Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Nightwing #108 Review


Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Stephen Byrne
Colors by: Adriano Lucas
Letters by: Wes Abbott
Cover art by: Bruno Redondo (cover A)
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: November 21, 2023

Nightwing #108 sets sail on the high seas when Bea the Pirate Queen heads to a pirate city to confront her treacherous, adoptive brother. Oh, Nightwing is there, too.
Is Nightwing #108 Good?

Yes, the opening logline is facetious, but with good reason. Tom Taylor, for whatever reason, is determined to paint Nightwing as an ineffectual piece of eye candy to act as Bea the Pirate Queen's sidekick. If the goal in any comic is to elevate the hero to keep readers invested, Tom Taylor is headed in the wrong direction in Nightwing #108.

When last we left Nightwing, he dressed up in a pirate outfit from a Chippendale's knockoff dance troupe because he wasn't smart enough to open a dresser drawer while aboard Bea's pirate ship. When Bea narrowly escapes an assassination attempt, Nightwing inexplicably freezes during the pursuit, forecasting troubles ahead for Nightwing's heroism capabilities. Now, Nightwing uses a decoy to capture the would-be assassin, learns he couldn't accomplish anything in Bludhaven without Bea the Pirate Queen secretly greasing the skids in his favor, and helplessly watches as Bea is run through by a sword wielded by Bea's brother, Dirk.

In page after page, Nightwing is talked down to, corrected, dismissed, and displays an almost total absence of strength in confidence and character. He's a low-status sidekick in his own comic. Some readers may push back on this assessment by saying, "This is a light, silly adventure. Why can't Nightwing have fun, Mr. Grumpy Reviewer?" To which I say there's nothing wrong with fun or having a light, silly adventure.

The trouble comes in when you have a ruthless killer (Heartless) stalking Bludhaven for over a year without Nightwing putting an ounce of effort into the killer's capture, and now, in this high seas adventure, readers are encouraged to laugh AT Nightwing, not WITH Nightwing.

Watch our Nightwing #108 Video Review

At this point, it's hard not to see that Tom Taylor is actively working to tear Nightwing down in the readers' eyes.

What's great about Nightwing #108? Not much. Putting the character-devolving elements aside, this issue ranges from bland to mediocre. That said, there's a brief bit of dramatic tension when it seems Bea is killed, a rarity in a Tom Taylor comic.

What's not so great about Nightwing #108? Taylor's pacing, dialog, and plot development are sedate. The reveal of a pirate city lacks any wow factor. And Taylor's character work on Nightwing borders on malicious.

How's the art? Fine. Stephen Byrne's art gets the job done. His pencils/inks have a flat look, which may not suit everyone's tastes, but the overall look is serviceable.

Backup Story

Dick Grayson is out on a date with Barbara Gordon at the movies when he notices a shady character following him. Dick confronts the character in the theatre's back alley as a would-be kidnapper itching to nick Grayson for a hefty ransom. Dick quickly dispatches the kidnapper, but can't get back into the movie theatre, so Babs comes out, and they spend the rest of the evening watching a movie at home.

There's not much to say about this backup. The art is nice, but it's a silly, non-adventure that has nothing to do with the main story.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Nightwing #108 is a mediocre entry in the pirate arc with passable art and a bizarre retcon that makes Nightwing appear even more ineffectual in his series. For once, the ending has a bit of an emotional punch, but the overall comic is dramatically flat.



  1. I agree with everything you say except the score, it should be wayyyyy lower. Look I can take one or two silly issues but this has been going on for at least ten issues now and It is tiring (since the start of Taylor's run for me if I am being himest since I see him incapable of pulling off a tense or serious tone for more than ten seconds based on his Titans and Nightwing at least). I mean when you compare this to Adam's Green Lantern or his Jay Garrick series, the recent Sandman issue 2 even or Williamson's Superman it is hilariously awful. I haven't been impressed with dawn of dc despite the promising start in some areas(not all) and my hopes for it but even a good number of series in Dawn of DC I feel like accomplish more than this, the long running series for one of dc's most important and popular character! And that at the time when he is supposed to have taken over Batman as the leader of the superhero society. It was the primary time to showcase his awesomeness and capabilities, his grit, but instead he is nerfed and tore down way more than when he wasn't arguably this prominent in terms of responsibility and spotlight. In general I feel like these past five or six months the batman side of the universe has been faring veryyyy badly in comparison to the superman side in writing quality.

  2. So Dick Grayson can flaunt around looking like The Gay Blade but any female character at DC that's even a little busty and everyone loses their minds.
    And I say this as an actual flesh and blood woman that reads comics. I should be over the moon for eye candy Grayson, but this just seems exploititive and icky...probably because of the afformentioned double standards coupled with Grayson being bimbofied. (When is Tom Taylor coming out the closet btw?)
    If DC didn't have double standards they'd have none.