Review – Nightwing #44: Dick the Luddite

Nightwing #44 variant cover
Image via DC Comics

Nightwing #44 – Benjamin Percy, Writer; Chris Mooneyham, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 4/10

Corrina: Didn’t Hate It

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

Ray: The third creative team on Nightwing in four months, Benjamin Percy and Chris Mooneyham’s start in Nightwing #44 ditches almost all of Dick’s supporting cast and launches the character in a darker, cyber-horror direction. I was anticipating this run given how well Percy did with Green Arrow especially towards the latter half of his run, but unfortunately, this run really doesn’t feel like Nightwing at all, either in terms of the tone of the series or the character himself. Percy wastes no time introducing a major new element to Dick’s character, which is that he’s a luddite – doesn’t like smartphones or apps, keeps a landline at home, and constantly observes how engrossed people are in technology around him. This turns out to work in his favor when a new app apparently starts killing people, blowing up their phones and setting into motion a tense escape from a subway car. The issue kicks off fast in this segment, but the overarching plot doesn’t really work all that well.

Percy deals with similar concepts as both the Batgirl of Burnside team and Hope Larson’s succeeding run did, including how technology gets out of control and can become oppressive. There’s a subplot involving cyber-gentrification, in which Dick’s favorite deli gives his shop a hologram makeover, and a new client of Dick’s who appears to be a cyborg. But there’s a lot of little inconsistencies in this issue.

Last month Dick was running a pilates studio, now he’s a rough-and-tumble personal trainer who works his clients out in a junkyard. Chris Mooneyham’s art is decent with character work, but his Bludhaven feels less Atlantic City, more dingy run-down anytown. The issue ends on a horrific note, as a robotic spider burrows its way into Dick’s body and creates some odd techno-reaction. It’s just an odd, confusing issue that doesn’t really feel like Nightwing at all, and I’m hoping it’s just a bump in the road and Percy finds his footing the way he did on Green Arrow: Rebirth.

Nightwing #44 page 1
Dick, brooding in the rain. page 1, Nightwing #44, image via DC Comics

Corrina: As someone who basically hated Percy’s run on Green Arrow, I went into this issue with low expectations.

Yet I liked it more than Ray did, likely because the plot intrigued me. I struggled a bit with Dick being a Luddite and I feel that’s off, yes. I suspect that part of the story is there so it will be even more terrifying that Dick is attacked by tech at the end.

But I kinda liked him working out personal training clients in a junkyard. True, he usually does it in the studio but this seemed okay.

I wasn’t wowed but I wasn’t throwing up my hands at inexplicable character decisions either, like Percy’s run on Green Arrow. In the long run, we’ll see if this better for Ray and worse for me or vice-versa.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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