Nightwing has been busy on a pirate adventure as he hit the high-seas with his ex-girlfriend Bea Bennett, who turned out to be the leader of a secret pirate society. The previous chapter of this story left things off in a tough spot as Bea’s brother stabbed her and threw her off the side of a cliff. This left Nightwing in a spot where he has to figure out how he can stop the evil Blüd sibling while saving Bea’s life. Let’s see how things go with Nightwing #109.
Writers: Tom Taylor (The Crew Of The Crossed and Beast World: Prologue)
Artists: Stephen Byrne (The Crew Of The Crossed); Sami Basri (Beast World: Prologue)
Colorists: Adriano Lucas (The Crew Of The Crossed and Beast World: Prologue)
Letterer: Wes Abbott
“NIGHTWING’S PIRATE ADVENTURE ENDS HERE! AN ALL-NEW BEAST WORLD BACK UP STORY BEGINS! The dramatic conclusion to Nightwing’s pirate quest! Nightwing learns the truth behind the secret pirate society, and his relationship with Bea Bennett changes forever. Plus, an all-new adventure begins in the backups. What’s going on with Beast Boy, and why is everyone turning into animals? The tie-in to Beast World, the thrilling new event of the season, starts here.” – DC Comics
Nightwing #109 keeps the momentum from previous chapters of “The Crew of the Crossed” to further amp up the investment in the way the story is resolved. In the process Tom Taylor and Stephen Byrne can give a sense of closure to unresolved elements from the Ric Grayson era. At the same time this final chapter of the story opens the path for the future of this series going into 2024.
The best thing done with Nightwing #109 was how Dick Grayson and Bea Bennett are treated as adults. These aren’t teens who will hold on to drama. Even with how messy their relationship ended at the end of the day both moved on. While they had things to resolve the way things developed over the course of “The Crew of the Crossed” Dick and Bea were able to do just that. The trust was rebuilt and fully reinforced with Dick saving Bea’s life.
That being established through Bea revealing her history of how she was by Ruben Blüd worked well into that narrative. Taylor made sure to save fully diving into Bea’s history when the time was right. This was that right time as it both added depth to Bea’s character and established the trust she had in working with Dick Grayson again.
This all helped to make Nightwing taking the lead in defeating Bea’s brother, Dirk Blüd, work. Nightwing could’ve easily defeated Dirk and his crew, as he showed when he took them on alone, with a wonderful spread page by Byrne. But that wouldn’t be what was needed to get back things for the secret pirate society. Ultimately Bea had to show she is ultimately the one in charge as Captain Blüd. That’s what we saw as Bea stood with an authority and delivered the blow to her brother to get that across.
Taking down Dirk was also the resolution for Bea’s part in this story. The ending of Nightwing #109 was a reminder that a driver for Dick going on this pirate mission was for the mystery package from Haly’s Circus. This turning out to contain video proof that Tony Zucco did in fact cause the deaths of Dick Grayson’s parents sets up a strong 2024. Now after the Titans: Beast World wraps up Nightwing will have an even bigger focus on Heartless and Tony Zucco. That’s something this entire run has been building towards. Now we have even more players that can get involved as the story develops.
The back-up by Taylor and Sami Basri was a good set-up to transition from this pirate adventure to the next issue being a Titans: Beast World tie-in. Placing Damian Wayne in danger as he is turned into a cat beast by newly debuting Apex Ava gave a reason for why Nightwing would tie into the big event. This immediately tapped into how important we know Dick Grayson’s relationship is with Damian. It’s a personal story that can be dealt with in Nightwing while strengthening what is going on in Titans: Beast World.
Basri also nailed immediately making Apex Ava a threat. The design for Apex Ava a cool, deadly villain who will be tough to deal with. Her design gives the vibes of a killer while her actions show she will also use her mind to gain the advantage against those she goes up against.
Nightwing #109 delivers a ton of great character work that wraps the pirate adventure while building the foundation for the next big phase for this series. The addition of a strong villain debut adds to why this another can’t miss issue in DC Comics best series.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10