Dick Grayson life has been non-stop as he, not Nightwing, has become the target of Blockbuster, gangs, corrupt politicians, and police in Bludhaven. With such a big target on his back he is learning that there may be a reason why there is a saying about nice guys finishing last. Luckily, Dick Grayson has some loyal and powerful friends to watch his back. But are his superhero allies enough to protect Dick Grayson and help him revive Bludhaven into a better city? Let’s find out with Nightwing #90.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Geraldo Borges
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Blockbuster holds a meeting with Mayor Melina Zucco, Bludhaven Police Commissioner Maclean, and other city officials about sending the mysterious LA Agente Funebre to kill Dick Grayson.
Later that night Dick Grayson is woken up by a message from his sister, Melina, that a hit has been sent after him right now. Dick immediately sets off the fire alarm to evacuate his apartment complex. With one resident not hearing the alarm Dick changes into his Nightwing gear and gets the guy out just before the building is hit with a missile.
Over in Keystone City Linda Park-West is woken up by a message from her TV station about an explosion at Dick Grayson’s apartment. Wally West immediately rushes off to Bludhaven.
Flash arrives in Bludhaven and desperately looks for Nightwing. Nightwing appears safely with the complaining resident he saved earlier. Hearing how Nightwing is being targeted Flash decides to bring him back to Keystone City.
At his home Wally tells Dick that he needs to spend with the West so he can sleep at least one night feeling safe.
The next morning Commissioner Maclean questions Dr. Bridgette Clancy about the explosion. Commissioner Maclean reminds Clancy about Ronald Desmond putting all the displaced residents in hotels but Clancy passes as she is not interested in owing Ronald Desmond any favors.
Back in Keystone City Dick is woken up by Iris and Jai West, who made breakfast for him. Dick thanks the kids for breakfast.
Wally then takes Dick over a suspect board he put together. Dick mentions that something changed the prior night as the attack was unrestrained unlike previous assassination attempts.
Over in Gotham City, Barbara Gordon is surrounded by Blockbuster’s hired guns and kidnapped.
In the back of a van Barbara calls Nightwing and Flash to let them know she was kidnapped. Hearing this Dick thinks they can use this as a way to find out whoever is targeting him this time.
Somewhere in Gotham City the van Barbara was in arrives at a drop off point where KGBeast is waiting. The van is opened to reveal not Barbara but Nightwing and Flash inside. Seeing KGBeast is there Flash happily runs towards the villain for payback for shooting Nightwing in the head. End of issue.
The Good: Nightwing #90 does not miss a beat getting the series back to the “Get Grayson” story arc that Tom Taylor was working on before the break for the Superman team-up in the previous issue. Right away we get a spotlight on how the target on Dick Grayson’s back is growing bigger with each passing day. Setting that tone right away gets the issue moving to make the Flash team-up an even bigger deal than just Dick Grayson and Wally West reuniting for a superhero team-up.
The frustration that is building within Blockbuster was the right way to start Nightwing #90. After how the Titans humiliated him in the previous chapter of “Get Grayson” Blockbuster needed to flex his power to make him a dangerous threat again. Commanding a room where both Mayor Melina Zucco and Bludhaven Police Commissioner Maclean helps with reestablishing the power Blockbuster has within Bludhaven. This also works to get over how much Dick Grayson, in both his public and Nightwing personas, has to overcome in order to truly turn life around for the people of Bludhaven.
Blockbuster sending his latest hired muscle to blow up Dick Grayson apartment, and possibly killing the other residents in the building, also works in how the villain is looking to end things quickly. Especially with how the Titans warned him the longer Dick Grayson is around the bigger a problem he is to Blockbuster’s operation. This set the level of danger that there was throughout Nightwing #90 that made Blockbuster moving to target Barbara Gordon to get to Dick Grayson add to the villains desperation.
This also worked well with how Dick’s friends are now on alert for when he is being targeted. Understanding that the threats to their friends life is growing because its not Nightwing but Dick Grayson in danger. Seeing Wally West not waste time to get to Bludhaven when he hears Dick’s apartment was blown up worked into this plot thread. Taylor did a great job with getting over how Wally is Dick’s best friend without either having to say it. This fact was gotten over through the way Wally and Dick interacted with one another. Wally even making Dick have at least one relaxing night of sleep at the West household emphasized this.
Going from this to continuing the Nightwing and Flash team-up by having both look for who Blockbuster is sending after Dick’s life was well done. While he was worried about Barbara, Dick showed a clear mind that they could use her kidnapping to find the villain who Blockbuster hired to target him was solid character development. Nightwing and Flash appearing out of the van showed that they were able to use the latter’s powers to get Barbara out safely and get to the bottom of this mystery without being noticed.
The villain turning out to be KGBeast was a great way to add another layer to how personal things are. After shooting him in the back of the head KGBeast has become one of Nightwing’s biggest villains. Flash showing that he has been looking to get his hands on KGBeast adds to how personal of an event KGBeast almost killing Nightwing was in the character’s history.
Bringing Melina Zucco back into the fold after she hasn’t been a major presence in the series since Taylor’s first Nightwing story arc was well done. Melina being Dick’s sister who is secretly on his side while still making it look like she is working for Blockbuster as Mayor of Bludhaven is one of the better sub-plots. Melina warning Dick about the latest hit placed on his head does put into how much longer Melina will be able to make it look like she is working for Blockbuster. Especially with Commissioner Maclean being tipped off that Dick somehow knew about the attack in Nightwing #90 Melina will need to be much more careful about how she helps her brother moving forward.
Geraldo Borges does a good job continuing the style that Bruno Redondo established for this latest Nightwing run. Borges art honestly looked very much like Redondo though their was enough differences to notices this was a different artist working on Nightwing #90. Borges was especially at his best when showcasing Nightwing and Flash in motion. The art was very fluid, which works for these two characters that are more speed and agility-based characters.
The Bad: The only part that Nightwing #90 was the tasteless joke Taylor had Barbara say about Fridged. The way Barbara was both written and drawn when saying this line did come across as wanting to be clever with how the fourth wall was being broken with the use of the Fridged term. The way it was done was more cringe than clever and I expect much better from Taylor.
Overall: Nightwing #90 is a strong start to the team-up between Nightwing and Flash. The developments quickly get back to how Dick Grayson is still in incredible danger as Blockbuster is focusing all his power on eliminating him. The villain that is revealed to be hired by Blockbuster elevated this Nightwing and Flash team-up to potentially reach another level in the next issue.