[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Scot Eaton, Miguel Mendonca, Wayne Faucher, Diana Egea, Chris Sotomayor
Nightwing and Raptor recline as their alter-egos and enjoy a nostalgia trip over a game of cards. Meanwhile, Shawn Tsang and The Run-Offs try to catch a Pigeon and put an end to her and Raptor’s city-ending scheme, with the help of their old friend Grace Balin, A.K.A. Orca.
This issue continues to give added relevance as well as great lines to the Run-Offs, led by Shawn Tsang (A.K.A. Defacer) at present. The group continues to support and care for each other – not forgetting their origins as a support group – while coming together to assist Nightwing and the city of Bludhaven from the shadows. Their moments together are very sweet and funny, as are almost all of Grimm’s lines of dialogue.
Speaking of dialogue, Raptor’s monologue given to Nightwing about his neo-Marxist political views and distaste for the “kleptocracy” was thoroughly entertaining, and their conversation as a whole was made even more appealing given the framing of their hands as they continue to play Blackjack while reminiscing over dead mothers and threatening waitresses. The tension was palpable, but the pace was quick, and offset by the relatively chilled out Run-Offs narrative.
This issue replays the Flying Grayson’s death scene/Nightwing origin story, including Raptor’s relationship with Dick’s mother in the narrative. Some fans like myself might be quite sick of the origin story card getting pulled, and while the take on it was well done, it still isn’t particularly interesting to see dragged out again.
Orca wasn’t a very big part of this issue, and personally I hope she will return to play a more prominent role in the following issues of this arc. Her only relevance in this issue is her connection to the Whale Enders, who aren’t active players in this story right now; and her connection to the Run-Offs, which only gave Orca an excuse not to eat all of her old friends/home invaders.
This issue moves the story forward and provides context to the current and future conflicts relevant to Nightwing and the Run-Offs, and the Run-Offs themselves are becoming more and more relevant each issue. However, with a lot of characters getting juggled around at once it definitely feels like some faces aren’t getting enough spotlight, and I can only groan every time I get a flashback to the titular hero’s parent-killing origin story.