Review: Nightwing #16

by Michael McGale
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez

In this issue, Dick continues to create some space between himself and the “legacy” expected of him. The growing hype around Nightwing’s adventures in Blüdhaven attracts Damian Wayne’s attention, and worried that his own legacy might be at stake, Robin ventures out from the Titan Tower to confront his predecessor over the future of their father’s mantle.

There is a lot of great character work in this issue, with time spent reminding the reader what makes both the past and present Boy Wonders tick. Both Dick and Damian are working their way through complicated times in their lives.

Dick is trying to lose himself in the moment, telling himself that his future is less his concern than the action of the “right now,” despite moving into a more mature place in his relationship with Shawn Tsang (Defacer). It’s great to see Dick struggle internally with the changing dynamics of his life while keeping his cool exterior intact while beating on the bad guys.

Damian gets to do his usual thing of being wonderfully snobby to everyone and unapologetically doing his own thing. The brotherly chemistry between Damian and Dick is brilliant in this issue, and it reaffirms the teenager in Damian, despite his qualms about being a child. Dick gets to treat him like a younger brother and keep his head (somewhat) cool, which is absolutely necessary given the gravity of the situation Dick has found himself in with Shawn.

Nothing increases the likelihood of kidnap like a pregnancy with a costumed vigilante. The issue was held together with the tight character work and ending on Shawn’s disappearance a few pages after she revealed her pregnancy to Damian over the phone felt a little rushed and clumsy.

Excellent character work. The chemistry between Dick and Damian is wonderful and there is a lot to look forward to regarding Nightwing’s legacy and his future with Shawn. I hope the coming plotlines can match the maturity we are seeing in these characters.

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