“Rise Of The Underworld” – Part Three, and “Night At The Circus” – Part Three
Writers: Tom Taylor, C.S. Pacat
Artists: Travis Moore, Vasco Georgiev, Eduardo Pansica & Julio Ferreira
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Steve J. Ray
Nightwing #103 delivers the third chapters of “Rise of The Underworld” and the Jon Kent Superman team-up, “Night At The Circus”.
In this issue, the Titans go to hell… quite literally. In an attempt to stop Neron from claiming the soul of Olivia Desmond, daughter of the recently deceased villain, Blockbuster; Nightwing, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven head into the bowels of Hades. Not only does this issue feature the dreaded Neron, but we also get to see another classic DC villain, and sometimes nemesis of Superman Sr., the dreaded Blaze. Thanks, Tom Taylor!
Meanwhile, Barbara Gordon, Donna Troy, and Starfire start training Olivia in the art of combat, on the island of Themyscira! Man, this issue delivers more awesomeness than should even be legal.
Travis Moore continues to impress with his art, which graces the pages of the Titans’ visit to hell. This month we also get to see some super cute visuals from Vasco Georgiev, who provides the images for Olivia’s training session on Paradise Island. While the two artists have very different styles, the consistently brilliant Adriano Lucas and Wes Abbott help the two threads mesh seamlessly, thanks to their stunning colors and lettering. The fact that Blaze, Neron, and Raven, as the three characters with a demonic history, each have their own fonts and letting styles/colors is very impressive.
The script and plot are also (unsurprisingly) excellent. Tom Taylor has Nightwing using his brilliant mind against Neron, but the demon’s no slouch in the brains department either, and the ending of this chapter left this particular fan reeling! I cannot wait for Nightwing #104!
In the third chapter of “Night At The Circus”, the team of C.S. Pacat, Eduardo Pansica, and Julio Ferreira also raises the stakes. I do love a good, old-fashioned detective mystery, and Pacat’s handling of the genre, her spot-on characterization of both Jon Kent and Dick Grayson, and her terrific dialogue all make this second tale feel like much more than a backup strip. Both the stories in this issue are terrific and the series truly benefits from the expanded page count.
Demons, heroes, hell, and circuses… Nightwing #103 delivers them all with grace and style. What we get in this issue is a cosmic setting in one tale and a real-world scenario in the other, and both show Nightwing, Superman Jr., and the Titans in brilliant, albeit extremely different lights. These creative teams are at the top of their game, and this series remains one of the very best that money can buy.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment