Nightwing #48 – Benjamin Percy, Writer; Amancay Nahuelpan, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Continuing from last week’s Nightwing annual, Nightwing #48 is another step up for Ben Percy’s run. Much like his Green Arrow run, he started out with an over-the-top horror accented arc that didn’t quite work before broadening his focus into a globe-trotting adventure. With both Vicki Vale and the first arc’s villain Willem Cloke trapped in the cyber realm by big bad Wyrm, Dick is desperate for answers. That leads him on a quest to Ireland, to a mysterious small island called the Isle of Harm. This sleepy fishing village turns out to be the cover for a criminal underworld that hosts the world’s deadliest motorcycle race every year – and Dick plans to enter in search of answers. See, the race isn’t for money or weapons, it’s for access to a mystical altar that holds the key to all the world’s mysteries. The winner gets to ask the mysterious figure there one question – and Dick thinks they might be the key to rescuing his two vanished friends. But first, he has to get through an army of the world’s deadliest racers and goons.
This issue feels a bit like a dark and edgy reboot of Wacky Races – but not the Mad Max-accented Wacky Raceland. An army of colorful villains, each with their own personal goal in mind. Some are searching for vengeance, some for endless riches, some for justice. The racers include random criminals, alien refugees, and even a few Batman villains like Professor Pyg and Flamingo. It also includes Silencer, the assassin who is making her way around the DCU recently. Her presence and her role as the primary obstacle to Dick’s win is another major plot point spoiled by the cover – something DC really needs to stop doing – but once the race gets going this becomes easily the best issue of Percy’s run.
New artist Nahuelpan is the perfect choice for this issue, doing gorgeous work with the twisty, surreal course the racers find themselves on. This issue never slows down and leaves you with a perfect cliffhanger, and Percy ups the scales in a key way as he builds towards his villain reveal.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.