Review – Nightwing #56: High Noon in Bludhaven

Comic Books DC This Week
Nightwing #56 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Nightwing #56 – Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Writers; David Gianfelice, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist


Ray – 2/10

Ray: Not the worst issue of this new Nightwing run, but pretty close, Nightwing #56 is stunning for just how disjointed it feels. This is supposed to be the big “coming out” issue for Ric Grayson as he steps back into the hero role for the first time since his brain injury, but a combination of poor storytelling and bad art make it impossible to take anything seriously. Scarecrow has been unleashed on Bludhaven, and he’s turned the citizens into an army of rabid savages. The only people standing between them and the sane citizens are Detective Sapienza and his army of Nightwings – a group of fellow officers who are still basically sketches of characters. When you want the audience to be invested in a team of underdogs facing down impossible odds, you need more for them than a brief summary of character traits. Their approach to the mob basically resembles police riot tactics, so you know their odds aren’t good.

Scarecrow on the rampage. Via DC Comics.

Sure enough, it’s not long before one of them gets shot by an army of mind-controlled police officers, and Ric Grayson sees this. He realizes he has to step into the fray, so he paints a black facemask on with charcoal and jumps back into the fray.

This is surprisingly non-dramatic, as he instantly displays the skills he needs to fight back. The book has been extremely fuzzy on what his brain injury actually entails from the start, so this isn’t a big surprise. What is a surprise is the way the issue loses track of its own facts from page to page. The wounded “Nightwing” takes three bullets point blank and looks dead. Then he’s in critical condition. Then he’s standing up and talking by the end of the same fight.

It’s almost as funny as the ending of Infinite Crisis where they suddenly slapped “He’ll be fine” over Nightwing’s death scene. But this series continues to be a complete mess, even if the real Nightwing seems ready to step back into the role.

Corrina: This continues to be awful. Hard pass.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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3 thoughts on “Review – Nightwing #56: High Noon in Bludhaven

  1. Thank you for this review, makes me feel like there are still some legitimate critics out there who are not afraid to speak their mind.

    1. I’m overwhelmingly positive towards DC’s output as a whole right now (some might say too much so), so a book like this frustrates me even more. We’re coming off a trio of very talented creators on the book, and there’s no way this is the best DC can do with arguably their fourth-most iconic character right now.

      1. I suspect these shenanigans all tie into the Didiot’s long-time hatred for Nightwing.

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