Review: Nightwing #5 by Kyle Higgins & Eddy Barrows

Nightwing #5

Written by: Kyle Higgins
Pencilled by: Eddy Barrows
Inked by: Paulo Siqueira & Eber Ferreira
Colored by: Rod Reis
Lettering by: Carlose M, Mangual

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

That is just one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen to a comic. Thoroughly creepy Huge props to Eddy Burrow for that one!

Summary (contains spoilers): This issue starts with a woman named Zohna doing a ritual in a graveyard. She summons a demon called Acheron in order to help her achieve her desire to “To be with another, who you will bring here. Another who will belong to me.” She shows the demon a flyer for Haly’s Circus.

Meanwhile, since his search for info on who killed Haly took him away from the circus, Nightwing is using a motorcycle to catch back up to the circus train as it approaches New Orleans. The next few pages serve as a terrific recap of the first four issues. Raya has to speak to Dick on circus business, and he can still tell she’s pissed about meeting Barbara Gordon last issue. Dick turns on the charm, and seems to quell her concerns. I think every guy reading this hates Nightwing right about now…

One of the clowns at the circus, Jimmy, is clutching a stalkerish love letter than was sent to him. I assume it was from our demon summoning nutter from from earlier in the issue.

Jimmy is freaking out a bit before the show that night. Dick comments that he looks like he’s going to pass out. Jimmy says he is feeling warm, and the demon attacks. Personally, I have always had clown issues, so I am in favor of MORE demon attacks on clowns. After the demon kicks his butt some, Dick puts on his Nightwing gear, and hops on his motorcycle to persue the demon who has now kidnapped Jimmy the Clown.

Jimmy and Zohna are going to get demonicly hitched in a graveyard…I tell you, this is why I am never going to New Orleans…strange things happen there all the time. Nightwing arrives to provide his objections to this wedding, commenting:

Nightwing manages to trick the demon to going back to the hole it came from, which unbinds him from Zohna’s power. Without the demon backup, Nightwing is easily able to subdue Zohna. Nightwing and Jimmy realize that Zohna sacrificed her family’s souls to summon Acheron. Nightwing leaves the two soul-crossed lovers alone while the police are on their way.

The issue ends with the revelation that the assassin Saiko is actually an old friend of Dick’s named Raymond that he believes to have died, and that he is linked to Raya. BUM BUM BUM!

Review: If you haven’t read Nightwing yet, this actually is an excellent issue to start with. The issue starts with a great recap of everything that has happened so far, introducing all the characters and plot points that Higgins has built up so well over the last few months. Even as someone who reads Nightwing regularly, this was a very welcome touch.  I read a lot of comics every month

This was a strange one off story. You don’t often expect to see Nightwing fighting demons, and it did seem unusual to cut away from the ongoing plot for this little side story, but I also think that was a real good decision. It was nice to see Nightwing doing something completely different, and the idea of the sins of your past provided a great back drop for the Saiko reveal in the end of the issue.

That said, I did think that the Saiko reveal was a little cliche. Sort of reminded me of Hush where a new character is introduced with ties to the hero’s past in the same arc that a mysterious new villain shows up. The reader can already see where this is going well in advance, and it always has potential to make the reader roll his eyes. Granted, Higgins has built the story up very well, so I can’t wait to see the final showdown between Saiko and Nightwing.

Eddy Barrows draws some terrific action sequences, though I do think that a lot of the times, his characters in civilian attire all look the same. I know these characters are all supposed to be family, but it seemed like a bit much to me:

Nightwing has been a really good series, and Higgins and Barrows have done a great job making it stand out from the rest of the Bat titles. Dick Grayson’s story has been unique, and I have loved seeing more of the history of Haly’s Circus.  This issue demonstrated that Nightwing can also provides great side trips like a battle with demons in the Big Easy. I have complained a lot about how many of the Relaunch books were related to Batman, but as long as the books are high quality like Nightwing and Catwoman, it is hard to complain.

Final Score: 8.0 A real good place for new readers to jump on. A bit of a strange unexpected story for a Nightwing comic, but it worked really well.

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