Nightwing has been an interesting series dropping the character in a fish out of water story in a city pre-rebirth was very much his home. He’s quickly befriended folks, been slapped on tourism ads, and is now trying to crack a mystery. We check out part three in this new story arc, but is it good?
Nightwing #12 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
“BLUDHAVEN” part three! The body count in Blüdhaven continues to rise! Nightwing will have to team up with the Run-Offs to discover who the murderer is and clear the name of the Defacer. But before they can even begin they cross paths with the killer, Orca, and her Whaler Gang.
Why does this book matter?
Tim Seeley is writing very good captions that capture Nightwing’s personality very well, but also put you right there with him. The character is clever and sharp as a wit, which makes him fun to read.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Just an average Tuesday I guess…
Nightwing has gone from somewhat apprehensive hero (he came to Bludhaven to avoid being a hero for a bit) to full on cracking a case. Seeley has seeded the story well, giving Nightwing good reasons to fight for a group of ex-villains on the mend. That relationship he’s started fleshes out a bit more in this issue as Nightwing attempts to work with them. This leads to a big fight sequence and an impromptu team up with the ex-villains which is a lot of fun.
The art by Marcos To is sharp and well inked, casting characters in shadow even in well lit rooms. The book generally has a darker tone (or more aptly put, a tone of dusk), which sets the book apart a from other Bat-centric books. The colors by Chris Sotomayor give each page a darker tone, which helps embolden the blue in Nightwing’s costume. He’s a beacon of sorts. The fight sequence is easy to follow and To does a good job making Orca look as thick and tough as the Hulk.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The pace of this issue nearly slows to a crawl at some points as it tries to progress story elements whilst keeping Nightwing on a trail to find justice for his friends. One portion is particularly slow which I’m not so sure works. Nightwing is grilling the ex-villains to find clues and bring together their details to figure out where to move next. It’s only a page, but there’s a lot of dialogue as the characters chat away whilst sitting around. Another scene attempts to keep the tourism angle at the forefront as Dick speaks with a tourism bureau worker. This scene feels forced into the narrative. It helps convey the general thought process of folks who live in Bludhaven, setting it apart from Gotham, but derails the flow of the book.
Ultimately the book ends with very little in the way of development too. Orca is a fun tangent from the main narrative, but it doesn’t progress the plot all that much. There’s some checking in going on in this issue, but it seems to be slowing things down too much.
He seems comfortable.
Is It Good?
Nightwing fights a “whale-woman” and develops a rapport with characters, bringing a richer meaning to his stay in Bludhaven. The issue has a slower pace which makes it feel like a slog at times, but a fun fight sequence makes up for that.