“Rise Of The Underworld” – Part Two, and “Night At The Circus” – Part Two
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
Nightwing #102 brings us the second chapters of “Rise Of The Underworld”, and “Night At The Circus”.
“Rise Of The Underworld” – Part Two
The Titans are now Earth’s premiere super-team, and their first mission is to protect Olivia Desmond, Blockbuster’s daughter. The now-deceased villain sold his soul to Neron for superpowers, but then renegotiated with the demon, exchanging his own soul for the child’s. Neron’s first attempt to take Olivia was thwarted by Nightwing and a temporarily super-powered Bitewing, but now the shape-changing Smiling Man has taken Nightwing’s form in an attempt to gain favor with Neron.
Yes! The Titans are back, baby! Seeing Dick Grayson reunited with Raven, Beast Boy, Starfire, Cyborg, and Donna Troy has made me so happy! This is the team I grew up with, and the group that Dick was with when he stepped away from the role of Robin, to become Nightwing. Marv Wolfman and George Pérez delivered one of the greatest comics series of the 1980s, and now Tom Taylor’s giving fans one of the best titles of this decade.
Every character’s true to their roots and speaks like a real person, and, thanks to the beautiful art by Travis Moore, looks cool as hell. I mentioned last month that Olivia Desmond’s a superhero in the making, and this issue proves it.
The entire story’s a blast; we get action, humor, and some truly first-rate characterization. It’s just too bad it’s going to go to hell next month.
“Night At The Circus” – Part Two
C.S. Pacat continues to impress. We already know that she writes Nightwing and Jon Kent brilliantly, but this month we get her take on Batman, and it’s perfect. I love glimpses into Dick Grayson’s past, and his childhood as the Dark Knight’s protégé. Not only is the flashback superbly handled by a stellar writer, but Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, and color artist Adriano Lucas make the scene feel like one from a vintage 60s or 70s comic book. The retro color style, in particular, gives these pages a feel and texture that makes this aging fanboy’s heart sing.
Wes Abbott’s lettering style also changes between his work on “Rise Of The Underworld” and “Night At The Circus”, meaning that we also get to see a hugely talented designer and letterer at the top of their game. Honestly, the only way this comic could be better would be if both stories had 20 pages each!
While every issue of this series delights and surprises, my reviews keep saying the same thing. This title rocks! Nightwing #102 beautifully mixes, the supernatural with the superheroic, and delivers thrills, spills, and laughter with aplomb. Seriously, you need to be adding this book to your pull list… and grab every back issue while you’re at it.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment