Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez, Miguel Mendonca, Diana Egea
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Javier Fernandez
Publisher: DC Comics
This arc has been great in that it has harkened back to the excellent Grayson series by Seeley and King while still offering something new. Seeley has in fact littered his current run with references to Boy Wonder which is great for someone who has a vested interest in Dick Grayson’s story. It does though inhibit DC’s line of make every issue new reader friendly. This will irk some readers I’m sure and is maybe why this current run hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves. Seriously, Nightwing is probably the most loved DC character among comic aficionados. From his days as Batman’s protégé, to Nightwing, to assuming the role of Batman after Bruce Wayne’s death….to Nightwing again post Flashpoint… to a superspy in Grayson and back to Nightwing… Seeing future Robins come and go…faking his own death after the events of Forever Evil… this guys had it tough. And now we find out that one of his closest friends from his time at Spyral has betrayed him…
This issue wraps up the Spyral arc in record time. Brace yourselves for a summary in an equally record breaking time. Bad Tiger from the last issue was actually Minos who had stolen Tiger’s memories and was now holding Nightwing captive in order to steal his memories. Minos is in fact computer software which was hacked with a virus by Lottie who Huntress and Skull girls have just rescued. Meanwhile Defacer stopped Mouse killing Blockbuster, realised she wanted to reconcile with Dick, saw the person she loved getting it on with Helena Bertinelli and sending her possibly back to a life of crime. Confused? You’re not the only one. This issue fits so much into twenty-two pages in order to tie up all loose ends before the start of the mandatory DC Metal tie in. Because of this, an excellent arc that could have taken two more issues just feels rushed. I would love to have spent longer with this story but it ended very abruptly. Minos is a great villain. Not scary but really creepy. We could easily have hung around for another issue or two building the tension between Minos and Nightwing…discovering he’s not real in this issue and then defeating him the next issue would have made much more sense. The romance that was brewing for many issues between Dick and Shawn may have just ended in the matter of a few panels and we seemed to have left Spyral and Tiger as soon as we’ve met them. The art by Fernandez and Mendoca is kinetic and exciting and Fernandez especially creates wonderful facial expressions. Even here though they seem to suffer from being asked to do too much in too little time.
I love Nightwing and the team of Seeley and Fernadez can do no wrong in my eyes. I don’t blame them at all for the reservations I have on this issue. Clearly editorial has limited this story which is sad on two counts. One – a more expanded story would have given time to really feel a connection to each character’s plight – including Minos. Two – people who didn’t read Grayson will have been left confused and unwilling to ever check out that excellent run by King, Seeley and Janin.
Do yourselves a favour. Go out and buy the Grayson omnibus, read it front to back and then read this arc of Nightwing. It will make this story much more cohesive. An excellent remise unfortunately held back by a rushed ending.