Nightwing #56 Review
Writer: Scott Lobdell w/ Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Davide Gianfelice
Colors: Nick Filardi
Letters: Andworld Design
Cover Artist: Chris Mooneyham and Nick Filardi
Note: I apologize for the lack of coverage on Issues #54 and #55 but to be honest you’re not missing all that much.
Finally! Richard John Grayson is allowed to act like Richard John Grayson again and not this strange man called Ricin’s we’ve been forced to read about since the start of this arc. Spurred on by the incapacitation of one of the individuals who has taken up the Nightwing mantle, Grayson has a crisis of conscience that forces him to swing into action and enter the fray. The attack on Bludhaven by Scarecrow that Lobdell and Nicieza have been building too is in full swing at the start of the issue. However, some quick MacGyver-esque thinking by our protagonist involving a spare tire, some rope, a lighter, and a car helps to counter-act Dr. Crane’s fear toxin.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I’m not a fan of this arc, and I’m glad it seems to be nearing its end. The art for this run has always been hit or miss for me and this issue is no different. If I had to describe it in one word, I’d say unbalanced. The writing is slow and drags with the entire issue feeling like it takes place over maybe 3 distinct moments in time, and not in a way that seems deliberate and planned out.
If I had to give one positive, it is without a doubt Grayson seemingly slipping back into his old personality. There are references to his time in the circus, as the first Robin, and as Nightwing but here it really seems to matter as Ric kicks it into high gear and doesn’t just write it off as muscle memory. Seeing Ric take responsibility for his action or inaction is a breath of fresh air. This does not save the issue and the arc as a whole and I wouldn’t blame anyone who has taken Nightwing off of their pull list until some sort of status quo is re-established.