NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 BY BEN PERCY AND OTTO SCHMIDT
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 is a fantastic issue. Despite some confusing plot points, everything awesome about Nightwing is in this comic. And his relationship with Batgirl is in the spotlight in NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1. Also, Otto Schmidt's art style is vibrant and refreshing, his work is a visual treat.
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The dark web plaguing Bludhaven is now expanding its reach to Gotham City. When all of the news outlets are corrupted, Nightwing and Batgirl must become tech support and stop this monstrous malware once and for all. In NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1, Nightwing returns to his old stomping ground of Gotham City. Will he and Batgirl be able to erase this digital nightmare? Or will they get trapped in the dark web too? Read NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 to find out!

Back To Gotham

Nightwing and Batgirl arrive in Gotham City. With the help of Vicki Vale, ace journalist and Batman’s ex, Nightwing gets the inside scoop on what’s going on in Gotham. Apparently, every news program in the city is being blocked out and labeled as “lies.” And do my eyes deceive me? Is that Nightwing and Vicki Vale flirting with one another? Scandalous. Obvious flirting aside, they soon find one of the terminals, the synthetic, shape-shifting soldiers of the dark webs, infiltrating the news headquarters. Unfortunately, it transforms and evades capture.

Soon, a new face appears in Gotham. Karna Shifton is lead anchor for the Feed, a news outlet that has taken the city by storm. Unlike other news platforms that spread lies and contradict one another, the Feed claims to report the truth. And what a grim truth it reports, exposing the skeletons in everyone’s closets. While Batgirl is chasing down digital footprints, Nightwing is tracking down leads and flipping across rooftops. As he searches for information, he finds another terminal.

Surprisingly, Batgirl stops the terminal from escaping by crashing into it with an eighteen wheeler. Yes, you heard right. Batgirl modified a truck into a “rolling Batcave,” complete with everything Nightwing could need. At that moment, Grayson realizes just how much he values his relationship with Barbara. Later on, Karna catches Vicki Vale to steal her information. Then, Nightwing confronts Karna, who transforms into a grotesque monster. He turns the tables on this terrifying creature by exposing the monster on a live broadcast to the entire city. NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 concludes with our hero facing off against this digital phantom.

NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1
NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 Page 4. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Too Many Threads in this Dark Web

With every web, there is a center, right? Unfortunately, the “dark web” in NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 stretches in so many different directions, I fail to see how all of them are connected. First, smartphones were exploding. Then, there was the augmented reality device taking over the city. Now, in NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1, this virus is corrupting news outlets.

Yes, we know their goal is to steal information. And information is power. Because their plans of attack keep changing, it becomes hard to understand what route this mysterious antagonist will take to get personal information.

Amazing Artwork

NIGHTWING ANNUAL Page 6. Image Courtesy of DC entertainment.
NIGHTWING ANNUAL Page 6. Image Courtesy of DC entertainment.

The artwork in NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 really packs a punch. Otto Schmidt has a unique art style that is not to be missed. His crisp and clean visuals are refreshing, to say the least. Nightwing looks amazing in this electric blue color. And his acrobatics are on full display in this issue. With every jump and flip, there’s this great sense of movement

The antagonist’s portrayals are absolutely terrifying. Karna Shifton’s wide smile is so creepy it may even rival the Joker’s. And her transformation from a woman to a monster is horrifying. The television static detail is also a nice touch. The new digital phantom at the end resembles an actual motherboard in a computer.

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1

NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 is a fantastic issue. My only concern with this series is that there are too many plot points regarding the antagonist. While stealing the information and possessing the technology, there doesn’t seem to be one solid plan to achieve the villain’s goal. There’s just a lot going on. I hope things clear up with this digital nightmare.

Despite that, Nightwing returning to Gotham City is great. The artwork is vibrant and amazing. The unique visuals and use of color is truly a treat to see. For those of you who fangirl over the Nightwing and Batgirl romance, there are hints of his feelings towards her scattered throughout this issue. Maybe their romance will be rekindled? You never know with superheroes. It’s interesting to watch Nightwing, as a character, navigate his relationship with Batgirl as well as his feelings about returning to Gotham. This is a new side to our hero that makes NIGHTWING ANNUAL #1 worth reading.

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