REVIEW: Nightwing #31: Same Old Grayson

I had been away from Nightwing for a little while, in fact about as far back as the ending to the Spyral storyline and Agent Grayson, but this issue made me want to catch back up. Nightwing #31, part 2 of Raptor’s Revenge, showed me a Nightwing I was more familiar with and the future of the original Boy Wonder seems safe in the hands of writer Tim Seeley.

Nightwing is back to patrolling the streets of Bludhaven and is apparently still great at bungling relationships.  Nightwing has a falling out with his recent ‘partner with benefits’, the Huntress, after she learns Dick has been working with Roland Desmond, Blockbuster, a known criminal.

Desmond has grown quite a bit as a character since his early days and has become much more interesting. When Raptor attacks him while addressing school children he is genuinely upset at the interruption.  The look of confused sadness when he sees the terrified looks on the children’s faces upon seeing him as Blockbuster really humanized the character. A lot of credit to Diana Egea’s pencils and Chris Sotomayor’s inks for creating such emotionally charged moments. Their work really complimented each other

Something stylistically that really appealed to me was the minimalist backgrounds used throughout the story. It brought me back to classic Sunday newspaper comic strips. Carlos M. Mangual uses his colors to take those open spaces and create a real sense of mood and background.

For someone returning to the book after a long absence I found the story very accessible. There are a few things I’ll need to look up to have a full picture, but I was given enough information to keep me from feeling lost.

The one criticism that I have is an old one which persists today. Dick Grayson and his day job. It seems like the powers that be always seem to want him to have one, but it always feels off. Each time the character gets a refresh he gets a new job that feels less like part of the character than a forced plot point. Bartender, police officer, and most recently casino dealer are all occupations that seem to be there just for the sake of Dick having a day job. In all honesty as the adopted son of Bruce Wayne he doesn’t need a job, he can focus on being Nightwing.

It was good getting back in touch with Nightwing as he has long been on my top 5 favorite heroes list.  I’ll be back in Bludhaven again next month and for the foreseeable future.

Story: 3.5
Art: 4.5
Overall Rating: 4

(W) Tim Seeley (A) Miguel Mendonca, Diana Egea (CA) Javi Fernandez

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