The “Blockbuster” arc continues in Nightwing #23. Is it good?
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Publisher: DC Comics
Writing-wise, this issue is a mixed bag. On the plus side, the pacing is well-done and each character has their own well-defined and unique voice. The dialogue mostly reads believably and there are a handful of good jokes sprinkled throughout. There is also an argument scene between Dick and Shawn that captures the feeling of romantic frustration fairly well.
Unfortunately, other aspects of the writing feel predictable or are otherwise lacking in flavor. While each character has their own voice, a lot of those voices aren’t very interesting. None of the villains shine or come across as particularly multifaceted in this issue. They all feel too generic to seem like much more than “villains of the week” here, and having so many crammed into so few pages doesn’t help the matter. Detective Svoboda is also fairly one-note, as she lacks the uniqueness or character development necessary to come across as more than a “hard-ass” cop stereotype. The issue also contains a plot twist that I found a bit groan-worthy. Hopefully future issues will prove me wrong, but I’m not feeling very optimistic about how certain plot elements will unravel.
The artwork really carries this issue. Minkyu Jung is the sole penciller, and it’s nice to see them get to draw an entire issue (as opposed to just a few scattered pages, like they have in past Nightwing issues). There’s a nice variety in page compositions that helps the action from becoming too repetitive, and some shots of Nightwing in action are very dynamic and enjoyable. Colorist Chris Sotomayor does a solid job as always. I especially like his use of more muted tones when coloring in flashback sequences, which helps to further distinguish them from the present day portions of the narrative.
Ultimately, Nightwing #23 is solid. The artwork is good for the most part, and the writing has its positive aspects. Unfortunately, the lack of compelling character work outside of one or two scenes prevents the issue from becoming something special instead of just something decent. This issue is enjoyable enough to be worth the cover price, but it’s not one that I think I’ll go back and reread very often.