Review: Nightwing #98

by Matthew Lloyd
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Review: Nightwing #98
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Wes Abbott

Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd


In Nightwing #98, Dick Grayson meets his biggest fan, the fifth dimensional imp, Nite-Mite! Will he be a help to Dick Grayson or simply cause him trouble?  Maybe a little of both?


Last issue’s cliffhanger certainly required some explanation and we get it here with the introduction of Nite-Mite.  However, this imp is not completely in the mold of Mr. Mxyzptlk or Bat-Mite, and maybe that’s because Nite-Mite’s favorite is already fun., and that’s the overall tone of the issue.  This is a different approach to the issue, despite the fact that “fun” is a hallmark of this series under Taylor.

Dick is obviously not as serious and dour as Batman, Dick Grayson still embodies an exuberant youthful spirit that isn’t wrapped up in all that “I am the night!” business.   Nite-Mite has had the opportunity to see how Superman and Batman are annoyed by their respective imps, and chooses to be different.  Before anyone suggests that I’m saying Superman isn’t fun, Mr. Mxyzptlk tends to distract Clark from “Superman jobs,” which is a bit of serious business even if not as psychologically driven as Batman’s vocation.

Nightwing #98 does a some really nice things.  Firstly, Nite-Mite is allowed to comment as a fan on the “will they/ won’t they” aspect of Dick’s relationship with Babs.  It should land for those enjoying the series.  Even the end of the faux impromtu wedding seems to irk Barbara a bit.  She says, “no” first, but is genuinely offended when Dick says, “not yet.”  It’s good for a laugh while also speaking for the readers who want to see these two make it permanent.  Nite-Mite, oddly, claims to “ship Dick with Starfire.”  More fan comments!

Positives Cont’d

The reason Nite-Mite is visiting Dick is not simply to intrude, but rather inform Dick of the plight of Blockbuster’s first born, a little girl named Olivia whose soul Blockbuster traded for enhanced intelligence.  It’s Dick, Babs, Haley and Nite-Mite to the rescue- turns out Olivia is another big Nightwing fan.  

While the art of Bruno Redondo is missed (it’s hard not to miss that) Adriano Lucas’s colors keep the overall look of the series consistent.  Guest artist Daniele Di Nicuolo does an admirable job filling in, imbuing Olivia with a tangible personality and emotional range simply through facial expressions and body language.  The faux wedding double-page spread provides Di Nicuolo the opportunity to depict a number of DC characters and their reactions to the wedding that is not “yet” to be.  Dick and Babs aren’t the only ones wondering what the heck is going on!


The tonal shift for the issue with the inclusion of a fifth dimensional imp could be a turn off for some.  Taken as it’s intended Nightwing #98 still delivers a range of story beats.  However, the inherent silliness of said imp could still be a problem.  Saving Olivia is quick work as well and Olivia does most of it herself.  There’s not as much balance as some will want between the disparate elements.  Overall, it’s not a major issue, but it is a concern.


Nightwing #98 is a fun comic.  Despite what may appear to be outwardly silly, Taylor, De Nicuolo, Lucas and Abbott deliver a story that works on multiple levels.  The meta aspect of Nite-Mite’s observations is probably the most satisfying, though. Dick going up against demons is a truly formidable task for a non-powered hero and shows his heart, much like Tom King’s Up in the Sky depicts this attribute that Superman shares with Dick Grayson.  Somewhere, the Silver Age Batman’s having the time of his life seeing Dick get his own imp.

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