SPOILER WARNING – Forever Evil will likely ruin this series’ fun.
Life in a new city requires a bit of a learning curve for anyone. In Nightwing #26, that adjustment period finally hits hard for both Dick Grayson and his nighttime alter ego. In the wake of the Prankster’s attacks, Nightwing must deal with Marionette, the new identity for a previously established character by writer Kyle Higgins. But the real challenge comes from Dick Grayson’s personal life, as the groundwork is laid for what may be his greatest conflict: roommates.
Despite what might be looming over the horizon in the pages of Forever Evil, Higgins continues to build a world with conflicts and characters that allows Nightwing to thrive. The humor that Higgins injects into the story comes from real world conflict, and the main source of that humor is Dick’s interaction with his roommates, particularly Joey. Anyone that has lived with a roommate, and even those that have not, will find enjoyment and simultaneously share Dick’s frustration from the situation.
On the Nightwing front, the reader is treated to a potpourri of action sequences, rendered beautifully by Will Conrad. The main conflict involves a string of robberies throughout Chicago perpetrated by a villain calling herself Marionette. Given his status as the DCU’s ladies man, it makes sense that Nightwing would attract an antagonist of the fairer sex. Interestingly, this is the return of a character introduced to audiences back in Issue #19.
Part of the issue was completed by Cliff Richards, whose art is an unfortunate step down from Conrad’s refined and detailed style.
In a couple instances, the artwork is confusing and does not give the reader a clear sense of what is occurring. Whether this is due to the scripting or artist interpretation, those few moments will provide unneeded confusion in a straightforward, street-level story.
Nightwing #26 continues to lend credence to Kyle Higgins’ status as one of DC rising talents. Despite a few hiccups, the title continues to provide the relatable conflicts and humor that have made Dick Grayson popular beyond the shadow of the Bat. With the emergence of Marionette and an arrival from Gotham City, Nightwing’s solo title looks to continue as an underrated gem in DC’s lineup.