NIGHTWING #27 juggles several different storylines at once. While it is fast paced and engaging, it can be a lot to handle. Especially since there are callbacks to Nightwing's time as Agent 37. As always, the artwork by Javier Fernandez and colorist Chris Sotomayor continues to satisfy. From the exhilarating action to the more intimate character moments, Spyral Part 2 is shaping up to be another stellar arc for Nightwing.
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Too Many Storylines?

In NIGHTWING #27 the “Spyral” story arc continues. The superhero duo of Nightwing and Huntress face-off against Agent 1 A.K.A. Tiger. Fans of GRAYSON will recall that Tiger was once an ally and personal friend to Dick at Spyral, so it was quite disheartening for our hero to be seemingly betrayed.

READ: Catch up with Nightwing’s new adventure in our NIGHTWING #26 review

NIGHTWING #27 picks up with Tiger and a group of Spyral agents chasing Nightwing and Huntress in Palermo. They make a narrow escape thanks to the assist of Huntress’ Skull Girls. Meanwhile, in Blüdhaven, Shawn prepares herself to join Pigeon in stealing a monument as Defacer. At the same time, former Run-Off Mouse goes undercover to infiltrate Blockbuster’s casino. Back in Palermo, the Skull Girls fill in our heroes on the situation with Tiger and Spyral. Their intel leads Nightwing and Huntress to St. Hadrian, the school they taught at when they were spies. The issue concludes with a shocking twist that definitely will change the course of this “Spyral” arc moving forward.

An Abundance of Storylines

First and foremost I want to talk about the three storylines writer Tim Seeley has going on in NIGHTWING #27. Upon first reading the issue, they felt completely separated from one another. Eventually, I realized the theme uniting these storylines — dealing with one’s past action (or inaction). While this is an excellent overarching theme, Seeley does run the risk of his arc becoming too bloated. Seeley should tread carefully as the “Spyral” arc continues to expand all three storylines. However, thus far he’s doing a wonderful job juggling these storylines and characters.

The Unknown Future of these Characters

As in the previous issue, it is fantastic to see Nightwing and Huntress working together again. In NIGHTWING #27 we see a clear difference in their personality types. For example, when it is revealed that Tiger has betrayed them, Huntress believes that Tiger has been playing Nightwing all along — it is the nature of a spy to deceive. Nightwing, on the other hand, is skeptical that this the real Tiger. These differences complement one another; Nightwing and Huntress make up for what the other lacks.

NIGHTWING #27 Page 8 – Image Courtesy of DC Comics

As for Shawn, she was initially hesitant to return as Defacer. Then Pigeon arrives and destroys Shawn’s phone, thus cutting her message from Stallion short. In that message Stallion was asking Shawn to check-in on Mouse. He wanted to make sure she wasn’t falling back to old habits. This message also worked as a wake up call for Shawn; should she fall back to old habits?

Perhaps Nightwing discovering her return to crime will bring her back, but for now, she is dead-set on being Defacer. Then there’s Mouse. Her reasons for getting close to Blockbuster are unclear, but it is intriguing to see where this storyline goes. What really stuck out was Mouse’s character design when she went undercover. Artist Javier Fernandez did a superb job at altering Mouse’s appearance. The change in her outfit and hairstyle completely transformed her. The only way to tell it was still Mouse was noticing the unique design of her face.

READ: Speaking of badass women, check out the latest review of BATWOMAN #6!

Smooth Transitions

I’ve mentioned in previous Nightwing reviews that Seeley tends to pause his stories for the sake of exposition. However, in NIGHTWING #27 Seeley has found the solution – panels that go with the exposition. Usually whenever characters provide information in Seeley’s arcs it is one long speech bubble after another. This tends to slow the pace of the story since nothing is happening other than one character talking for an extended amount of time. However, when the Skull Girls were explaining what happened with Spyral, Fernandez drew a smooth transition from the helicopter to the location of the story. This way the flow of the story doesn’t slow down, because the reader can see the explanation unfolding before their eyes. Pictures to go along with an exposition definitely help keep the pace up in a story.

NIGHTWING #27 Page 12 – Image Courtesy of DC comics

Another example of Fernandez’s smooth transitions in this issue is the St. Hadrian’s sequence. The panels were set up as a circular puzzle – a clear allusion to the Spyral organization. It was a clever way to speed up our heroes’ travels through the school. Not to mention Fernandez’s ability to convey emotion through his illustrations. For example, Fernandez was able to draw the range of emotions felt by each Skull Girl through just their eyes alone. This was an impressive feat since they wore masks for the majority of the issue.

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING #27

NIGHTWING #27 continues the thrilling “Spyral” arc in true Tim Seeley fashion. Despite the fact that Seeley may be including too many storylines, it is not difficult to follow. He continues to display a mastery over Nightwing and his allies – new and old. The artwork by Javier Fernandez is always wonderful, and I’m glad that there were panels that went along with the explanation this time. All in all, NIGHTWING #27 was a great issue for both Nightwing fans and especially GRAYSON fans. Be sure to check it out.

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