Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Stephen Byrne, Bruno Redondo, Andriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: September 19th, 2023
Sail the high seas with Nightwing and Batgirl as they journey across the ocean in search of the Hold’s secret society that dates back to when Blüdhaven was founded as Nightwing #106 by Tom Taylor kicks off. We saw previously in Nightwing #99 that the Hold’s vault held several safes…and here we’ll find out there has always been one left for Nightwing.
Ric Grayson makes a return, the Quartermaster makes a guest appearance, and Heartless takes center stage as Nightwing #106 resumes the events prior to Knight Terrors. Taylor retcons some past events to funnel out his story involving Nightwing and Heartless. Do we discover what those items are? Nope. Taylor uses Nightwing #106 as a vessel to merely introduce the story arc. The keyword this week is “setup”.
Fans won’t get a ton of action nor will they get too many jaw-dropping moments. The issue is your standard story that hangs on events that have been retconned back into existence. Meaning, Taylor had no choice but to use Nightwing #106 as setup. That said, I don’t want to labor the point but nothing much happens. Plus, the cliffhanging moment wasn’t very shocking or surprising. Moreover, the backup story was silly and took the page count away from the actual story. Granted, even if that had nothing to do with adding page count to the main story, we still would get up charged for a story that is completely disconnected and pointless.
Stephen Byrne and Adriano Lucas continue with their crisp design and stellar color choices. The line work is thick, sharp, and adds a special flavor to the design that makes Nightwing #106 pop. It’s almost as if Byrne has this style that mixes Saturday Morning Cartoons with a sense of realism providing fans with a healthy compromise. Additionally, the splash pages are well-placed and provide just enough spark in the story to draw fans back into the narrative.
The highlight of Nightwing #106 is the reintroduction of Ric Grayson. Some might say that’s not a good thing. Granted, I would partially agree. However, it was the most interesting aspect of the issue. Otherwise, fans get very little development this week. We know Heartless wants something that appears to be Nightwing’s. And to add more drama, Taylor has set the story in motion so that Nightwing also has no clue what the item is. What’s even more odd is that the events with Ric and the Quartermaster happened two years ago. Dick has been back for quite some time.
My point is why did it take Nightwing so long to go hunt this item down and how does Heartless magically know about it? It all just seems too perfect to fit and creates this story which almost makes the setup seem a bit rushed. Overall, Nightwing #106 isn’t an awful issue. Plus, it’s hard to regain momentum after stopping dead in our tracks for Knight Terrors. Nevertheless, there simply appears to be very little substance this week as Taylor appears to be reaching for a killer plot thread that just needs more. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!