Now that the Titans have reestablished themselves as the premiere DC Universe superhero team it’s time for Nightwing to define his solo adventures. Thanks to Heartless and Tony Zucco’s latest plot Nightwing came face-to-face with ex-girlfriend, Beatrice Bennett, from his time as Ric Grayson. This led to the discovery that Bea is part of a secret pirate society. With Nightwing now on a high-seas pirate adventure how will the former Boy Wonder handle dealing with pirates? Let’s find out with Nightwing #107.
Writers: Tom Taylor (The Crew Of The Crossed); Michael W. Conrad (Emo Buddy)
Artists: Stephen Byrne (The Crew Of The Crossed); Serg Acuña (Emo Buddy)
Colorists: Adriano Lucas (The Crew Of The Crossed); Ivan Plascencia (Emo Buddy)
Letterer: Wes Abbott
“JUMP ON BOARD THE EISNER AWARD-NOMINATED SERIES! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life is not for Nightwing! When Nightwing’s investigation into who left the vault under his name leads him to discover a mysterious group behind the Hold, his past comes back to haunt him in the form of the Hold’s leader…” – DC Comics
The Ric Grayson Saga will never come close to being my favorite era of Nightwing. Though that era will never be looked back at fondly there are many story possibilities it has opened up. Leave it to Tom Taylor to show even readers who disliked the Ric Grayson Saga the potential of that era. That’s exactly what he does with Nightwing #107.
What makes this secret pirate society story work is that Taylor isn’t looking to denigrate the Ric Grayson period. Instead, Taylor is using how as Ric Grayson we saw he rejected his entire Dick Grayson history creating this mysterious blank period. Using that to add on this mysterious package that has ties to Haly’s Circus that Ric Grayson locked away is a great way to immediately make things personal.
Adding to this period is how Taylor does what the Ric Grayson Saga couldn’t do, and that is to make Bea Bennett a genuine character. Bea is no longer a blank love interest character. Making her the captain of a previously unknown pirate society gives her credibility she did not have before. Rather than sounding like a scorned ex-girlfriend, Bea speaks with a sense of authority that comes with her pirate captain status. The way she is respected and does not take crap from anyone, including Nightwing, does so much for her character that Stephen Byrne brings to life with the artwork.
This characterization makes the switch from Heartless and Tony Zucco as the antagonist to Bea’s brother a seamless transition. Even without appearing Bea’s brother is built up well as a threat that needs to be dealt with. His having an inside person gave him more credibility than making an appearance would have. It also further gives the reason why Bea is making sure this stays private and has Nightwing change out his mask, so Oracle and the other Batman Family matters stay out of it.
Speaking of, it was great that Taylor stayed away from creating any sort of lingering romantic tension. Bea makes it clear her relationship with Ric is in the past. And to the credit of where Dick and Barbara are in their relationship, we see Barbara not acting jealous. Instead, the focus was on Barbara knowing how reckless Dick Grayson is but trust he will come back.
Michael W. Conrad and Serg Acuña second part of their backup story was more fun. Shifting things to showing Dick Grayson and Jason Todd hanging out makes the story feel additive to this issue. Dick and Jason have built a strong chemistry with each other that they can casually hang out at a biker bar together. The whole Dick Grayson being followed is secondary to this and that is totally fine.
Nightwing #107 is pure comic book fun. Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne immediately add stakes to this pirate adventure that brings back Bea Bennett better than ever. Add in the fun Dick Grayson and Jason Tod backup story by Michael Conrad and Serg Acuña, and this is another winner for DC Comics best series.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10