The “Blockbuster” arc continues with an all-out, multi-villain brawl in Nightwing #24. Is it good?
I have mixed feelings about this issue. I like some of its specific ideas and moments, but there are too many questionable aspects of the execution for me to feel fully satisfied. On the writing side of things, I appreciate Tim Seeley’s decision to incorporate some of the supporting cast. It’s good to see that the Run-Offs weren’t just a group who were relevant for one arc and then forgotten about. Unfortunately, they don’t actually contribute much to the plot. Giz helps Nightwing navigate his way through a boat full of supervillains, but there’s not much time for his personality to shine. Similarly, the subplot involving Shawn, Mouse, and the return of Pigeon is a bit underwhelming. I wish I felt more emotional connection to these characters than I currently do.
The main set-up for the issue’s action (Nightwing fighting villain after villain in order to reach an escape capsule) has potential. When done well, a barrage of different supervillains can be fun to read about. Unfortunately, quantity seems to outweigh quality here. There are a handful of villains (like Shado and Magog) with cool designs and shticks that I would have liked to see get time in the spotlight, but each of them gets taken down in one to two pages. Nightwing’s personal dramas aren’t made emotionally impactful enough to make up for the forgettable or rushed nature of most of the villains’ involvement.
Artistically, Miguel Mendonca (penciller), Diana Conesa (inker), and Chris Sotomayor (colorist) do a decent job. There are some shots, like the opening two-page spread, that impress with their perspective and the small detail work in their backgrounds. There are various scenes where smoke and mist are rendered quite beautifully, and as I mentioned previously, some of the villains’ designs are quite cool. Unfortunately, the amount of detail throughout the art is very inconsistent. A lot of the monochromatic background shots are unappealingly simplistic, and some of the pencils feel a bit stiff. There’s not as fluid a sense of motion to Nightwing’s fighting style as I wish there was.
Overall, Nightwing #24 isn’t bad. It’s just not great either. What I like about the plot theoretically doesn’t get executed to full potential, and what portions of the issue I like end too quickly as Nightwing hurries to take down another forgettable villain. I can picture a lot of these villains and plot points being executed well with more page-time, but this issue attempts to do too much in too short an amount of time.