Review: Nightwing #108

“The Crew Of The Crossed” – Part Three, and “Odd Hours” – Part Three
Writers: Tom Taylor and Michael W. Conrad
Artists: Stephen Byrne and Serg Acuña
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Steve J. Ray

Pressure mounts as Bea’s brother, Dirk, makes his presence painfully felt, in this month’s action-packed, pirate powerhouse; Nightwing #108.

I’ve seen sibling rivalry at its very worst, growing up… or, so I thought. Dirk’s hatred of his adopted sister, Bea, has crossed the line from stark hatred to pure evil.

Bea’s a character I fell for even before Tom Taylor got his creative hands on her, so seeing her raised to almost superhero status has made me very happy. Her brother’s treatment of her, however, has frozen my blood.

This whole four-part story has raised the stakes, as secrets are discovered about both Dick Grayson’s ascendance in Blüdhaven as well as who’s been aiding some of the city’s more nefarious residents. Taylor’s universe-building in this series has been methodical, intriguing, and extremely clever.

It’s so odd to me that last month, all over the internet, I saw “fans” criticizing Nigtwing’s open-shirt, bare-chested look. Some people are so selfish. No, a man’s naked chest isn’t that appealing to me, but fans of the female form have been spoiled rotten for decades, so those who appreciate the masculine physique deserve some eye candy of their own. I mean, it’s only fair.

Stephen Byrne’s art and Adriano Lucas’ colors are, once again, terrific in this issue. Just look at the moon’s reflection on the sea, and the sunlight coming through the cave ceiling when our heroes reach their destination. Now, that’s eye candy I’m sure that everyone can appreciate. If you thought you knew what a secret pirate haven might look like, hold my coffee.

Once again, Michael Conrad and Serg Acuña have also delivered a wonderful backup story. It’s a shame that this little tale will be Michael’s last in these pages (at least for now), but this hugely talented writer has another Nightwing project on the cards that will be unlike any we’ve had before.

This is clearly a writer who knows his Gotham lore, as the villain of this little three-issue arc harks back to the Golden Age of comics. Thankfully I own several collected editions, including one that features the character’s appearance in Detective Comics #154 (1949). Thanks, Michael.

Conclusion

As always, Nightwing #108 is a comic with amazing scripts, stunning art, glorious color, and crystal clear, crisp lettering and sound effects from Wes Abbott. This series has been nigh-on perfect month after month for years, and that’s why it’s at the top of my reading list every time.

While I’m sad to see the current backup strip creative team move on, I’m excited to see who comes on board next month, and how the saga of “The Crew Of The Crossed” will end. This month’s cliffhanger’s a killer!

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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