Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Some spoilers ahead
Nightwing #3 feels like the issue where the book is really starting to find its footing.
It is a much more interesting read, as it spends time delving into Nightwing and what makes him different than Batman. For example, we see how he gets out of crazy death traps in a way only Dick Grayson uniquely can. This recurring theme drives the issue’s main conceit: How much of the Nightwing identity is because of Batman and how much is it is truly Dick Grayson? The question is genuinely fascinating and adds a provocative hook to the book that was missing in the previous issues.
And then there is Nightwing’s Paliament of Owls-appointed partner: Raptor. The previous issue depicted him as a generic Mary Sue who bosses Nightwing around. Here, he comes off as an engaging character foil for Nightwing. However, Raptor’s own character still needs work. His personality is a bit inconsistent: He is seen quipping with Nightwing like they are pals and then other scenes have him deriding Nightwing and Batgirl in an arrogant tone. Raptor’s characterization is an improvement from the last issue, but he still needs development to make me care for him.
Batgirl also appears in this issue and she…does not do much. She contributes nothing important to the mission other than acting like a mouthpiece for Batman (“Batman wouldn’t do this, Nightwing!”).
On the art front, Fernandez continues to draw pretty scenes and his characters are on point. Nightwing’s chest emblem continues to get a little bigger too, so it looks less like random blue lines on his black costume. There was one scene where our heroes are trapped in a room with slowly converging walls that Fernandez had trouble depicting properly. But that is a minor quibble in an otherwise solid artistic effort.
This current issue of Nightwing is where the story’s themes start crystallizing and the book is stronger for it. Despite an extraneous Batgirl appearance and Raptor still being a boring character, this issue is solid action that raise some intriguing questions about Nightwing.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment