FROM THE PUBLISHER: Detective Alphonse Sapienza may be a natural-born leader, forged through his many years with the GCPD, but does that give him what it takes to lead the Night-wings when their lives are endangered as never before? As fires that seem to have a mind of their own rage through Blüdhaven targeting cops, the team is up against its greatest test yet. Joined by Ric Grayson, how will the Nightwings save the city’s finest from a red-hot vendetta and the city’s newest villain, Burnback?
Holy gritty art, Batman! All right so, the last issue wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t high on my list but it wasn’t at the bottom either. I enjoyed the stuff that wasn’t really about Dick...or Ric. How do people get Dick from Richard anyway? I’ve never understood that. Anyway, back on topic. This issue continues to dive into the world of the Nightwings which I assure you are not an early 2000’s emo rock band.
The issue opens with where the last left off, Ric/Dick/Richard and his new mentor Malcolm Hutch were on their way to assist at a burning building. Once they arrive, we meet another Nightwing and a fire monster that would make Spider-Man’s Mysterio jealous. The Nightwings battle it out with the creature and try to save the building and it’s occupants. But what was the monster? More importantly, who controlled the monster? That is the next step in the story.
Like the last issue, this one also puts Dick in the background and centers on a different Nightwing. This time, it’s Alphonse Sapienza. Sap for short. He’s a veteran police detective and the leader of the Nightwings. He is much more interesting than Dick and pushes the story forward expressing his mild sense of distrust toward Grayson. Understandable of course, Grayson just shows up and seems to know exactly what to do in situations as if he were trained from a young age by a billionaire playboy that moonlights as a flying rodent. Sap kind of reminds me of Bruce in a way too which likely helps in making him likable.
Malcolm isn’t as big of a deal in this issue but I’m cool with that, Sap worked for me. I’m assuming that going forward each issue will focus on different characters and use Grayson as somewhat of a co-star. I wanted to say background character but I wouldn’t say that’s completely accurate, he is part of the story. He just isn’t a huge part yet I suppose, more on that in a sec. We meet two more members of the team in the final pages of the book too who I’m guessing will be the focus of the next issue.
However, I think the story just goes downhill when Dick is the main focus. This version of him is not my favorite so far. It’s not that he’s written badly or anything, the characters around him are just elevating the story and leaving him behind in the dust. However, I am interested to see if his bits improve considering he doesn’t even do a lot here again anyway. Maybe I’m wrong and he’ll be the awesome main attraction in #61.
Another problem I have with the issue is the art, I just do not like it. I mentioned it in my last review too but it’s just jarring to me. I get and respect the intent but I’m not digging it. The art is a huge deal for me in comics, I enjoy the full experience of a good story with good art. I’m sorta getting half of that concept here. I promise I won’t complain about the art next time though...Maybe.
This isn’t a book I’d recommend running out to buy but it is a decent read. The Nightwings are a cool team, I like the way the introductions with them are unfolding, and Jurgens is killing it with the smooth dialogue. This also has a really nice callback to something from the previous issue with Malcolm that didn’t make much sense before. You’ll get it after reading this one though.
Plus, did I mention there’s a huge fire monster?!