Plot: Scott Lobdell
Script: Zack Kaplan
Art: Travis Moore
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
As much as Ric has fought against being in the life, Nightwing #58 solidifies the fact that Ric will never have a “normal” life. Duela Dent’s plan for Blüdhaven has started, and Ric falls in line with the Nightwings to the Blüd’s 1%.
This week’s Nightwing is definitely one of those Nightwing issues that made me excited to read it a second time. The toning down of Duela Dent works very well for the character, and makes me think that this may spark a much larger arc soon. Duela is a very weird character (weird doesn’t really begin to cover it though), so seeing her be slow burned creates so many possibilities in my head.
One issue I’ve been whining about for many issues is Ric and his thinking. It’s something I have probably spent way more time on than I should. Anyways, this week’s issue feels like the countdown to Dick Grayson’s rebirth. While it is still very much Ric, he is starting to think a little more like Dick. He tells Sap that he will only help when he is REALLY needed, and then gives in to the first call almost immediately. He’s not thinking “I want a normal life! I’m not Dick and never will be!” He’s focused on what needs to be done. He doesn’t just help people get to safety while the Nightwings do the heavy lifting; he goes face to face with the big bad. Ric also does a thing that is very very Dick Grayson; he tries to talk with Duela. He looks for her “why” and tries to help her without a fight. While his costume has been reduced to Indian Jones Grease Monkey, this issue did give me some of the pre-head-shot Nightwing feels.
As I said, I am a fan of what Lobdell is doing with Duela. Her obsession with getting her father’s attention (poor Duela) is played up by the fact that everything she did felt very Joker. The panels of her watching everything unfold on a bunch of monitors reminded me of Justice League and Batman animated episodes I watched over and over; where Joker has his fun (Las Vegas Royal Flush Gang comes to mind). Having some back up “fun” just a click away on the same remote that will blow up the councilman’s vest. Even her contingency for losing felt very Joker (although it could have been more Joker). Duela is far from done. In fact, this feels much more like her warm up act. The hopeful nerd in me is wondering if she could actually do enough to get her father’s attention (any of them really). What kind of chaos could that bring to Blüdhaven, and will it push Ric to a point where he must be the lone Nightwing again?
In #57 and #58, we see Edwards and Svoboda on their own story. It is has only been like 3 pages total, but now I’m intrigued. I did make fun of this B story in 57 because of the artwork, but with the development in #58, I think I need to eat my words a bit (not about the art work. That battering ram was ridiculous.) The creep from 57 seemed like the run of the mill creep, but we are seeing just how much creep he had in him. It’s unclear where this B story is going, and if it will tie to Duela and the Nightwings at all. It may also be a thing that kills the Nightwings. Svoboda is a good detective, and she may catch on to who’s behind the domino masks now (if she hasn’t already).
Final thought before I wrap this up. The ending coupled with the “Next” message helps reinforce my “countdown to Dick Grayson” theory. Well, at least I really want it to (sorry Bea).
Nightwing 57 was exactly what I needed this week. A fun issue that made me feel like I was reading a Dick Grayson issue again. Duela is still way dialed down, but she is far from done doing what she came to do, and I can’t wait to see how her story continues, even if she may be away for a little bit. I hope that this issue is a sign of Ric moving away from all his Bummer-Barry thinking, but we will have to see if he’s as willing to jump in with his new team when the next emergency call comes.