Blockbuster has not been having the best time with Nightwing return to make Bludhaven his home once again. It reached the point that Blockbuster has lost most of his powerful allies. But not to be outdone by Bludhaven’s hero Blockbuster was able to corner Mayor Melinda Zucco, who also happens to be Dick Grayson’s half-brother, into admitting she is working with Nightwing. Now with Melinda Zucco captured by Blockbuster how will Nightwing respond? Let’s find out with Nightwing #95.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Caio Filipe
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
With Oracle’s help Nightwing rescues Mayor Melinda Zucco from Brutale and Electrocutioner.
When they are confronted by Blockbuster outside the warehouse Audre (Melinda’s bodyguard) makes a timely save by running Blockbuster over with her car and drives away with Melinda and Nightwing.
Over at Bludhaven’s police station, after confirming that former Commissioner Maclean didn’t share his secret criminal files with the FBI two detectives working for Blockbuster kill him.
Later, as Commissioner Maggie Sawyer questions the cops, Detective Dan Turpin says there is someone that wants to talk with her in private.
In downtown Bludhaven, Melinda brings Commissioner Sawyer and Detective Turpin to a meeting with Nightwing and Batwoman to go over a plan to bring down Blockbuster and Maroni that same night.
Nightwing and Oracle then enlist the Batman Family and Titans to take down all four major crimes Blockbuster and Maroni have planned for the night.
With the Batman Family and Titans operation being a success, an angry Blockbuster decides to personally set fire to Haven.
Nightwing and Batwoman immediately respond to this attack. Nightwing hears a cry for help in the burning Haven library. Rushing inside Nightwing finds Blockbuster holding two kids hostage. Blockbuster lets the kids go after forcing Nightwing to give himself up.
An angry Blockbuster proclaims Bludhaven as his city and smashes Nightwing with both fist with incredible force. The impact of the blow causes Nightwing’s mask to fly off his face. A shocked Blockbuster then discovers Nigtwing’s identity as Dick Grayson. End of issue.
One of the things that could be said about this direction for Nightwing is that while the series has been enjoyable things have been relatively easy for Dick Grayson to achieve his goals. Even when met with obstacles they weren’t anything Dick Grayson with help from his friends could overcome. That changes a bit with how things ended up in Nightwing #95.
With everything that has happened since Nightwing returned to Bludhaven it was only a matter of time before Blockbuster blew a gasket and just made the ultimate gamble. That is exactly what we have here as everything he has been trying to do to continue his criminal empire even with Nightwing around has come crumbling down. Not only that but Blockbuster’s reputation outside of Bludhaven has taken a serious hit. Its taking all that into account that makes Blockbuster the most intriguing part of Nightwing #95. Because you want to see what the character is like when you strip away all the criminal businessman part of the character and him to go full villain mode.
We get that answer here as Blockbuster goes full nuclear by destroying the symbol of his criminal empire’s destruction. At the same time, while Blockbuster was filled with rage we see that it did not completely blind him to what Nightwing’s greatest weakness is. The care Nightwing, like all other superheroes, has for the people he has sworn to protect being used against him was a fitting villain move by Blockbuster. This uses the history established in this series well as we’ve already seen Nightwing, while still recovering, defeat Blockbuster in a fight. Using hostages to get Nightwing to submit to him made Blockbuster a villain you hate even more.
That led into an ending that throws everything out the window with how things could go now that Blockbuster has discovered Dick Grayson is Nightwing. Having this knowledge is not only a checkmate move against Nightwing but all of his superhero friends. Knowing Blockbuster he will use this knowledge to try to get the Batman Family and Titans off his back and stay away from Bludhaven. How Nightwing and the others respond adds much more investment in what will happen next in this series.
Leading up to this ending Taylor and Redondo also did an excellent job in putting over how well the Batman Family and Titans can work together. Nightwing and Oracle bringing all their friends to help made this plan come across as what would bring down both Blockbuster and Maroni once and for all. Adding in how there were four locations that needed to be hit all at once to make the plan work helped to further explain why so many superheroes were brought into the plan. The artwork by Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Caio Filipe really put over how the Batman Family and Titans were all hitting the four locations at the same time.
In the middle of all this Taylor provided some good character work, particularly with Commissioner Maggie Sawyer. Bringing in Batwoman added to how we are seeing Maggie Sawyer being established as a no non-sense Commissioner for Bludhaven. She is not going to take crap from anyone. Even when she does work with Nightwing and Batwoman it does not mean she sees them as complete allies. This was more out of convenience to help her with her work as Commissioner for Bludhaven. Batwoman recognizing why Maggie was so icy with her was a great use of character history.
Nightwing #95 is a fast-paced comic book with an impactful ending that changes the game in “The Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart.” Leading up to that ending we get a lot of great moments that will excite both Batman Family and Titans fans. All in all Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo once again deliver a comic book that is fun to read.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10