Review: Nightwing #36

“The Untouchable” Chapter 2: Relentless

Writer: Sam Humphries

Artist: Bernard Chang

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

NIGHTWING’S BEEN SHOT…

But he survives!

Nightwing#35 ended on a shocking note when Detective Svoboda, one of Nightwing’s trusted allies, shot him right in the shoulder, resulting in him being plummeted off the side of a building. Fortunately, Nightwing’s acrobatic prowess saves him from certain death. On the brink of unconsciousness, Nightwing activates the defibrillator function within his suit. Determined more than ever to apprehend the dangerous The Judge, Nightwing patches up his wound and continues his search.

Speaking of The Judge, our nefarious villain is continuing his evil acts upon Bludhaven, with Mayor Madrigal as his next target.

NIGHTWING IS PUT THROUGH THE RINGER!

Man, Sam Humphries does not hold back! By far, the most engaging aspect of Nighting #36 is the exploration at how much Nightwing’s role as Bludhaven’s protector impacts his civilian life as Dick Grayson. Like his caped mentor, Nightwing is only human. He doesn’t possess any enhanced physical attributes and is encumbered by ordinary human obligations and limitations.

He needs to sleep in order to regain energy.

He has to maintain a job to make ends meet.

Exploring how Nightwing’s two separate lives impact one another made for an engaging story element. Placing emphasis on Nightwing’s personal life made him more relatable. Even after sustaining a gunshot to the shoulder, Nightwing is determined more than ever to apprehend The Judge.

Once his wound is bandaged up; Nightwing investigates a church of massacred priests, interrogates (and beats up) numerous thugs, rescues a woman falling off a building and discovers the mayor has- apparently- shot himself.

All in one night. All before returning to his gym to stitch his wound and coach his 5am class.

My, oh my. Nightwing has a lot on his plate. 

I appreciated that Sam Humphries retained Nightwing’s internal monologues which were featured prominently in Tim Seeley’s run. The monologues are a compelling insight into Nightwing’s mindset. It’s very apparent how mentally taxing keeping Bludhaven safe is for our hero. I found the internal monologues a simple, yet effective method in conveying Nightwing’s thoughts. 

Sam Humphries has proven once again that he is a worthy successor to Tim Seeley. Humphries’s passion for the character was evident through his grounded, character-driven narrative.

In terms of the villain, The Judge was relatively underwhelming. This mainly stems from his vague, poorly explained motivations.

IMPROVED ARTWORK

Although the artwork at times lost quality in the action sequences, Bernard Chang’s artwork has improved greatly since the previous issue. The artwork is more consistent. Character faces are detailed and highly expressive. Bernard Chang honors his predecessors through his exceptional rendition of Nightwing. The young hero himself is the best drawn character in the entire comic. Bernard Chang nailed Nightwing’s muscular physique. He amazingly translated the hero’s distinct acrobatic movements onto the page.

 CONCLUSION

Nightwing #36 was a thrilling, well-written issue that tells a compelling character-driven story. Bravo to all the people involved in making this issue. Please support the artists on Twitter or Instagram!

Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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Philip Lawrence

Ever since he can remember Philip has been a passionate fan of the Batman mythos. He played all four Arkham games, watched all three Christopher Nolan films and started to obsessively read the comics. Outside of being a writer for Dark Knight News Philip is an aspiring actor, theatremaker, filmmaker and maintains a Youtube channel. He hopes to one day create the comics he loves to read so much.