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NIGHTWING #103 Review

Neil reviews the latest issue of DC Comics’ NIGHTWING, available now in print and on digital where all good comic books are sold.



Nightwing #101 (DC Comics)

Nightwing #103 is published by DC Comics and written by Tom Taylor. Artwork is by Travis Moore with backup by Vasco Georgiev. Colours are by Adriano Lucas and letters by Wes Abbot. The backup story is written by C.S. Pacat with art by Eduardo Panisca and inks by Julio Ferreira. Main cover art (left) is by Bruno Redondo.

Nigthwing #103 is available now, both in print and on digital, where all good comic books are sold.


Who is the Grinning Man, who’s always grinning no matter what he’s doing, even when he’s murdering people, and what kind of deal did he make with Neron? Nightwing and the Titans better figure that out soon before they lose one of their team members… Then, in the backup, Nightwing continues his lessons mentoring Jon Kent, a.k.a. Superman, and this time it’s about using your detective skills instead of your fists.


Nightwing is back with another one-two punch this week as both Tom Taylor and C.S. Pacat’s stories hit new highs. With both arcs reaching new turning points, both writers are exploring what it means to be Nightwing and how that impacts of those in Dick’s inner circle.

The main story continues to break new ground as Dick and Titans continue to stare down the barrel of Neron’s gun. Each issue Taylor continues to push Nightwing in to new territory. I couldn’t have predicted this arc was coming at all but it’s great to see the boundaries being pushed. By definition both the character of Nightwing and the book itself has stuck to street level crime in Bludhaven, particularly during Taylor’s run. So seeing him and Titans travel to the underworld and facing off with more mystical bad guys felt like it could be a reach.

If it is a reach then it’s one which is perfectly within Nightwing‘s grasp. In fact, I’m disappointed in myself for not realising that Taylor, the creator of Dark Knights of Steel, could meld the two together without so much as a clash of concepts.

It makes sense that Dick would have the Titans with him for a storyline like this. Having Raven at his side brings with it a level of context that helps the quirkier elements slot together. The same can be said of Donna Troy being part of the team to take Olivia to Themyscira for safe keeping. It’s a commentary on Taylor’s writing and Dick’s leadership that both call on characters who add credibility to the story.

I think it’s also important to note that despite a strong ensemble cast, Nightwing is still absolutely focussed on its titular character. There’s not stunt casting with the supporting players. Everyone plays their role in support of Dick and his mission to protect Olivia. That kind of authenticity is something you see with every comic book title these days and I applaud Taylor for not losing focus.

There’s something ingenious that how Dick attacks a supernatural issue like Neron. No major spoilers here but the conclusion of this month’s story feels organic to Dick’s through process. It also undermines all of the supernatural dealings with some very human law. It speaks to the character’s ingenuity and unique viewpoint as a human amongst super powered people.

The same is true of C.S. Pacat’s backup story which continues to feature a much lower key team up between Nightwing and Jon Kent’s Superman. Pacat equally strikes to the very core of the character, bringing out his incredible inner-strength.

The circus storyline challenges Dick’s perceptions brilliantly. It’s also a nice misdirect for us as an audience. Pacat taps in to Dick’s personality and uses that to lead the story in a certain direction before reveal to us the truth of the matter at hand. With Jon at his side as a voice of reason, it’s then up to both characters to reconcile the truth.

Of course both stories pack a visual punch also. The decision to have Adriano Lucas colour both stories alongside Wes Abbot’s lettering is a stroke of genius. Though Moore and Panisca have differing styles, the continuity in colour palette and lettering helps both stories feel like they come from the same world. It adds a level of connection with other books in this format often lack.


Nightwing #103 continues to be a love-letter to the character. The two storylines celebrate his humanity and his heroism in different but complimentary ways with both Tom Taylor and C.S. Pacat exploring different ends of the narrative spectrum.



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