Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Travis Moore, Bruno Redondo, C.S. Pacat, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Andriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: April 18th, 2023
Who is the Grinning Man, who’s always grinning no matter what he’s doing, even when he’s murdering people, and what kind of deal did he make with Neron? Let’s dive into Nightwing #103 by Tom Taylor as Nightwing and the Titans try to figure that out before they lose one of their team members.
What in the world is Taylor getting at with this story? There appears to be this big focus on Blockbuster’s daughter, the Titans, and her soul being sold to Neron. Yet I don’t understand the purpose or the scope of the story. What benefit does Neron get from the soul and why would Nightwing care so dang much? What’s their motive in order to make the story believable?
Furthermore, Nightwing #103 is extremely hard to navigate because even Taylor’s tone comes across as confusing. So, the Titans ambush Hell to find a contract for Blocobuster’s Daughter’s Soul. However, the focus appears to switch to slapstick humor as the Titans crack jokes about Neron’s Record-Keeping and computer use. Moreover, they poke fun at the spam in Hell, stupid, outdated malware, and an overabundance of desktop icons. Really? So again, is this story meant to be humorous or not? But the insanity doesn’t stop there. Readers, Taylor decides to save Olivia (Blockbuster’s Daughter) through Local Government…
Heck, the biggest carrot dangled in on Nightwing #103 gets severely overlooked as readers discover who Olivia’s mother is. Yet, this huge plot thread gets glossed over with some more jokes as our Titans appear to easily waltz through Hell. Any fight scene showcased in this issue is easily pushed to the side making this “Titans comic” almost painful to comb through with a lackluster plot and nonsensical banter to boot.
Travis Moore does a great job showcasing the Titans. He certainly portrays their attributes well. Moreover, his artistic talents work well with this “Titans in Hell” thematic landscape providing a darker tone with a vibrant, almost bright finish. The personality of the Titans shines through each page furnishing some of the best aspects of this issue of Nightwing.
Nightwing #103 reads like a hokey episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends from the early 80s. There’s little to no purpose and the motives for Nightwing (or the Titans for that matter) make little to no sense. The importance of Olivia is just as baffling as the plot and premise of this story. Furthermore, the jokes are borderline cringy simply because they’re not only out of touch but also because… I don’t necessarily know if Taylor intended them to be jokes. Readers, if you’re interested in the “Titans in Hell” but cluttered with silly jokes, little action, and a purpose that has yet to be revealed, the. I guess Nightwing #103 is for you. Moreover, what I find to be even more interesting is that this type of story is very uncharacteristic of Tom Taylor. It almost felt like someone else was writing it. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!