Review: Nightwing #94
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Geraldo Borges
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Wes Abbot
Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd
The Police Commissioner faces the music leading to a ploy by Dick, Babs, and Melinda to get closer to Desmond. Unfortunately, Blockbuster is just smart enough to turn the tables on them leaving one of them in deadly danger.
Nightwing was a big winner in the 2022 DC Comics News Awards. Nightwing #94 is a great example of why it’s been such a great comic in this era with Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Geraldo Borges, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbot as the main creators that began with issue #78.
The characters are the focus and readers come back month after month to follow the lives of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. Their relationship is the foundation of the series both work and personal. By intertwining the personal lives of the main cast and new characters like Melinda Zucco with the main plot is a cohesive story that doesn’t suffer from any unevenness and reinforces the idea that this comic is about their lives, not simply two-dimensional action/adventure. If anything, the personal storyline is an even greater pull than the villain plot with Blockbuster, or Dick’s desire to save Bludhaven. This issue brings personal connections into play as one of the Nightwing team is caught by Blockbuster and in serious danger by the end of the issue.
It was great to see MacLean get his comeuppance this issue, as I was worried he’d run under the radar of the authorities longer. It’s a team effort that brings him down as Dick’s reveal of the video footage that was revealed last issue instigates the investigation and Barbara and Melinda play significant roles. What really stands out about Dick’s desire to save Bludhaven is that he is not only doing it in both his costumed and non-costumed identities but with a smile on his face. Dick’s personality is distinctly different from Bruce (Batman) Wayne and it’s important to be able to see this so clearly. Dick’s smile should be on readers’ faces as well.
Geraldo Borges is a great fill-in for Bruno Redondo on this issue as his style fits the look of the series well. We’re still treated to another brilliant cover by Redondo and the colors and letters by Lucas and Abbot respectively help to maintain the overall visual look of the series. Just as Redondo has done so well in previous issues, Borges is also able to capture the intimacy between Dick and Babs with a look and intimate body language in a seemingly inconsequential moment. I’m not saying I don’t want Redondo back, but if he needs a break, Borges is the perfect substitute.
It’s not often that variant covers get a mention, but the Jamal Campbell variant is wonderful. It leans heavily into the romance element and could very well be part of a “Superheroes in Love” series. It fits the series and is a reminder that the romance between Dick and Babs is just as important as the fight against Blockbuster.
I can’t help but think about the Peter, MJ, Gwen Stacy era of The Amazing Spider-Man by Stan Lee and John Romita (Sr). Comics grew up a lot with that run incorporating the romance comics element, as Peter’s world was fully developed. It’s satisfying to see it having an effect on current comics.
It’s hard to imagine that as one of the best mainstream superhero comics currently being published that there could be a negative for Nightwing #94. Taylor is playing the long game with Heartless, but the content is so rich and full of texture and emotion, that it’s not a bother.
Nightwing #94 has a couple of surprises and provides some satisfaction with villains getting their due. As always, the characters carry the issue with their relationships interweaving with the villain plot. All this gives the series a “slice of life” feel. You’ll thrill, you’ll smile, you’ll cheer, you’ll worry! I didn’t even mention the new Police Commissioner!