[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Miguel Mendonca
Dick struggles to pay the bills without work, but struggles even more with the thought of stepping down his hours as Nightwing. Tiger Shark circles under Bludhaven’s murky surface, preparing for something big…
This issue takes the time to build anticipation for the threat mounting in Bludhaven. Tiger Shark gets a little more time, as does his new right-hand man Roland Desmond, brother to and successor of Mark Desmond, A.K.A. “Blockbuster”. Roland felt immediately likeable to me, filling in a role which often lacks due attention. His street-smart wit and artful dodging abilities add some context to the Bludhaven streets that fleshes out the story nicely as a whole.
Nightwing’s own challenges fall in line with the overarching motif of the past few issues, focusing on the real-life issues Dick has to face without the help of his Escrima sticks, such as his relationship with Shawn Tsang, and finding a meaningful career. These issues are developing slowly however, and I sense we’re not going to reach a very satisfying conclusion with Dick’s job hunt (“What’s this, a check from Mr. Wayne? Woohoo, I’m rich again!” – Dick, probably).
Also, there’s a bar called The Blazing Saddle, because Mel Brooks is never irrelevant, no matter which fictional universe you’re set in.
Dick tries to wear his mask in bed with Shawn. Disturbing. Also, you can’t keep sharks in a tank, even if you do rock a baller jacket/mask combo, Mr. Tiger Shark. They travel at full speed for miles and would ram the glass into dust.
More seriously, we’ve had a couple issues now where the alien knock-off weaponry moving into the city has been cited as the anticipation for some large-scale gang war or some such, orchestrated or at least partially provided for by Tiger Shark and the Second Hand. However, we’ve seen only small snippets of Nightwing taking on the gang members armed with the high-tech arsenal and they only amount to a minor inconvenience for him during battle, and ultimately represent only the potential for a greater threat to come later in the arc.
This just isn’t building the kind of tension I was hoping for, but with a little more face time with Tiger Shark I think we’ll see things start to heat up.
This issue is building up to something big, however the build-up itself falls a little flat here. That being said, this issue does introduce a great new character and provide Tiger Shark a little more time to ingratiate himself into Bludhaven’s underworld. Nightwing is a bit of a pervert but that’s nothing new for dick at this point.