Coming on the heels of Nightwing #96, Blockbuster is dead, but crime is nowhere near over in Bludhaven. Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s excellent superhero series continues to play in the sandbox of love between Dick and Babs and how street-level superheroes can make a difference. In today’s issue, Nightwing must keep mob boss Maroni alive, or else all hell could break loose.
Nightwing #97 opens with Maroni asking for another martini while he’s questioned by detectives in the police station. Bold of him to ask – the detectives don’t even know how he got the drink, proving the police force is corrupt. That point is made well in this opening scene, along with the point that Maroni is in very big trouble, thanks to Blockbuster keeping detailed records. Every mobster will want Maroni’s head, and thus a chase is to keep Maroni alive.
It’s not plan A, but Nightwing and Batgirl keep Maroni alive in a high-speed chase that has them all hiding out. This gives readers plenty of juicy moments between Batgirl and Nightwing. These moments between the two steal the show, from an awkward joke by Barbara to a sultry scene in a Batman bunker. The idea that superheroes can live normal lives is a theme that pops up in this series, and it continues in a strong way here. Their relationship might be the freshest, and most real relationship in superhero comics today, if not ever.
Regarding the action, we get fantastic motorcycle shots, shootouts, and some fight scenes in the forest, which is a rarity for city heroes like Batgirl and Nightwing. The art is by Redondo, with Geraldo Borges taking on the brunt of the action scenes in the middle portion of the book. Redondo continues playing with pace and layout, like in a scene where Nightwing uses a tranquilizer shot out of his billy club. The interrogation scene is also well choreographed, drawing out the tension and intensity in the characters. Borges scenes do well to capture the danger of cars flipping and gunmen pinning down our heroes.
Overall this issue feels a touch short, consisting of basically two scenes and a sequence. Much like the tension between Batgirl and Nightwing, we get just enough to enjoy, but progress is slim between the two. But hell, superheroes having sex is always a good time, right?
The cliffhanger should have fans jumping out of their seats. I won’t spoil it here, but definitely make sure to read Nightwing Vol. 4 #50. It’s a trippy reveal that should be fun to explore in future issues.
Nightwing #97 is a fun, high-paced issue that ramps things up after the last issues seeming conclusion. Blockbuster might be dead, but his death has meant danger and high-stakes action scenes for Nightwing and Batgirl.
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