Review: Nightwing #58

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers!]

Writers: Scott Lobdell and Zack Kaplan

Artist: Travis Moore

Color Artist: Tamra Bonvillain

Letterer: AndWorld Design

Summary

“Corrosion Of The Corrupted.” He may not have his costume, but Mr. Grayson is most definitely back in the fight. After saving Bludhaven from Scarecrow in issue #56 Ric has decided to join Detective Sapienza and his gang of Nightwings. Sapienza thinks that this is down to him, but, though Ric may not remember being Dick Grayson the crime-fighter, his former self lives large within him.

Positives

This series has really had a rough time of it in recent months. First, writer Benjamin Percy left the series prematurely, then Nightwing’s battle with amnesia (possibly) cost him a few readers. Scriptwriter Fabian Nicieza left after issue #56 and his proposed replacement, the talented Eric Esquivel, left DC Comics under a cloud of controversy. Leading us to a new co-writer, Zack Kaplan, being dropped into deep water.

The good news is that this boy can swim!

After a very enjoyable debut last month, Mr. Kaplan continues to impress. I’ve found his scripts and dialogue, in conjunction with Scott Lobdell’s plot, very enjoyable indeed. He’s not only managed being thrown into a sticky situation, he’s also continued developing the story his predecessors have left for him, while adding a new voice of his own. His grasp understanding of the series’ cast, and their motivations, has led to some great, and realistic characterization. Something which I approve of wholeheartedly.

What can I say about the art team of Travis Moore and Tamra Bonvillain, this month? I guess I just have to say what I always say about any of the books that these talented artists contribute to. Travis Moore’s line art is a thing of beauty. This man is a true, tried and tested all-rounder. He’s as comfortable drawing whacko super-villains, lounging around in armchairs, as he is drawing tweens in love, and all-out action. I feel the emotion on his character’s faces, and the joy (or pain) in their hearts.

Tamra is an exceptional artist in her own right, and I can see why we see her paired with Travis so often. Most of the books that I’ve reviewed (and then gone on to purchase) have them working as a team. Look at Hutch’s reflection in Zak’s window, Tamra’s use of light and flesh-tones. Her comics have a wonderful real-world feel to them, which I really enjoy. Page 5 of this issue could be made up of stills from a TV show. It’s lovely.

Andworld’s letters, which this month mainly consist of dialogue balloons and diary entries, written by Ric, work with the art. The issue flows seamlessly, and, while it’s a fairly wordy issue, it’s extremely easy and fun to read.

Negatives

While the pace has picked up a little, I can still tell that this issue is setting up more, and progressing less. While it’s frustrating, it’s also understandable. Yes, this title has gone through the wringer, and if it’s to succeed it needs to find its bearings, and get back on solid ground. I commend this team and appreciate their efforts.

Verdict

While it isn’t a groundbreaking masterpiece, Nightwing #58 is still a great example of good, well crafted sequential art. The story made sense, the characters are believable/lovable/hateful, depending on their purpose, and the art is gorgeous. Whatever you want to call him, the main character of this title has been a huge part of my life for over four decades, so, I’m going to stick with him, support him, and the fine, talented creators that continue to bring us his adventures, until I find a valid reason not to. This book is still one of my favorite monthly reads.

 

Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
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Steve Ray

A family man, amateur chef and comics afficionado extraordinaire. Animal lover and fan of all things comic-book and sci-fi related. His wife thinks that he owns too many books, he thinks that this is an oxymoron.