Skip to content

GOC Comic Review – Nightwing #44

Nightwing #44

Written by Benjamin Percy

Art by Christopher Mooneyham

Published By DC Comics

Released May 2, 2018

nightwing 44.jpg

Photo courtesy of DC Comics.

Back in February it was announced that Benjamin Percy would take over the Nightwing title. Percy’s writing background for DC includes, Detective Comics, Green Arrow, and most recently the Teen Titans. I think it’s always exciting when a title gets a new creative team behind it, as it adds a new layer to the perception of the character. Nightwing #44 serves as a new start for the title, in a way it feels like a new rebirth.

The issues starts with our favorite vigilante, Dick Grayson, walking down under the neon signs of Bludhaven’s streets. In his inner monologue, he is complaining like an old millennial about how technology has affected communications, and changed the way criminals operate. As he makes his way to catch the subway, he comes across a gentleman that’s a little too much into his phone. As he steps into the cabin, the gentleman’s phone is taken over by a digital green skull before it explodes. Then another explosion, we come to realize that the driver’s phone explodes as well, putting all of the passenger’s lives in danger. Lucky for them, Nightwing is there and uses his newly modified batons to save the passengers.

nightwing 44_2.JPG

Photo courtesy of DC Comics.

We are back at Dick’s place where he is on the phone with Barbara Gordon, who is  better known by her alternate pseudonym “Batgirl”. While he’s discussing why he chooses to have a landline phone, Barbara is hard at work hacking the booster, suggesting that the explosion seems to be a result of something called the Detonation Malware. Later, we see Dick at Bludhaven’s salvage, where he is meeting with a client. His client seems to be a young man, with a cyborg eye and arm, named Willem Cloke. He tells him that his main goal is to become stronger.

nightwing 44_3Photo courtesy of DC Comics.

As the story carries on, we see Dick at a store ordering a sandwich, the store seems to be poorly maintained and dirty. The owner says that the store’s condition is a reflection of Bludhaven itself. Suddenly, the store changes and showcases new tile floors, shelving, and counters. The owner shows Dick his new “phantasm” attached to his arm, a device to create an environment comprised of augmented reality. As Dick expresses his discontent with technology, the owner exclaims that everyone in the city is getting one. The police sirens announcing a new crime, push Dick to leave his sandwich behind and make his way to the crime scene.

nightwing 44_4.JPG

Photo courtesy of DC Comics.

At the crime scene Dick meets Detective Svoboda, the detective, that under the Judge’s influence, tried to kill him. Apparently, the victims girlfriend called the police office screaming that she was being held hostage by her boyfriend, and that he was threatening to kill her. The police breached the scene and shot the boyfriend, but the girlfriend testified that she hadn’t called anyone. The victim worked for the Falcone crime family, but the setup didn’t seem to be mob-related. Dick sees a phantasm device on the victim’s arm, and takes it before he leaves the scene. Back at his pad, he is trying to hack it when it activates, and taps into his neural network to turn his place into Wayne Manor. While Dick is caught up in the range of the device, the phantasm brings out spider-like legs, and goes inside of him. His eyes flash yellow, as he screams in agony.

nightwing 44_5.JPG

Photo courtesy of DC Comics.

GOC Review. 

When the new creative team was announced, I was extremely excited. As someone that had been keeping up with Nightwing comics, I felt that Dick’s story needed a new and fresher breath of life. The cyberpunk feel of the issue really captured my interest, but what really made this issue stand out for me was the beautiful artwork. While I was reading the issue, something about the design of the characters and the frames took me back to the first time I read the 1996 Nightwing run. The issue feels both futuristic and retro at the same time. It’s very interesting to see how the issue deals with new technology, yet the setting feels very nostalgic, and at times contemporary. My only problem with the issue was the constant reminder that Dick hates technology. I understand that this specific positioning is essential to the story, but in my head it doesn’t seem like an organic characteristic due to his past. Dick has used advanced technology not only in his time as Nightwing, but more specifically as an agent of Spyral. I give this issue a solid 8/10 rating. Overall, I think it was a good introduction to this arc, and I look forward to seeing the story unfold.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: