Nightwing: Vol. 5: Raptor’s Revenge is the finale to Tim Seeley’s run on the character that started all the way back in Grayson alongside Tom King. He took a character that had been known as “Batman’s former sidekick whose solo is a weaker Daredevil” by making him go further out than “worse Gotham” and giving Bludhaven more personality. Raptor’s Revenge is a great volume to finish out the run, with a few puzzling aspects along the way and a great art team to match. This review is best read after reading the volume for potential spoilers, however I highly recommend it.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Nightwing rejected Raptor’s offer to be his new protégé. And since he escaped prison months ago, Raptor has been making plans to show Nightwing that if he didn’t want Raptor as a mentor…he will get him as the worst enemy he’s ever had! Now Raptor is back in Blüdhaven with secrets and a plan that will tear the city apart–and could put Nightwing out of commission forever! Collects #30-34.
Tell me about it!
Raptor is an interesting antagonist to Nightwing and would have made a great new archenemy to him had he survived this run. This was one of my main criticisms with this volume. Seeley puts some of his best toys back in the box and makes it so they can’t be reused. For example, Raptor and Blockbuster — the first dies and the second is depowered. This is a shame as both of them had potential to be great recurring antagonists for Nightwing going forward. Thankfully, he leaves Bludhaven, and it was used well by Sam Humphries. But who knows going forward with the next Nightwing writer.
One of my biggest confusions with this volume is what the f--k happens with Pigeon. One moment she’s spouting her usually anti-statue and society views then suddenly she’s the avatar of Ishtar, Goddess of Sacrifice. And then she’s dead. It’s really confusing and completely out of place and I still have no idea what it’s about since the issue originally came out in late 2017. It’s so so confusing.
The artwork for this volume is fantastic, just like every Nightwing run since Grayson. Javier Fernandez, Miguel Mendonca and Scot Eaton bring their A game on the art and it really, really shows. The movement of Nightwing in the first issue by Mendonca looks fantastic and fluid, with few rivals for the appearance of movement besides maybe Mikel Janin. The issue of Dick and Raptor talking while playing poker is brilliantly drawn by Mendonca and Eaton, making everything from flashbacks to simple conversation look great.