NIGHTWING #56
NIGHTWING #56 BY SCOTT LOBDELL AND GARRY BROWN
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
NIGHTWING #56 is a decent issue. While some elements are too clean cut, Grayson returning to heroism is a nice change of pace.
82 %
Total Bedlam!

With a mob of insane citizens under his command, the Scarecrow is taking over Blüdhaven. Written by Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell, can a team of Nightwings protect their city from fear itself? Will Dick Grayson become Nightwing once again? Check out NIGHTWING #56 to find out!

Warning, potential spoilers for NIGHTWING #56 are below!

A City Falling to Chaos

Blüdhaven is in total bedlam. With the Fear Germ flooding the streets, the Scarecrow now has an army of terror-stricken citizens under his control. So the only ones standing in his way is a team of Nightwings! As the mob of people overrun the city, the Nightwings, who have no experience dealing with a supervillain, are struggling to hold them off.

NIGHTWING #56
NIGHTWING #56 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

When one of the Nightwings is shot, Grayson has a haunting flashback of the deaths of his parents. This is a big turning point for Ric. Instead of running away from his hero days, he decides to help the vigilantes. With a makeshift mask and weapons, Grayson heads into battle.

He successfully stops the fear gas, saves the city, and takes down the Scarecrow, with little help from the Nightwings. NIGHTWING #56 concludes with Ric, and the team of vigilantes, at a crossroads. Will Grayson join the group of heroes? Is there another supervillain itching to cause trouble in Bludhaven? We’ll have to wait for the next chapter to find out!

Don’t Call It A Comeback

It’s nice to see Grayson back to heroics in NIGHTWING #56. Despite not having his old memories, he relies on his crime-fighting reflexes to fight the Scarecrow. When one Nightwing gets shot, he feels compelled to help the vigilantes. Grayson still has that heroic instinct and is too moral to let someone else fight his battles. Him jumping in to save the day speaks volumes to his character.

Unfortunately, his triumphant return isn’t so triumphant. Something about the dialogue sounded too stale and hackneyed. It’s stereotypical hero speech. Also, the way Grayson and Nightwing double knockout punch the Scarecrow felt lackluster and unoriginal as far as endings go.

Chaotic Visuals

NIGHTWING #56
NIGHTWING #56 page 4 & 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

In NIGHTWING #56, I have mixed feelings about the Garry Brown’s artwork. The visuals really capture the insanity of the Scarecrow’s victims, while the plumes of green fog make the Fear Germ look and feel ominous and creepy. When Grayson rescues the Nightwings, all his flips and punches look so fluid and powerful. Also, using the same shade of red for Scarecrow’s eyes, the background, and the hero’s blood was a nice touch.

However, some elements of NIGHTWING #56 look too crisp and clean. While under attack by an angry mob, the city looks surprisingly pristine. While the Nightwing’s fight, their costumes are clear blue, free from any damage. Even the soot on Grayson’s face, acting as a mask, looks too neat. I expected there to be some grittiness and found a squeaky clean comic instead.

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING #56

If I’m completely honest, NIGHTWING #56 is not my favorite issue from this series. For a city in mayhem, most of it looks unsullied. Even some parts of the story are too neatly packaged for my liking. Along with some cheesy dialogue, the Scarecrow’s defeat felt too cookie-cutter predictable and the ending was wrapped up a little too nicely.

On the other hand, NIGHTWING #56 still has some redeeming qualities. Grayson returning to vigilantism is a nice change of pace. It’s awesome to see those Nightwing reflexes back in action once again. While I know I’ve had my doubts on this new team of Nightwings, they do have some potential.

Perhaps, under Grayson’s guidance, the group can actually become a real force for good. By working with the team, it could help Ric regain his old memories. Either way, there’s hope for this storyline yet. I’m curious to see how Grayson interacts with these new vigilantes.

In the next issue, the so-called Joker’s Daughter is ready to make an appearance in this series. So, stay tuned for what’s to come for Nightwing, or should I say Nightwings!

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