[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Minkyu Jung, Chris Sotomayor
Roland Desmond, A.K.A. (the latest) Blockbuster makes a bid for Nightwing’s trust after their rooftop rumble. Desmond provides information to help Nightwing’s investigation into the black-market weapon smuggling operation ran by the masked mob-boss Tiger Shark. Also in this issue, Dick is a huge himself to his girlfriend Shawn.
The artwork in this issue was beautiful, I was especially taken with the opening sequence which showed a flashback montage of the original Blockbuster Mark Desmond, taking us through some of the showdowns he had with Batman, Robin and Dick while being manipulated by his brother Roland, ultimately ending in Mark’s imprisonment in Blackgate.
In terms of the story, this issue felt like it had purpose and direction. It was clear from the beginning that the Tiger Shark plotline is now going to accelerate, whereas the previous issues have been slightly slower in moving the players into position, keeping the villains out at the side-lines and allowing Nightwing to potter around doing some investigating and moan about getting a job. This issue of course starts with Roland’s first move, it brings Nightwing closer to the centre of Tiger-Shark’s criminal operation, and I would expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of Nightwing bringing the fight to Tiger Shark in the coming issues.
Final positive worth mentioning, Nightwing’s internal dialogue was really funny during his fight with the War Droid, which looked apocalyptically beautiful and messed-up. Even if it did perhaps break a 4th wall, I can’t say I didn’t appreciate the levity in what was a pretty forward-moving issue.
It seems Dick and Shawn’s relationship is weathering a bit of a storm of Dick’s own brewing, after an “awkward” – as Dick phrases it – conversation between the couple at Shawn’s workplace. Dick tells Shawn he didn’t go to the job interview he had scheduled for the morning, because (and I’m not kidding) he felt Shawn wouldn’t be a good mother to their hypothetical, totally imaginary child.
I mean, what? Don’t get me wrong, I know how dramatic Dick can be, but damn if that didn’t feel just mean. This emotional second string hasn’t resonated well with the action-side of the arc so far, rather it seems to have become this ever-shrinking domestic bubble by which the Defacer can trap Nightwing forever, and Dick resolutely does not want a domesticated lifestyle.
All my sympathy is with Shawn here, she just wants to settle down and get a stable, non-violent job and this acrobatic man-child is dishing out major criticisms because he thinks he’s too good to be a dock-worker. Well you aren’t Dick, you’re an orphan with no real job experience and in reality, would be homeless. So, show a little gratitude for the woman who puts up with your nonsense and go get a job that supports the both of you.
This issue is representing the real beginning of the action in terms of the Tiger Shark element of the plotline and has propelled the plot forward and added some momentum to the arc as a whole. The artwork here is perfect and only makes me appreciate Roland even more as an enemy in this series. Only drawback is Dick making a really big deal about having to be an adult human being, including saying some pretty hurtful things to his partner.