Nightwing has taken Dick Grayson on a high seas pirate adventure as Bea Bennett came back into the spotlight as Captain Blud, leader of a secret pirate society. This has given Tom Taylor a chance to further explore the history of Bludhaven beyond its connections to Gotham City. The pirate adventure should add a different level of fun as it is a type of story we don’t normally see from DC Comics. And there is a possibility that we could see more of the Grayson family history being revealed with the secret package he is searching for. Let’s see how things go next with Nightwing #108
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
“DICK ENCOUNTERS AN OLD FLAME! IS SHE FRIEND OR FOE? Amid Nightwing’s investigation of the mystery behind the secret society called the Hold and their connection to the origin of Blüdhaven, Dick runs into his old flame Bea Bennett! Is Bea back to confront Nightwing for some closure, or is she somehow related to the secret pirate society?” – DC Comics
Nightwing #108 may be the most predictable comic books you’ll read this week. Every moment in the main story of this issue is telegraphed pages earlier. But even for all the predictable plot beats it speaks to how good Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne are as a creative team that they keep you invested in the main story of Nightwing #108.
The investment level is thanks to how all in on this modern pirate adventure Taylor and Byrne go with Nightwing #108. Dick Grayson gets an opportunity to adjust his superhero skills as Nightwing in a completely new setting. Taylor and Byrne embrace the swashbuckling side of Nightwing. Everything he does and says here stays consistent with who he is, with slight adjustments as he gets into his surroundings.
Adding to how Nightwing keeps up his superhero side is how set on the pirate culture Bea Bennett and others in the secret pirate society are. Without his bright costume he is lost in the background given the heightened level of drama with Bea’s rivalry with her brother. Taylor makes sure that there is an importance placed on what is going on with the pirate society that Nightwing doesn’t take over this narrative. Which does allow Nightwing to utilize his skills in a way that he doesn’t normally get to since he is the focal character.
This is done thanks to the way Taylor writes Bea Bennett to carry the story. Taylor quickly gets out of the way how the lack of communication Bea and Dick Grayson had when the latter got his memory back was the cause of their break-up. Getting that out of the way now made way for Bea to lead us through the secret pirate society she runs, that includes a cool secret city not even the DC heroes know about.
Bea’s character development is done well enough to overlook the predictable elements involving her brother. Everything her brother does as the villain, including having several double agents in Bea’s crew, can be seen a mile away. Though Bea being proactive about taking on her brother was a welcome development. Which does leave us hoping that the story doesn’t end with Bea being dead and that just being the typical episodic hook ending. It would be really bad to not have Bea still around to tell more stories in the pirate society tied to Bludhaven and possibly other parts of Earth.
A lot of the success with the story is thanks to Byrne, who carries on the Bruno Redondo style of multi-layered spread pages going. Byrne makes this pirate adventure fun to see. Once we get to the secret pirate city you see how there is a lot of imagination poured into it. The elements from previous versions of Bludhaven were a nice touch to show the influence this pirate society has had on Nightwing’s city.
The back-up in Nightwing #108 ends Michael Conrad and Serg Acuña’s story strong. The villain being as one-note as he is worked to the benefit of how this showcased Dick Grayson as hero not always needing to be Nightwing to use his skills. The best part of this entire three-part story is how the true main thread was showcasing Dick Grayson’s relationship with Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown. We know is a positive relationship with Barbara, but we don’t often get to see him as the big brother to the rest of the Batman Family. Showing that made this story a standout.
Nightwing #108 keeps up the high stakes though the predictability in the plot did remove some of the excitement. Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne strength as a creative team keeps you investment in where Dick Grayson and Bea Bennett’s story goes. Add in a fun ending to the back-up story by Michael Conrad and Serg Acuña provides more value to this comic book.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10