“Rise Of The Underworld” – Part One, and “Night At The Circus” – Part One
Writers: Tom Taylor, C.S. Pacat
Artists: Travis Moore, Eduardo Pansica & Julio Ferreira
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Steve J. Ray
The Dawn of DC is here, and nowhere does its light shine more brightly than on the pages of Nightwing #101.
Just when I thought that the Nightwing book couldn’t get any better, just like the flagship Batman and Detective Comics titles, the series now has 34 pages and runs two tales concurrently. Tom Taylor’s handling the first half of the book, while rising superstar C.S. Pacat takes Nightwing and Jon Kent to new heights.
Blockbuster is dead, but he sold his first-born child’s soul to the arch-demon Neron. The Titans are protecting the child, Olivia Desmond, but the demonic king has dispatched one of his deadliest servants to capture her.
In the second story, Nightwing’s training Jon Kent and the two heroes are led to a circus to solve a mystery. More pages! Two stories! The Titans in Blüdhaven! Superman and Nightwing: Sons of The World’s Finest, together again. This issue has everything!
I love the way that this series makes every issue important. At first, Nightwing #98 felt like a one-shot, introducing Olivia and the imp Nite-Mite. As with everything Tom Taylor writes, nothing is minor and every action has consequences. Neron was mentioned in issue #98, but here he’s placed front and center.
Tom’s love for D&D and high fantasy shines in this issue, and I officially love Olivia as a character. This kid has hero written all over her, so I hope she’ll become a shining star in the DC firmament in years to come. It would be great to have a Blockbuster that’s a hero, rather than a villain. I truly believe that she’s a future Titan in the making.
Speaking of… Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire shine in this issue, so I can’t wait to see what Tom and the gang have in store for Cyborg. Not seeing Vic stone in this issue was the one, tiny, negative of the whole book.
I’ve said it a thousand times: Travis Moore is awesome! I’ve loved his art forever, and his work ranks alongside Bruno Redondo’s, Scott McDaniels’, Bernard Chang’s, and – of course, George Perez’s, placing him in the upper echelon of Nightwing’s greatest artists (just my humble opinion). Of course, the work of Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferreira is steadily climbing up the charts, too.
The colors and letters by Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott help make the art, feel and flow of the two stories in the issue work together seamlessly, so that – unless you have trained and seasoned eyes, like the two ancient orbs in this reviewer’s skull – you may not even notice the switch. This comic is an anthology done properly. Check out Wes’ awesome demon lettering!
C.S. Pacat continues her tale from the now legendary 2022 Nightwing Annual beautifully. If anyone should be creating new adventures featuring Jon Kent and Dick Grayson, then C.S. is the writer for the job. Her grasp and love of the characters are a match for Tom’s, and the art team working with her is as brilliant as she is.
Nightwing #101 is fantastic. Buy it, read it, share it, and love it. Marvel’s series, Fantastic Four, used to go out with the sub-heading “The World’s Greatest Comics Magazine”. In my humble opinion, Nightwing has inherited that crown and is wearing it with style.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment