Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Nightwing #115 Comic Review

  • Written by: Tom Taylor

  • Art by: Bruno Redondo, Caio Felipe

  • Colors by: Adriano Lucas

  • Letters by: Wes Abbott

  • Cover art by: Bruno Redondo

  • Cover price: $4.99

  • Release date: June 18, 2024

Nightwing #115 finds Dick Grayson the target of Heartless's plan to destroy his reputation and his life in full view of the public.

Is Nightwing #115 Good?

Let's not bury the lede. This is one of the better Nightwing issues in Tom Taylor's run, primarily because Taylor got off his butt and pushed Dick Grayson and Heartless to interact. Nightwing #115 isn't without its flaws, but it looks like the specter of leaving the title was the fire Taylor needed to stop wasting readers' time.

When last we left Dick Grayson in Nightwing #114, Dick and Barbara got dressed up for a Pennyworth Foundation charity event with Bruce Wayne by their side. After Dick's introductory speech, he was surprised by press questions about his possible association with Blockbuster. Before Dick could set the record straight the fire sprinklers put a damper on the evening.

In Nightwing #115, Dick's very bad, no good, very rotten evening gets much worse. He directs Bruce and Barbara to help evacuate everyone from the charity ball while he searches for stragglers. When everyone appeared clear, Shelton Lyle aka Heartless, suddenly appeared to ask Dick for help locating his lost butler.

Zucco and Heartless's henchmen pumped knockout and memory-erasing gas into the room to knock out Dick Grayson. Shelton and his butler (protected by gas masks) gather Dick up and lead him outside to a waiting ambulance. Nobody suspects a thing since the ambulance driver is one of Heartless's men.

Later, the ambulance stops in an alley so Heartless can search Dick for any phones that could track their location. Heartless and Zucco are shocked to find the Nightwing mask in Dick's breast pocket, revealing Dick's secret identity to the villains.

Later still, Dick wakes up on a rooftop wearing the Heartless mask and holding the heart extraction gun. The police coincidentally arrive to arrest who they think is Heartless who has been unmasked as Dick Grayson.

What's great about Nightwing #115? Okay, this is not bad and, again, feels like the story is going places. The setup to destroy Dick's public image has a certain poetic irony, and it's clear Dick is not in control of the situation, for better or worse. Plus, Redondo's art is solid.

What's not so great about Nightwing #115? Two key areas feel off on the journey to end Heartless's reign and Taylor's run.

First, Dick, Bruce, and Barbara display an uncharacteristic lack of competence. How was Dick hoodwinked so easily? Why is the world's greatest detective standing idly by while Dick puts himself in danger to "save" people from a fire? Why would Batman allow his "first son" to be carted away in a fake ambulance wit unfamiliar EMTs without staying by his side whether they liked it or not? Same for Barbara.

In other words, this scenario only works if you forget that the World's Greatest Detective is turning his brain off for the night.

Second, Adriano Lucas's coloring is horrid, garish, and visually offensive. In the scenes where alarm lighting is blaring, you'd expect harsh coloring, but not for the entirety of the issue.

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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Final Thoughts

Nightwing #115 finally shows Tom Taylor getting his butt in gear to bring the long-ignored Heartless arc to a close. The setup mostly makes sense, but only if the world's greatest detective ignores all the warning signs around him, and the art would be top-notch if it wasn't brought down by harsh, ugly coloring.


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1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you said. My problems with this issue was exactly what you pointed out in the what's not so great and the positive points about this issue is exactly the fact that we finally got a normal enough issue having a plot after yearssss. Every issue should have been this, this series isn't a weekly manga, it's monthly and therefore should have been way more than filler. Finally something happened, though the buildup to it doesn't make any sense, I could buy Nightwing getting knocked out but no way I would ever buy no one following Dick in the ambulance or after the ambulance with another car when they were just standing there.( it's something normal people do in our own universe, don't even get me started in this universe and with these people of all people) An easy fix would have been that either they were all knocked out by the gas or the fact that they were busy helping casualties or something. In any case Bruce just has to follow up on that ambulance lead and then easily prove everything to the police.
    So in conclusion I think it's up to the readers to decide how the plot holes balance out with the positive of something happening and a curious setup that puts the hero in a difficult situation. For my part I really like the few last pages of this issue from the rooftop onward but wished this script could have been worked on more to make sense how we got there when it wasn't difficult to do that. It prevents me saying this is a good issue cause half of it doesn't make sense and wouldn't make this a quality arc in nightwing's history for collections. 5.5 out of 10 (maybe with better explanation next issue of where Bruce and Barbara were i could be persuaded to a 5.8 but it could be that it makes it even more non sensical and lower it to 5. I reserve 6 or up for decent to really good issues)