I review Nightwing #24 by Kyle Higgins and Will Conrad from DC Comics.
Story: Kyle Higgins | Art: Will Conrad | Publisher: DC Comics | Price: $2.99
Who gets the last laugh? The Prankster vs. Nightwing!
What we’re looking at here may be the conclusion to one of the best story arcs on Nightwing yet in the New 52 and whilst it has had to suffer from the change of Brett Booth to Will Conrad on artistic duties, Nightwing #24 still manages to deliver on everything that was established in previous issues, as we come to a fitting conclusion before Zero Year, and after that brief stint in the past things will never be the same again for Dick Grayson, who thanks to the Crime Syndicate of America in Forever Evil, is now known to the whole world, posing a boatload of problems especially given his recent friendship with two new roommates, Michael and Joey.
Kyle Higgins sees the storyline that has been building up since #19 come to a dramatic conclusion that works really well. This title is one of my favourite at DC and it’s one that manages to be a lot of fun each month, and it’s good to see that the two main Bat-Family books not starring Batman (Nightwing and Batgirl) are doing really well and this issue continues the series fine form.
The best Kyle Higgins story arc so far easily has to go to this current arc and that’s down to Nightwing’s move to Chicago. it just seemed to fit the character, and gave him a nice move away from the previous issues which seemed to connect too heavily to the Night of Owls storyline as well as the Death of the Family epic. Lurking in Batman’s shadow for so long it’s nice to see Nightwing emerge finally as a solid and independent book, even if we know it’s only bittersweet because of Forever Evil #1. In fact, the only thing that let this issue down from becoming great was it seemed to wrap things up too smooth and too quickly, and it didn’t help that the real threat which didn’t come from Tony Zucco but the Prankster seemed to be watered down as his origin story undermines the threat of the character that was built up in the previous issues, and he’ll go down as another weak villain in Nightwing’s Rogue Gallery. I’m not the biggest Nightwing fan but a strong Rogue Gallery is what the book needs – you look at the past issues for this title in the New 52 and I can barely remember the names of any of them. They lack the memorable factor to become recurring, which was a real shame as that among other things really lowered the overall impact that this issue could have had for me.
Whilst I’ve not enjoyed Will Conrad’s artwork before, having easily preferred Brett Booth – Conrad delivers some impressive scenes here as he manages to handle the title fairly well. The flashback sequences are executed pretty well as one of the strongest points in the book for me with some strong detail, and whilst I’d prefer Booth, I hope that Conrad sticks around for this book as he’s started to get better now with this issue. This title has suffered from frequent changes in the art team and it really isn’t helping the series, as it would be nice for Higgins and Conrad to take over for an entire arc as it’s really something that Nightwing readers are missing. If this series can keep its creative team then I’m no doubt certain that it will enter the ‘must-read’ status each month, as it’s certainly one of the books that I still find myself really looking forward to and after Forever Evil my anticipation for #26, the next issue in the present, is very high and this may well be one of the first books that I read of that week.
The storyline overall then is solid and Nightwing is far from a bad book. Whilst it doesn’t quite lack the brilliance of either Batman or Batgirl, it’s still among the best books of the Bat-Family and I’m enjoying every issue. If you want a fun series that’s entertaining and enjoyable, then Nightwing may well be the book for you.