**SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!**
The second episode of the amazing web series, Nightwing: Prodigal, titled ‘Mad Love’, has arrived, and boy does it deliver. This weeks episode took more of a storytelling path than the first, setting up lots of really good character development and events for upcoming episodes, such as The Court of Owls’ possible involvement in Bruce’s disappearance and The Riddler’s kidnapping of Tim Drake.
The episode picks right up where the first one left off, with Nightwing squaring off against Poison Ivy. To be honest, the beginning seemed a bit jarring. Perhaps a ‘Previously On…’ would’ve helped ease me into the episode and set up for the opening scene. But, no matter what, it was still a treat to see Poison Ivy, as she was one of my favorite parts of the first episode.
Brady Roberts is wonderful as Nightwing. I truly enjoyed seeing his character’s depth come forward, from mourning over Jason Todd’s death to telling Barbara that he loves her, an impressive feat for a 10-minute run time. We even got a glimpse of Barbara’s past, with a quick flash of the events of The Killing Joke (a must-read for any true DC fan).
Once again, we were given a plethora of references to the Batman/DC universe. We had name drops like Jonathon Crane (Scarecrow), Hugo Strange, and Mr. Freeze, and even a Penguin reference (The Iceberg Lounge). But the biggest name drop was that of Batman archenemy, the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker. And with this we get to see one of my favorite female comic book characters…Harley Quinn.
Maddie Phillips’ portrayal of The Joker’s #1 girl, Harley Quinn, was great. The look and attitude was perfect, from the makeup and mallet, to the accent and playfulness. This girl is definitely one to keep an eye on. And her fourth wall break was priceless.
But the star of this episode (even if he was only in it for a minute and a half) was The Riddler, played by Camden Filtness. This guy brought new life to this character, making him more sinister and frightening than most incarnations. My one comment on his portrayal, however, is that it reminded me too much of The Joker, and if The Joker does show up in this series, I’ll be interested to see how they differentiate these two characters.
Nightwing: Prodigal has delivered another spectacular episode and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next. Will Nightwing be able to defeat The Riddler? Will Dick and Babs rekindle their relationship? Will we finally learn about the events surrounding Bruce Wayne’s disappearance? Check out next weeks episode to find out!