One of the best ongoing superhero comics is back this week as Nightwing continues to navigate the near-constant threat of Blockbuster. Blüdhaven is under Nightwing’s protection, but if Blockbuster has enough cops in his pocket, who runs the city really? In the latest chapter, Nightwing attempts to save the good cops and has a little help from his friends.
Nightwing #95 opens with two super-goons waiting for the kidnapped mayor to wake up, only to be kicked in the face by Nightwing. If there was a theme to this issue, it’s all about planning, but sometimes those plans get scrapped, and risks must be taken. From the very start, Nightwing is saving the mayor due to plans and is soon using her to leverage a strike on Blockbuster across multiple facets of his crime empire. As is often the case in this series, that requires Nightwing to call in a favor with his super friends.
This latest arc is more focused on police corruption which is evident in this issue due to some crooked acts by cops. It’s honestly quite frightening in one scene to see cops unflinching and uncaring about their position to protect Blockbuster. It’s not unlike what we see in our own country, which makes this story feel pertinent in our troubled times.
Bruno Redondo’s art is exceptional, from its ability to handle kinetic, action-packed moments to the character acting. When reading a book drawn by Redondo, you know you’re in for something visually different, either how he shows Flash running alongside a truck at super speed or how a missile comes right at the reader, breaking through the gutters. Nightwing and other heroes always seem to look cool when necessary or even goofy as necessary. Nightwing might look like a silent badass cast in a silhouette in one scene or throw a silly face to show he’s down-to-earth and genuine. This series knows how to make you feel a certain way at any given moment, and that’s largely thanks to Redondo’s work.
Backing up Redondo is Caio Filipe with inks on pages 13-17, 19-21, and Adriano Lucas on colors. There’s a brightness to this book that’s quite positive and hopeful, be it the purple hues cast on buildings or the pleasing sunset sky.
This issue speeds along a bit too quickly, which is surprising to say, given over 17 issues, Nightwing has yet to truly defeat Blockbuster. That is to say, there are two points in the story that seem to use plot devices to move things along unnaturally. One involves escaping Blockbuster by a car driving into him and then, in the last few pages, having Nightwing be defeated super quickly. Everything in between these moments is solidly done, but these moments seem too quick and easy, making for unearned consequences.
Nightwing #95 continues to feature some of the best character acting and superhero drama in comics today. It may speed along too quickly with plot twists, but it manages to blend endearing characters with superhero theatrics well every time.
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