After being met by a lot of antagonism from Blockbuster’s forces since making his mission clear about improving Bludhaven Dick Grayson, with help from Barbara Gordon and his superhero friends, finally appears to gaining momentum with his Alfred Pennyworth Foundation and the Haven community. As we saw in the previous issue Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon were able to expose the Bludhaven Police Department as being behind the attempted destruction of the Haven community. Now with one of the key part of how he has maintain a firm grasp of Bludhaven off the board how will Blockbuster respond? Let’s find out with Nightwing #94.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Geraldo Borges
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
With Bludhaven’s Attorney General questioning all of the Bludhaven PD Mayor Melinda Zucco warns Commissioner Maclean that the FBI are coming for him. Maclean is quick to take the documents he has on Blockbuster as an insurance policy before driving off.
Melinda then contacts Oracle to let her know Maclean took the bait.
Nightwing quickly starts giving chase and is able to take out the guards that were helping Maclean attempt his escape from Bludhaven. After being unsuccessful in driving Nightwing off the road Maclean is quickly knocked out by Nightwing. Nightwing then takes the files Maclean had as the FBI shows up to arrest him.
The next day the Attorney General announces that Margaret Sawyer will be the new Commissioner of the Bludhaven Police Department. Commissioner Sawyer then makes it clear to the gathered media that with Dan Turpin’s help she will root out the crime and corruption within the Bludhaven Police Department.
Watching this on TV Blockbuster tells the Electrocutioner and Brutale to get ready for their next move.
Elsewhere Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson go through all the documents he got from Maclean.
Meanwhile, Melinda gets a call from Blockbuster, who is not pleased with her actions and says he is waiting at her home. Melinda rushes home to find Blockbuster with her mom. Melinda is quick to talk Blockbuster into talking in private.
Blockbuster then takes Melinda to the pier where heavily beaten Electrocutioner is tied up for being a snitch. Melinda convinces Blockbuster to let her interrogate Electrocutioner.
When Blockbuster leaves the room Melinda quickly contacts Dick and Barbara to let them know what is going on. As soon as she does Melinda is knocked out by Electrocutioner.
Blockbuster comes in and is informed that Melinda contacting Dick. Blockbuster takes the phone and tells Dick that Melinda can’t come to the phone before crushing the phone in his hand. End of issue.
One of the criticisms that has been had about this Nightwing run is how easy things have been for Dick Grayson up to this point. Even when met with obstacles Dick Grayson has been able to overcome those challenges thanks to some timely help from Barbara Gordon, the Titans, and Superman. Now while it was appearing as that would continue with how things went for most of Nightwing #94 that was quickly changed with the ending of this issue.
Before getting to the ending, it was smart for Tom Taylor to wrap things up with Maclean’s reign as the Commissioner of the Bludhaven Police Department. With how Dick Grayson was able to expose him and the Bludhaven PD’s corruption the character had run its course. Now it was just about seeing the character get what was coming to him and seeing Maclean in handcuffs.
That is what we got in the most satisfying way with Maclean, still his overconfident self, still believing he had cards to play while making his escape. Seeing how overconfident he was made Nightwing easily defeating him and having the FBI arrest him was a great moment. It is the win Nightwing needed to solidify how his mission includes cleaning up Bludhaven in multiple ways with Haven just being the first step in that.
Continuing that momentum by bringing in Margaret Sawyer to be the new Commissioner of Bludhaven was a great choice. Maggie Sawyer has such a long history having been part of both the Superman and Batman franchises that seeing her become a part of Nightwing’s cast builds on the momentum this series is gaining. It especially helps to build out the supporting cast of Nightwing as Maggie and Dan Turpin give greater depth to how things are developing in Bludhaven.
While they will be allies in how Dick Grayson is trying to improve things in Gotham City it does not mean they will back everything he does. We’ve seen with how Maggie and Dan have interacted with Batman and Superman that they will not be easily manipulated by superheroes. That should create a lot of intriguing scenarios for future interactions between Nightwing, Commissioner Sawyer, and Turpin as her right-hand man.
As all of this accomplished Taylor works quickly to show that Blockbuster is not out of how things will go in Bludhaven just yet. With his back against the wall as he only has Electrocutioner and Brutale watching his back Blockbuster makes the ultimate power move by targeting Mayor Melinda Zucco. In doing so we get another example of how Blockbuster will use all of his resources and knowledge to maintain his power. Seeing Blockbuster in Melinda’s house with her mom serving him tea was a chilling splash page captured well by Geraldo Borges and Adriano Lucas. That immediately set the tone for how things will be turning to the villain side of things in “The Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart.”
Helping solidify Blockbuster regaining some power in this story was how he used the visual of a heavily beaten Electrocutioner to further terrifying Melinda. This along with remembering Blockbuster in her house with her mom was all that was needed to send Melinda into a panic and contact Dick without thinking. She played right into Blockbuster’s hand and now things are left in a position where Nightwing will have figure out a way to save his sister while figuring out what Blockbuster knowing Melinda was working with Dick Grayson means.
How all this ends up impact the future with Melinda Zucco as both Mayor of Bludhaven and Dick Grayson’s sister will be interesting to see. Because now for the first time since becoming Mayor of Bludhaven she and her mother are placed in great danger that has physically manifested. Now I will say being placed in a damsel-in-distress role could’ve been better built up since we haven’t gotten nearly enough development or appearances from Melinda or her mom since the first story arc of Taylor’s Nightwing run. That said I do trust that Taylor has a payoff and a future planned with where he is going with Melinda’s character.
As mentioned earlier, Geraldo Borges and Adriano Lucas delivered on the art side of things. Alongside Lucas’ coloring Borges was able to maintain the style for Nightwing that Bruno Redondo that has ben established thus far. This helps to maintain a strong momentum for the overall “Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart” storyline as there isn’t a drastic change in art styles between issues. It is much appreciated as Borges does a lot of great work to keep you invested in everything going on with Nightwing, Oracle, Melinda Zucco, and Blockbuster.
With his back against the wall Blockbuster finally went full villain mode as he now sets out to reclaim his power. How that is handled after Nightwing, Oracle, and others are able to accomplish against him throws a lot of things up in the air as “The Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart” continues. It all led to Nightwing #94 being another strong chapter in Tom Taylor’s run on this 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