NIGHTWING #53 BY SCOTT LOBDELL AND TRAVIS MOORE
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
NIGHTWING #53 is a decent issue. While some of the plot points are a bit uninteresting, Dick Grayson's journey to find himself captivated my attention. Worth reading for the realistic artwork alone!
83 %
In With The New!

There’s a new Nightwing in Blüdhaven. Unfortunately, it’s not Dick Grayson. When Detective Alphonse Sapienza find the Nightwing gear, he decides to become the hero the city needs. Yet can he really fill the Nightwing’s shoes? Written by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza, Dick Grayson still struggles with his identity while someone else takes up the Nightwing mantle in NIGHTWING #53.

Warning, potential spoilers for NIGHTWING #53 are below!

There’s a New Sheriff In Town

At the end of NIGHTWING #52, Grayson comes face-to-face with Nightwing. This new vigilante is carrying a gun and a police badge. Now, Grayson has mixed feeling about his costumed identity in someone else’s hands.

NIGHTWING #53
NIGHTWING #53 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

When his friend, Burl, is kidnapped by gang members, Grayson follows the new Nightwing to rescue him. Sapienza falls through a glass ceiling and then tries to throw a Wing Ding, but misses. Not a great start to a heroic career. After Grayson saves his friend, he talks to the bartender about the guilt he has regarding his amnesia and how it’s affecting the Bat-Family.

NIGHTWING #53 concludes with Dick Grayson going on a date with said bartender. Things are looking good for Grayson. Meanwhile, Sapienza returns from his first night as a vigilante badly beaten. In the final pages of this issue, we see the Scarecrow continuing to spread fear across the city. When will Scarecrow’s Fear Germ collide with the new and old Nightwings? We’ll have to wait for the next issue!

A Zero, Not A Hero

Frankly, I’m not sure what to make of this new Nightwing. Each time he fails at being a vigilante made me cringe. When he returns from his first night of heroism all beaten up, I actually laughed a little. Not so easy being a superhero, is it? Since we don’t know much about Sapienza, aside from being a cop, he’s not really a complex character. With no real depth, his personality seems flat. So, now, we have an uninteresting character, dressing up as Nightwing, and failing miserably at being a vigilante. Just not sure if he is cut out to for this role.

NIGHTWING #53 Page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.
NIGHTWING #53 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

On the other hand, Dick Grayson’s character continues to grow in NIGHTWING #53. Towards the end of the issue, he talks about the guilt he feels for how his amnesia effects the people that do remember Dick Grayson before the gunshot. That scene is a very raw and honest take on someone suffering from this condition. In this issue, I think “Ric Grayson” wants to explore who Dick Grayson is. Maybe this means he will reconnect with the Bat-Family in future installments, which would be amazing.

Awesome Artwork

Every image looks crisp and clean in NIGHTWING #53. The new Nightwing’s vibrant blue pops right off the page. The incredible shading in this issue really makes the characters look lifelike. Although some of the movements during the fight scene seem rigid, the facial details are very expressive. It feels like Dick Grayson is a living, breathing person.

Despite some actions appearing a bit stiff, the visuals are simply wonderful. The depictions of Blüdhaven are great too. There’s this smokey detail that clouds the city streets. Perhaps that’s foreshadowing of Scarecrow’s grip slowly tightening over the city. Hats off to Travis Moore for some brilliant visuals in NIGHTWING #53!

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING #53

NIGHTWING #53 is an alright issue. Some of the plot points are becoming a bit repetitive, like the story is beating around the bush. As of now, Scarecrow’s just spreading fear in the background and has yet to actually appear in the forefront of this story. It also seems like Sapienza keeps recycling his dialogue, constantly repeating that he’s a cop and that the city needs a hero. I wish his character was more complex, especially now that he’s taken up the Nightwing mantle.

In terms of visuals, the artwork in NIGHTWING #53 is brilliant and vibrant. The characters look so realistic and expressive. Overall, NIGHTWING #53 is a decent comic, though worth reading more for the visuals than the actual story itself.

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