Nightwing’s Rebirth has had a unique feel and it helps that he went from James Bond type to superhero. Last issue was a solid first issue, but how is issue #2?
Nightwing #2 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC solicit reads:
“Better than Batman” part two! Nightwing and his new mentor Raptor embark on their first assignment for the Parliament of Owls. Will Raptor prove himself a superior mentor for Nightwing? Or will they both fall prey to the fangs of Kobra?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Love those trees.
Seeley writes a lot of good dialogue in this issue some of which oozes with originality. Take for instance a conversation between Nightwing and Raptor as they talk about branding and marketing; it’s a fun little bit of dialogue as it brings up the idea of Batman and his supporting heroes all wearing brands and that’s something that’s exploited by corporate America. Are they no better? It’s fun to read, especially when Seeley interjects a bit of humor when Raptor closes with, “Hell, you’ve probably got a theme song.” Nightwing retorts, “Well, I mean, it’s a work in progress.” There’s more funny stuff too, like Nightwing comparing Raptor’s fight style to a rap battle and a very fun concept of “shark attractant” (I see what you did there Seeley!).
It’s not all superhero stuff though as Seeley drops a very disgusting monster right in your lap. It comes out of nowhere – and that makes it even more horrifying – and Seeley continues to show us he’s blending genres with aplomb in this series. At the same time the Raptor/Nightwing relationship builds well; it’s going in a surprising direction and it’ll be interesting to see where Seeley takes it.
The art by Javier Fernandez is quite nice throughout as well. The colors by Chris Sotomayor are a bit subdued giving everything a slightly darker tone. Fernandez draws with a good amount of detail and nice atmosphere (especially the moody backgrounds) and more than once I was reminded of Jason Bourne based on the pace and well placed panel. The action is fast and tense, but the horrors that show up are graphic and creepy as hell too. He’s drawing some great stuff here folks.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Batgirl makes a slight appearance – and is basically the whole cliffhanger in a way – but it feels a bit shoehorned in. The cliffhanger certainly makes it obvious where we’re going, but it doesn’t resonate so much since the stakes of what Nightwing chooses aren’t so obvious. Will Batgirl even care all that much? How much does she really mean to him? These are questions that, if answered, would have made this cliffhanger more impactful.
Thank god for the mattress.
Is It Good?
Indeed. Nightwing is the Jason Bourne of DC Comics, but with a lot more quips and humor. Put this series on your pull list.