Former super-spy Dick Grayson has returned to his mask and midnight-blue uniform.  Sometimes, though, your past has a way of catching up with you…  Your Major Spoilers review of Nightwing #27 awaits!

NIGHTWING #27

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Rebecca Taylor
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Nightwing: “Nightwing and Huntress have been ambushed by Spyral, and their old friend Tiger is leading the charge!  Will the duo find out what corrupted their former agency-or are they about to be disavowed and burned?”

EVERY TIME HE THINKS HE’S OUT, THEY PULL HIM BACK IN!

While Nightwing and Huntress are on the trail of a mysterious crew of assassins, neither of them considered that their former Spyral colleagues are the assassins in question.  Realizing that his old colleague and/or frenemy Tiger (who is either named Tiger King or is a King named Tiger) knows who he is, who Batman is and a whole host of his most dangerous secrets, Nightwing is distracted during their battle, and the heroes end up having to be bailed out by Huntress’ former trainees, The Skullgirls.  For a moment, Nightwing considers calling in the Titans or the JLA, but instead decides that it’s too dangerous (a foolish stance on a number of levels, but at least the creators considered the issue) before engaging Spyral again.  As the issue fades to black, Nightwing has been separated from his partners, but at least he has an indication of why someone he considered a friend has turned on him…

REALLY IMPRESSIVE ART

Javier Fernandez is the star this issue, giving us kinetic, frenetic action sequences and cinematic blocking, especially in the moment where the Skullgirls arrive to save the day.  Even with masks on, Huntress and Nightwing have expressive faces, and the use of shadows in the final three pages is amazing.  Seeley’s script has some strong moments in it, but with so many references to the previous ‘Grayson’ series and the supporting cast thereof, it’s hard for me to follow.  Moreover, even those who know all the players are likely to be confused by some of the transitions and the pacing of the issue, but the strong final page reveal helps to overcome those problems.  There’s also a bit with a member of Spyral not reacting to a kick in the jewels because he’s evolved past it that feels juvenile and jarring to me…

THE BOTTOM LINE: A BIT CONFUSING

All in all, it’s a mixed bag of an issue, and one that probably works better for regular and long-term readers of Grayson’s adventures.  Nightwing #27 offers a nice character balance in Nightwing/Huntress, some strong action and excellent art, but doesn’t quite stick the landing in terms of story coherence, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  I’m interested enough in the cliffhanger to come back next time around, though, and that’s the true test…

NIGHTWING #27

Writing
Art
Coloring

Lovely art, but a story that apparently requires intimate knowledge of Dick's previous solo book, with some obscure moments that are really hard to follow...

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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