“Raptor’s Revenge” Part 4
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Chris Conroy
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
We are back again with the “Raptor’s Revenge” story arc… and will be back again in the upcoming weeks. Yes, the story arc still hasn’t concluded yet, even when the arc has reached part 4. This is now the longest story arc I have reviewed yet. I’ll be honest, I was hoping the arc would end in this issue.
Mainly because the ending of Nightwing #32 looked like it was really building up to what may’ve been the arc’s conclusion. Nevertheless, Nightwing #33 turned out to be a fun, exhilarating read with excellent pacing.
TALE OF 2 FIGHTERS
Nightwing #33 is a stark contrast to its predecessor in terms of story. Whereas the previous issue primarily explored Raptor’s relationship to Nightwing and features barely any action whatsoever, issue #33 does the complete opposite. Instead, it focuses on the- ahem- the ‘companionship’ between Nightwing and the villain Roland Desmond (a.k.a Blockbuster), as they fight through a casino full of infected casino patrons.
It’s revealed that Raptor laced the casino patrons’ champagne with Desmond’s Blockbuster serum. Unfortunately, this particular serum was altered to bestow the person Blockbuster’s immense strength and endurance, but robbing them of their intelligence. Rendering them as mindless, raging beasts.
Nightwing and Blockbuster work together on a very mutual trust in order to stop Raptor from advancing his plans. There’s just one major problem.
Raptor destroyed the serum antidote.
The situation turns even more dire when the blockbusters have escaped and are now running amok in Bludhaven.
Luckily, the Run-Offs got Nightwing’s back and have their physically strongest members subduing the loose blockbusters.
However, the duo soon come across their biggest and deadliest obstacle yet.
A hulking, serum-infused Tiger Shark.
What made this issue such an enjoyable read was the brilliant dynamic between Desmond and Nightwing. Their dialogue was expertly written and infused with some layered psychoanalysis by Desmond, as he examines Nightwing’s moral code. I always love these kind of stories, where the hero and villain find themselves in precarious situations and now must work together to survive. And wow! Issue #33 does not disappoint!
My absolute favourite moment was when Desmond and Nightwing fought off a group of raging blockbusters. The fight was fluidly well choreographed and the interplay between the unlikely duo made the awe-inspiring fight even more enjoyable.
It was exciting watching their unlikely partnership develop throughout the course of the comic. Especially after their thrilling fight against a hulking Tiger Shark in an elevator shaft. Oh man, that was some impressive choreography right there!
Roland Desmond himself proved to be one of issue #33’s strongest elements. I’ve had very mixed opinions for Desmond ever since I began reviewing Nightwing. At first glance, he appears to be another criminal scumbag who exploits the citizens of Bludhaven for his own personal gain. However, as I reviewed issue after issue, I couldn’t help but start liking this guy. Despite his criminal background, his oftentimes abrasive attitude and his notoriety as Blockbuster, you learn he genuinely cares about Bludhaven. He also considers his employees as friends and is honestly concerned for their wellbeing. Coupled with the fact he actually saved Nightwing’s life from Tiger Shark Desmond became, somewhat, likeable. He was more of an anti-hero rather than a typical villain.
THE RETURN OF JAVIER FERNANDEZ
Javier Fernandez returns to illustrate the series and I must say, it’s a welcome return. I still really miss Scot Eaton and adore his drawings, but I found Javier Fernandez’s sharp drawing style emulates Nightwing #33’s frenetic pacing and action sequences amazingly. Chris Sotomayor’s colouring still stands out as usual. Furthermore, there is one panel I just have to point out that blew me away and is perhaps the best panel in the entire comic.
In this panel, we see Desmond and Nightwing stand before a looming, threatening Tiger Shark- now in the elevator. Tiger Shark has- literally- ripped a hole in the elevator’s top and now looms before the duo.
Oh my goodness, that lighting! Brilliant, stunning, incredible! I stared awestruck at how breathtaking the lighting just shines over Tiger Shark. It rendered his presence even more terrifying, while at the same time it looked awe-inspiring.
It certainly was issue #33’s shining moment. Wink Wink.
Although the story arc’s main villain is absent for most of the comic, Nightwing #33 nevertheless delivered a thoroughly entertaining ‘situational ally’ story. The dynamic between Desmond and Nightwing was always fun to read. Their tag team fight scenes were fun to witness. Desmond proved to be a- somewhat- likeable character and I’m so excited for the next issue! Now because the “Raptor’ Revenge” arc will definitely conclude. And from the looks of that ending, it’s going to be one helluva finale.
Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment