In Better Than Batman, Nightwing met his match and a potential new mentor to continue his training in Raptor. Then it went south quick, setting up a new main rival for Dick Grayson. Now with Raptor arriving in Nightwing’s stomping grounds of Bludhaven, this rematch could prove deadly for some of Dick’s loved ones.
Writer Tim Seeley came up with a gem in Raptor and his return doesn’t seem too quick. Nightwing doesn’t have an extensive Rogue’s Gallery and Better Than Batman didn’t emphasis the Nightwing/Raptor conflict. With both on opposite sides now the dynamic is definitely changed and Seeley doesn’t make this play out like a standard Batman fight with Nightwing subbed in.
I was leery when Seeley killed off one of Nightwing’s new allies. The concern was it was just another senseless death for the sake of shock instead of story. Thankfully, Seeley has made Giz’s death a significant subplot with lasting repercussions. Death should mean something in comics and it’s good to see Seeley giving Giz’s murder meaning.
It was nice to see Huntress stick around for another issue even if her romance with Dick doesn’t get enough attention for such a major change in status quo. I was less excited with Nightwing’s interaction with Det. Svoboda as Seeley seems to be pushing some sort of attraction that isn’t necessary. Not to mention reading a tad sexist. Not every woman has to swoon over Nightwing.
Miguel Mendoca debuts as the new artist for this arc. Mendoca fits in nicely with previous artists with a style a smooth hybrid of regular artist Javier Fernandez and fill-in artist Marcus To.
Mendoca brings just enough grit to the panels that the pages don’t look cartoonish, but there’s good detail with character expressions and movements. Some of the pages have some well thought out choreography that immediately shows Mendoca knows how to position Nightwing.
Whether its inker Diana Egea or colorist Chris Sotomayor, Nightwing still looks too bright and cheerful. The sunnier color choice and streamlined inking doesn’t always properly translate the mood. This is a small problem in an otherwise solid presentation and is one that is far more easily adjusted than say shoddy art or a senseless script.
Raptor’s Revenge gets off to an enjoyable start and the last page suggests this arc is going to be an exciting culmination of everything that’s been built up so far.
Rating: 9 out of 10