Nightwing #35 (DC Comics)
With writer Tim Seely moving over to Green Lanterns, it’s only fitting that the writer behind that series, Sam Humphries, moves over to Nightwing. While I’ve enjoyed the DC Rebirth run when it first started, recent issues of Dick Grayson’s adventures have become a little stale, so I was happy to see that the title would be getting some fresh blood, and man, this is great new beginning for the character.
Faced with the return of a villain from his past, Nightwing has to attempt what he’s failed twice before: defeating the Judge. A villain who seems like a mix between Marvel’s Purple Man and Jason Momoa, the Judge can essentially give anyone whatever they desire, but only if they commit a horrible crime when they get their “gift”. After a casino is torn up by The Judge’s latest “offer”, Nightwing has to find a way to stop the Judge, but how can he do that when this villain can turn all of his allies against him?
Simply put, Sam Humphries’ script is fantastic. The Judge is an instantly compelling bad guy, and Humphries’ builds up this villain’s threat really well throughout the issue. His characterization of Nightwing is really good as well, with a new job as a trainer, and some of the same supporting characters that Tim Seely introduced into the book. It’s a little strange having this issue feel like a soft reboot, but Humphries makes it read really well for longtime fans and newbies too.
Bernard Chang is along for the ride with Humphries, and this opening issue is pretty fantastic under his pencils. From the dazzling acrobatics of Dick Grayson to the first Robin just relaxing (or trying to) at his pad, Chang fills this issue with some truly remarkable artwork. Here’s hoping the other stable of Nightwing artists are able to keep up with this style.
I was pleasantly surprised by Nightwing #35. It’s the shot in the arm this series has needed for some time now, and I can’t wait to see how Nightwing’s battle with The Judge plays out. Sam Humphries has made quite a name for himself at DC, and I’m pumped to see him stretch his wings on a title like this.