Nightwing is jumping from a Superman two-parter to a Flash two-parter this week with Nightwing #90. Dick Grayson continues to be a target for Blockbuster, but when you have as many friends as Dick it’s no big deal, right? Well, considering there’s an attack on Dick’s entire apartment building, it kinda is.
This week’s issue opens with Blockbuster making it very clear he wants to ensure Dick Grayson will die. He already tried to kill him in Nightwing #88, but he’s upping the danger level with a god-dang drone armed with rockets.
Tom Taylor continues to flesh out Dick’s character well and he gets a lot more time on the page here. Much of the book is about Dick reacting to the warning of a threat, the threat itself, and then the fallout. With only a moment to suit up, Dick realizes the problems with having a secret identity, but also the value of good friends like Flash. One example of this is Dick realizing he can’t just break down a neighbor’s door to save them and requires the suit for acts like that. There are other instances of the secret identity impeding these characters’ actions, including a moment for Barbara, that add to the realism of the story.
Taylor continues to be great at capturing little details about superheroes that make sense. Take for instance Flash, who rushes to find his friend in the rubble of the building. His healing is quick, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t breaking his hands over and over to find him. It’s a detail that shows there’s a bit of sacrifice and pain these heroes need to endure to do their job. Speaking of Flash, his character gets a lot of focus and it’s fun to see Wally as a husband and a father.
This issue is drawn by Geraldo Borges with the colors Adriano Lucas. Overall it’s good, but not as clean as we’ve come to expect from this series and really superhero comics in general. There’s an interesting layout involving multiple floors of the apartment building as Dick rushes to get people out. The explosion itself and the rubble Flash digs through look great. There’s a darker edge to the art with heavier inks that give the story a gloomy feel which is counteracted by the hyper-positive Flash. In general, the art tells the story, although it does have a simpler sketchy style.
The plotting of the issue is a bit too jumpy for its own good, with nine scene changes. The longest scene is four or so pages, not counting the jump Wally takes to bring Dick to his house. There’s also a lot of talking about what will happen or what is currently happening in a scene. All told, it ends up feeling sluggish.
Nightwing #90 is a good continuation of Dick Grayson’s very dangerous life. A big theme is dealing with secret identities and how to navigate that with threats in real-time while fleshing out the relationships around Dick.
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