that involves not saving someone/some people. This choice while a bold move by Seeley reads as a bit incongruous with Dick as a character, as his optimism and belief that every life matters is something that define him. That being said, this whole new edgy direction under the Parliament of Owls is one that Dick is very much not in line with and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds a way to save those people in the coming issues. Also the scene involving Barbara Gordon feels unneeded, much like her presence in the series thus far, which is a real shame as she is a great character.

The relationships in this issue are somewhat of a saving grace and nail in the coffin at the same time. Raptor is very much a action first kind of guy and he attempts to teach Dick this, creating some enjoyable moments and quips.  He is also very knowledgeable, and matches Batman’s level of arrogance at times. The issue is that this whole Raptor as Batman idea is handled with very little subtlety and Raptor compares himself multiple times to the caped crusader, so much so that it makes him feel almost like a caricature.

Thankfully, Javier Fernandez’ art is way more than just caricatures as he brings a more grounded and at times horror esque feel to the book. This issue is full of action sequences, in which blood and guts are prevalent, and Fernandez renders them as grainy and textured, wonderfully matching the sound effects that swoosh by throughout. He also uses an immense amount of shadow work which succeeds at most times, but is also a bit too on the nose with the script at others.

Nightwing #2 effectively establishes a new partner/mentor for Nightwing, but does so at the expense of Dick’s defining features. While these questionable decisions may make sense in future issues, it causes this issue to feel rather flat.

About the Author

Alexander Handziuk

Alex is a comic aficionado who loves Aquaman, Overwatch, the musical Hamilton and medium length strolls on beaches. Check him out on the Comics Dash Podcast, on twitter at @axehandziuk and in real life patrolling the borders of Canada.