Nightwing Annual #3 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Inaki Miranda, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This is an odd issue, essentially an oversized annual that picks up on a minor plot point from the Ric Grayson era. Remember when Ric was battling against the mind-control of the Court of Owls and encountered a mysterious new superhero named Condor Red who worked for a shadowy organization? Turns out that wasn’t the first time they met – Dick just doesn’t remember it. This is a done-in-one adventure that takes place eighteen months before the current day, with Dick just settling into Bludhaven. This also gives Dan Jurgens the opportunity to bring back one of Dick’s most iconic enemies – Blockbuster, the kingpin of Bludhaven. The main threat early this issue is a group of heavily armed mercenaries with vague designs and an appearance right out of a 1980s cyberpunk video game, but they don’t serve much purpose beyond serving as convenient target practice.
But when Dick gets poisoned by Blockbuster’s goons, he winds up saved from certain death by Condor Red, which leads to him getting an offer from the Condors’ boss. This mysterious woman seems to want to build a better superhero team, giving them all uniform training and highly effective equipment. It’s a little odd to see this plot again given how reminiscent it is of Dick’s time as a member of Spyral, but Jurgens always tells an effective story. The main appeal here is to see Dick in his prime again, far away from the Ric Grayson era and all the convenient brain damage. The good news is, he’ll be getting there again soon, as Jurgens gets to restore Nightwing to his peak. If this issue is any indication, he has a good handle on the character. It’s also good to see Bludhaven in its dirty, crime-riddled classic incarnation. This is an enjoyable issue for old-school Nightwing fans who remember his long-running ’90s series.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.