Nightwing #106 – Tom Taylor, Michael Conrad, Writers; Stephen Byrne, Serg Acuna, Artists; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: I had no clue where this series was going to go once it returned from a Knight Terrors hiatus, but I can tell you I did not expect this—a call-back to one of the most divisive Nightwing runs of all time, the “Ric Grayson” era where a brain-damaged, amnesiac Nightwing worked as a taxi driver while estranged from the Bat-family. He had a new supporting cast, a new love interest in bar owner Bea, and a whole lot of battles with local criminals before it wrapped up. But as this issue reveals, Dick was at one point entrusted with some sort of secret ledger, and got in touch with the seafaring vault-keepers who run Bludhaven’s most secretive bank—and now, in the present day, he needs to get back what he placed inside.
The issue that introduced the Hold was one of the best of Taylor’s earlier run, creating one of the most unique new locations I’ve seen in the DCU in some time. A massive vault in an old pirate ship under a whale skeleton? That’s the kind of thing you only get in comics. With Stephen Byrne taking over on art duties and giving the characters and setting a very unique look, Dick quickly finds out just how many people want the same thing he does. The reveal at the end is pretty predictable, although a clever way to give that character some new life. And points to this issue for one of the best scenes in any comic this year—Haley and a transformed Beast Boy being rambunctious little doggies together.
Just as exciting for me as the main story is the fact that the new backup by Michael Conrad seems to be a continuation of one of my favorite recently cancelled books—Batgirls. The first part of a three-part story, it finds Dick Grayson trying to teach Cassandra Cain a new life skill—cooking—by playing on the skills she already has in the martial arts world. All the while, a trio of gangsters with a unique theme spy on them and come up with some hilariously wrong assumptions. With Steph out on patrol, it’s a perfect continuation to the original series with someone new stepping in for Babs’ role.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.