Written by: Sam Humphries
Art by: Bernard Chang, Marcelo Maiolo and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 3, 2018
The last issue of Nightwing was Sam Humphries first and while I think he may have played it too close to the vest, at least he seems to know the character. I liked the idea of Dick doing his own thing with his cross-fit studio and while I would have liked to see the Runoffs, at least we got Svoboda...maybe. She did kind of end the issue by shooting Dick, but it was pretty obvious that is was the work of the Judge, right? So, does Humphries continue to get settled into the book this week with an even better issue? Let's find out...
The issue opens with the Mayor dealing with some underhanded business on the phone and it's very obvious it's someone who is involved in Bludhaven's Casinos and hates Nightwing. It's quick, but mainly because the Judge comes out of the shadows to talk his nonsense.
I have to admit that I really don't care for the Judge. Just because we are told it's someone who Dick has tried and failed to capture in the past doesn't mean he is a good villain. If you ask me, he's pretty generic and uninteresting so far.
We then go to Nightwing and while he definitely was shot, his suit and...well, being Nightwing saves him and while we are supposed to believe he almost died here, Humphries just moves on as if it was nothing. He ends up smashing through St. Jude's stained glass window, investigates a mass murder, interrogates a priest, goes to the Tiki district of Bludhaven to rough up a big dude from the League of Limousine Assasins and then saves a woman from killing herself...all before stitching himself up in time for his early morning cross-fit class. Seriously, he almost died and then went and did all that! Plus, why in the hell did he crash through that stained glass window? I guess that's how Nightwing rolls when it comes to entering a church. I hope he isn't a regular on Sundays!
While all this is going on, Humphries tugs at the heartstrings with his Guppy story and I could only wonder if he had a catchphrase like Kite Man, would he be the next h-list character to make it big? I'd go with "Go Fish" or "Kiss my Bass".
Of course, we have more of the Judge, but instead of making me understand this bad guy more, I ended this issue more confused. He uses his golden chips to influence people with wishes that kind of have a monkey paw element to them...which in this case just means everyone dies. But is he against Nightwing? Is he against corruption? What the hell is he against or for???? He just sips tropical drinks and leaves broken people in his wake. The issue ends with him here to stay and to be honest, I really don't care.
I did not like this issue much at all. The art was fantastic, but Sam Humphries hasn't made me interested in his villain one bit and the fact that Nightwing went around the whole issue after being shot was just silly. I did like everything with Guppy, but that could just be a backhanded compliment. It's not, but it could have been.
Bits and Pieces:
Sam Humphries continues his run on Nightwing with a confusing and uninteresting villain and a story that wants to be tense and important but sabotages itself every step of the way. I still have hopes for this run, but this has been a shaky start.