Writer: Ben Percy
Artist: Otto Schmidt and Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 29, 2018
Cover Price: $4.99
I have not been a big fan of Ben Percy's run on Nightwing so far. It really feels like he showed up with his Dark Web story and was going to force it into this book any way he could. The result is a round peg/square hole fit with Dick Grayson not acting or sounding anything like the character and an overall story that has gone on for too long. That being said, we continue it all in this Annual. Let's jump in...
I am a fan of Otto Schmidt and loved what he did with Ben Percy in Green Arrow...I do not like his Dick Grayson. He looks like a darker haired version of Dwight from the Office and it threw me off right from the start. Luckily, most of the book is better as Schmidt draws a nice looking costumed Nightwing and everyone else looks good as well.
The story starts out with Babs removing the Mirage Spyder from Dick and it's pretty cool and gruesome. It also ties up a loose end and I always love that. However, the dialogue between Dick and Barbara continues to feel way off.
A week later, Dick goes to talk to Vicky Vale in the Gotham Four News HQ and they have a nice chemistry between them and we find out the gist of the story...someone is hacking into Gotham Four's News Feed. To make it bigger, Percy throws in talk of daily bomb threats and such, but the big reveal is a new intern is not what he appears to be...he's a Terminal! Dick figures it out when he finds the guy's actual thumb being used as a thumb drive (really?!?!?) and the chase is on. He escapes Nightwing by doing Terminal things and then things get really wacky.
Overnight, there is a new news source in town and a new target for Viki and Nightwing...Karna Shifton. She is a reporter who can make people talk about their deepest secrets and at this point, I have a secret to tell you...I was pretty bored.
We continue with Nightwing talking about "invisible languages", "coding" and "cell signals" before grabbing a guy tagging a wall with "Feed the Wyrm". After odd talk of pocket change and truckstop rubbers, we see this guy is a Terminal...and then he gets run over by Babs. Instead of grabbing this guy and figuring out what is going on, we get a tour of Batgirl's mobile crime base and some hugs.
After seeing that Karna Shifton was after Viki (what a tweest!), Dick and Barbara dissect and fight off the broken down Terminal and then it's off to save Viki. Well, Dick needs some saving as well since Karna is dishing out fake news about Dick. The best one is a drunken Nightwing punching a Nun...classic Dick Grayson! We end with the big villain reveal, a monologue on Walter Cronkite and a threat that leads to the next arc.
Boy, this was a chore to get through. Ben Percy has been giving us a Nightwing that is barely recognizable, but this story was just a complete and utter bore. The backbone of it all wasn't interesting issues ago and getting the extra page count, even with some reveals, did not help. While I wish it was over, at least the next phase (a crazy motorcycle race) may kickstart something here.
After the weak start, Otto Schmidt got his footing and this issue ended up looking pretty good. It has been a pretty colorful book recently, but Schmidt's colors really popped, especially at the end. Now, DC needs to call Juan Ferrerya and get the whole GA team back together.
Bits and Pieces:
This Annual continues the Dark Web story and it's a story that should have ended issues ago. It just isn't interesting and Ben Percy continues to shove words in Nightwing's mouth that really don't fit. The art is good, but I am tired of everything else.