NIGHTWING #47 is full of surprises, thanks to writer Ben Percy. And the artwork by Chris Mooneyham is stunning. The visuals bring the virtual nightmare to life.
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When the Dark Web takes over the city, Nightwing and Batgirl must become the tech support. Written by Ben Percy,  NIGHTWING #47 is full of twists and turns. Who is really behind the phantasm? You’ll have to read to find out.

Batgirl Joins the Fight in NIGHTWING #46

Malware Detected in NIGHTWING #47

The story jumps right back into the fight in NIGHTWING #47. Nightwing is up against the terminals, synthetic ghouls created by Mirage, the company that made the phantasm technology. As he battles those goons, Batgirl is at a press conference led by Willem Cloke, announcing Bludhaven’s new upgrade. The plan is to use augmented reality to gentrify the city, while secretly stealing everyone’s information.

Suddenly, the Russian Sisterhood, from NIGHTWING #44, crash the party. Don’t ask me why. The gang threatens Willem, opposing the city being changed into a virtual utopia. Guess how well that works out. Not very well. Since the members of the group all have the phantasm attached to them, they are subject to digital horrors and their bodies are disturbingly distorted. When Batgirl advises them to break the devices, the Russian Sisterhood’s leader shoots Willem and he escapes into the subway.

There, Willem finds Wyrm, a digital monster made of pulsing electricity. As it turns out, Willem was only the front man, the digital phantom Wyrm is the one in charge of the whole operation. What a plot twist! Wyrm believes that Nightwing is the perfect target to have his information stolen. As the monster puts it, Nightwing is the center of a “web of heroes,” since he knows so many crimefighters. When Nightwing and Batgirl find Willem, they try to help him. Instead of hacking Nightwing’s mind, Willem shows them his. With his mechanical eye, he projects the tragic memory of school bullies pushing him in front of a train and ripping him apart.

NIGHTWING #47 Page 3. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.
NIGHTWING #47 Page 3. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The End?

As Willem begins to tell the heroes about Wyrm and how the virus manipulated him, something crazy happens. Like something out of Digimon, Willem is sucked into a smartphone and disappears. What happens next? Nothing. This is a cliffhanger that has left many plot points unresolved.

Willem’s Past Revealed

Surprisingly, the character that stood out most to me in NIGHTWING #47 was Willem. There is a great development of his character in this issue. I was genuinely surprised that he was working for Wyrm, and not vice versa. Towards the end of the comic, we learn of his tragic backstory. When he was a child, his schoolmates pushed him into a moving train. His traumatic experience is the reason why he murdered his classmates in previous Nightwing issues. Underneath his mechanical parts is a human heart, and in NIGHTWING #47, his guilt and shame are on full display.

Phantasms Plague Blüdhaven in NIGHTWING #44

NIGHTWING #47 features Nightwing relying on his fists and acrobatics. As he works alongside Batgirl, both heroes share equal time in the spotlight. Also, Dick Grayson abandons his technophobic views and settles for simply hating technology in general. In the end, he shows Willem compassion. Even after Grayson found out Willem was the murderer, he still tries to help him. That moment speaks volumes to who Dick Grayson is.

Amazing Visuals

The artwork by Chris Mooneyham never disappoints. During the opening scene, Nightwing’s view from his special goggles flickers back and forth between the holograms attacking him and the real people behind the digital illusions. For the reader, this is such an engaging visual. Also, the phantasm projections are nightmarish, especially when the Russian Sisterhood face the digital horrors. Wyrm continues to appear as a terrifying specter of crackling electricity.

The cool, urban artwork returns in NIGHTWING #47. When Willem escapes the digital illusions and hides in the subway, the grittiness of the city comes to life. With the blood splatter effect and the use of shadows, the city becomes dark and grungy. All in all, the artwork by Chris Mooneyham is visually stunning.

NIGHTWING #47 Page 5. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.
NIGHTWING #47 Page 5. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING #47

Overall, NIGHTWING #47 is a solid issue, with a gripping story full of twists and turns. The plot is improving and this issue was full of surprises. Thankfully, Nightwing has left behind the technophobe mindset found in previous issues. In terms of the visuals, Chris Mooneyham’s artwork is engaging and interesting to see, especially with the nightmarish elements of this comic.

However, there are still some low points in the plot, like the unnecessary inclusion of the Russian sisterhood and too many loose ends left for a finale. Even though we now know who the true villain is, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Is this really the end? What about Wyrm? So, for now, there is no clean-cut resolution, which is unfortunate.

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