Written by: Andrew Fontana
Nightwing is among the most human of DC’s characters. It’s hard to sympathize with Batman’s singular quest to eradicate crime in Gotham city, or Superman’s Alien Jesus angst. These characters are archetypes, cut from myth instead of the cloth of ordinary people. For all of his pulp-gothic Batman trappings, Dick Grayson feels real in a way that eludes most others in the DC stable, and it is that aspect of the character that Tim Seeley leans on in Nightwing #10.
Most of the issue’s focus is on Dick’s attempt at a fresh start in the city of Bludhaven, a sort of Gotham lite with a boardwalk. Dick’s mental dialogue during the job interview scene sounds like any twenty something individual once the superhero elements are taken out. Indeed, Dick spends the entire issue exploring who he is and what makes him tick. Seeley’s first two arcs on the book had Dick’s reclamation of the Nightwing persona challenged; now that he is firmly back in the black in blue the book is focusing on his identity outside the costume.
Identity is a theme for the peripheral characters, as well as the city of Bludhaven itself. Some of the seemingly innocuous people Dick meets are running from their past, and characters that seem like villains are hinted to have complexity beyond good and evil.
The rest of issue stumbles a bit when it’s not focused on Dick’s characterization. We get presented with the bare bones of a murder mystery that is less exciting than the issue’s character moments. It’s possible that Seeley will give the storyline more oomph in succeeding issues, but currently there isn’t enough to be excited for Marcus To’s pencils and Sotomayor’s colors infuse the proceedings with vibrancy and life. The art is equally adept shifting from brightly lit interiors to the dimness of Gotham and Bludhaven. The few action scenes present are fluid and clear. To especially excels at crafting unique facial expressions, giving each of his characters reactions that are appropriate to them.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10