Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have not made life in Bludhaven easy for Dick Grayson. Just as he opened the Haven community area of Bludhaven he already has to deal with Blockbuster trying to destroy it. Though given that this time in Bludhaven Dick Grayson has come with some superhero back-up this attack by Blockbuster will likely not go unanswered. How will Bludhaven’s protector respond? Let’s find out with Nightwing #93.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Heartless talks with Blockbuster about helping him with the agreement ending leading to Heartless taking Bludhaven. Blockbuster has no interest and throws Heartless out the window of his tower.
Over in Haven, as Nightwing cleans up the mess left by Blockbuster’s gang he is attacked by cops who immediately start shooting him. Nightwing quickly loses the cops by making his way to Gotham City.
The next morning, at the Batgirls’ HQ in the Hill, Barbara Gordon shows Dick Grayson that she was able to identify all of the Haven attackers that Nightwing unmasked the previous night. Happy with this Dick tells Barbara he loves her which creates an awkward moment between the pair.
The moment is broken up when Melinda Zucco calls Dick to tell him to get back to Haven immediately.
Over at Haven, Dick finds the police harassing the kids just trying to use the community resources. Bludhaven Police Commissioner Maclean tells Dick that they have increased their presence there because of all the kids’ criminal history.
Commissioner Maclean then holds a press conference with the media he called to blame the people Haven was created for vandalizing the newly opened community.
Acting quickly, Dick speaks up and reveals that the people who vandalized Haven were none other than the Bludhaven police on Commissioner Maclean’s payroll. Dick then announces that video evidence has been released to every news outlet and online channel showing this much to Commissioner Maclean’s anger.
Elsewhere a heavily injured Heartless returns to his headquarters and has his attendant heal him by giving him a new heart. End of issue.
When developing a long-running narrative having each comic book issue come across as a chapter to the story really speaks to the strength of the plan around the story being crafted. That is exactly what you get with Nightwing #93. Every scene we get here is crafted to tell its own narrative that when you start and end Nightwing #93 you feel like you got a full chapter that leads you to want to read the next one.
The opening of Nightwing #93 sets a strong tone as Taylor and Redondo play with our expectations of Heartless approaching Blockbuster with a villain deal. We know going into Nightwing #93 that Blockbuster has run out of resources as the DCU villain community are no longer helping him. The only resource open to him now is his control of the Bludhaven police department and politicians. But as good as those resources are Blockbuster knows that with Nightwing having strong superhero allies that is not enough.
So with that in mind the fact that Blockbuster does not take Heartless up on his offer or try to negotiate it gets across that he isn’t looking to play second fiddle to anyone. Blockbuster knows that taking up Heartless’ offer would be the same as throwing up the white flag. Blockbuster tossing Heartless out of his home in such a violent way showed that he is not done being the top dog in Bludhaven.
This also worked well to put Heartless in their place. Now after being unable to defeat Nightwing, who was still recovering from a major injury, Heartless was completely punked out by Blockbuster. This now puts Heartless in a spot where they have to prove themselves even more as a rookie villain. Given how they were presented at the end of Nightwing #93 this experience may be what they needed to elevate themselves as a villain. The hearts that Heartless has been collecting being a life source were a much-needed addition to the villain, explaining why they are stealing hearts.
On the Dick Grayson side of things, Nightwing #93 once again spotlights how unwelcomed Dick Grayson is by those who hold the power in Bludhaven. Even though what Dick Grayson is doing is trying to do to improve Bludhaven to be a better place for everyone to live that does not want those in power want. It emphasizes the uphill battle that Dick is still facing even though he has the money and resources to actually improve Bludhaven.
Having this type of conflict where Dick as Nightwing can’t even help clean up Haven without the police trying to kill him adds an antagonistic element that can’t be simply dealt with super-heroics. The situation in this issue wasn’t something that Nightwing could overcome. Especially with how the police were ready to use everything they could to paint the kids and Haven’s intentions in the worst light possible this was something Dick Grayson had to step up and deal with.
With help from Barbara Gordon that is exactly what Dick was able to do. Dick opening everyone’s eyes to how corrupt Bludhaven Police Commissioner Maclean was a great moment. It was made even better by how arrogant Commissioner Maclean was acting up until the truth of his corruption was revealed to all the news outlets. It was done during the press conference he called to paint Haven in a terrible light a satisfying payoff.
Taylor and Redondo also work well with how Dick and Barbara continue to drag out making their relationship official. We once again get another hint at how their relationship is not casual as after Barbara showed him all the work she did to help him Dick said “I love you” without thinking. The silent shock and awkwardness after Dick said this worked well with how they are long-playing going from being casual to just a full-on relationship.
Nightwing #93 works well as a continuation of the previous issue of this series. The emphasis on how important it is for Dick Grayson, not just Nightwing, to step up to improve things in Bludhaven. How he overcomes the latest obstacle placed in front of him made this direction even more rewarding to be experiencing. While Nightwing got a big win the developments around Blockbuster and Heartless make what comes next something to look forward to.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10