Nightwing #90 Review The Nerdy Basement

Nightwing #90 (DC Comics Review)

Nightwing and The Flash Team Up For “Get Grayson” Part Three – SPOILERS AHEAD

During the first part of the two-part Nightwing & Superman: Son of Kal-El crossover, we see Nightwing pick up on the promise that he made to Superman back in Nightwing #83 about mentoring and being there for Superman’s son, former Superboy turned Superman Jonathan Kent. They both team up to investigate the murders of numerous superpowered beings across the globe, but one murder, in particular, the death of former Titan Risk within Metropolis, catches the eye of the World’s Finest Sons.

And as the trail of the killer(s) leads back to LexCorp, the two set off to investigate as they continue their journey into Tom Taylor’s Superman: Son of Kal-El #9. Nightwing #90 picks up after the two-part crossover event that concluded in Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 which I would personally recommend reading but it isn’t necessary to carry on/start with this issue of Nightwing.

The issue picks up with Roland Desmond aka Blockbuster holding a meeting with two assassins, Sal Maroni, the corrupt police commissioner of Blüdhaven & the recently elected mayor Melinda Zucco (Dick Grayson’s half-sister) as he discusses yet another plan to kill Dick Grayson. After numerous failed attempts, Blockbuster doubles down that this time will be the end of Dick Grayson once and for all as he mentions he has paid someone dubbed “La Agente Fúnebre” (which translates to the Funeral Director) to blow up Dick’s whole apartment building whilst he sleeps.

The panel’s cut to Dick, asleep in his apartment, receiving a text from his half-sister Melina (who has been working on the inside for him to gather information on Blockbuster’s plans) warning him of an incoming missile attack on his whole apartment complex. Dick suddenly wakes up and immediately sets the fire alarm off alerting the whole complex to get to safety outside. Just as he is leaving and ordering everyone out, former building superintendent-turned-doctor Bridgette Clancy alerts Dick about an apartment owner named Maurice who sleeps without his hearing aid.

Dick frantically gets into his Nightwing costume and boots down Maurice’s door to throw himself and Maurice out the apartment window just in time to get clear of the incoming missile. As they’re pictured in a beautiful panel jumping out from the building, Nightwing is knocked out by the rubble caused by the epic blast and we cut to Keystone City, home of Wally West, Linda Park, and their children.

After a cute couple of moments from the two in bed, an alert appears on Linda’s phone notifying the two of a huge explosion from Dick’s Blüdhaven apartment and before Linda can even finish her sentence, Wally suits up as the Flash and speeds off to rescue his long-time friend. As Flash arrives at the wreckage, he frantically searches through the rubble as he panics about the safety of his friend, with Dick’s narration box stating he’s exerting himself so hard that his fingers have broken and healed multiple times.

In a moment of pure relief, Flash sees Nightwing (with Maurice) is safe and sound as they both embrace each other in a wholesome moment as the two best friends share a hug. What follows is a humorous character beat from Maurice as he accuses Nightwing of stealing his hearing aid and blowing up his house, but the humor is abruptly cut short as Barbara Gordon aka Oracle/Batgirl chimes in to tell Dick that after the explosion, Dick is technically missing meaning he can get clear of Blüdhaven whilst he still has a hit out on him.

Dick first suggests Gotham, but Wally whisks him away to his home in Keystone to ensure he has the first safe night’s sleep in a while as Linda and he allows Dick to stay at their house. Whilst this is going on, we head back to Blüdhaven where Bridgette Clancy is consoled by the police commissioner we saw in Blockbuster’s meeting, Commissioner Maclean, where he tells her that Blockbuster has arranged a place to stay for all victims of the earlier missile attack.

Bridgette rejects as she is aware of Blockbuster’s reputation, but the commissioner threatens her and her children and demands she take the offer. She storms off and he phones into Blockbuster alerting him that he suspects someone from the meeting tipped Dick off about the explosion. Cutting back to Keystone, Dick wakes up to Jai and Irey (Wally & Linda’s children) sharing a funny little moment about breakfast, with Wally interrupting them to offer his help in getting rid of the target on Dick’s back.

Dick notes that whoever attacked him this time means serious business as they weren’t concerned about any collateral damage and states he needs to confide in his sister to see what she knows. Wally reacts, in a comical panel, with shock as this is the first time he learns about Dick having a half-sister. 

We then journey to Gotham as we pick up with Barbara Gordon strolling through the city streets but are confronted and captured by a group of men who are looking for Dick Grayson. She states she can easily escape but doesn’t want to attract attention to herself by revealing this so after alerting Nightwing and Flash, the three combine to come up with a plan that will lead them to the mastermind of the kidnapping.

As the van pulls up to a warehouse, we are met with notorious Batman rogue, KG Beast who appears to be working for/alongside “La Agente Fúnebre” but he is met with an unpleasant surprise as Nightwing and Flash burst out the van. Eager to confront KG Beast, Wally realizes he will be one of the first Nightwing allies to get his hands on KG Beast after he gave Dick amnesia by shooting him in the head (back in Tom King’s Batman #55) and lunges for the Russian supervillain in a fantastic splash page to end the issue.

Taylor’s run has been one of the best comics coming out of DC in recent years as he follows up with yet another solid issue. Though not the most captivating issue of the run, Taylor delivers a fun script full of nice character beats, wholesome moments, and an intriguing mystery behind “La Agente Fúnebre”.

Though Blockbuster is built up as the Kingpin of Blüdhaven, I feel as though the inclusion of the mystery of “La Agente Fúnebre” could potentially overshadow Blockbuster’s inclusion and shift the reader’s interest moreover to that instead. Though a minor thought, I do have faith in Taylor’s writing to balance out the multiple plot threads with the newly created villain, Heartless, still lurking in the background too.

One thing you’ll notice straight away is the art duties shifting from series regular Bruno Redondo to Geraldo Borges for this issue. Whilst not a bad thing at all, Redondo’s recent work on Nightwing is not only some of the best work at DC but in comics as a whole. Borges does a fine job in providing similar pencils and panel layouts to Redondo but delivering much thicker inks within his characters meaning the colors are restricted more than usual. I’m certainly a fan of Borges’ artwork but it’s strange to see anyone other than Redondo work with Tom Taylor on Nightwing. 

Adriano Lucas remains on the colors and consistently does a great job, though limited with Borges’ thicker inks on this issue. The apartment scene is a standout for me with the light red and orange mix of the fire alarm highlighting the incoming danger of the missile that transitions into the explosion of the building filling the panel with a beautiful blend of yellow and orange as the missile strikes.

I am excited to find out the identity of “La Agente Fúnebre” and to learn more about how Melinda Zucco will be keeping her and Dick’s relationship under wraps from Blockbuster, but these may be more long-term plans. For the short term, I’m looking forward to Wally’s confrontation with KG Beast and how the story evolves from here. This comic is a definite recommendation from me.

Nightwing #90 is now available on digital and at your local comic book store.

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