NIGHTWING #29 By Tim Seeley, Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy, and Adriano Lucas
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
NIGHTWING #29 follows Dick Grayson and his allies in the aftermath of DARK NIGHTS: METAL. In this exciting Tim Seeley issue, Nightwing, Robin, Harley Quinn, and others face off with a reality-warping Mister Freeze!
90 %
Ice Ice Baby
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NIGHTWING #29 is the next chapter in DC’s impressive new event. This issue is, in fact, the second part of the “Gotham Resistance” crossover which directly ties into Scott Snyder’s DARK NIGHTS: METAL. For NIGHTWING #29, Tim Seeley adds his spin to this epic story that Snyder began in DARK NIGHTS and that Benjamin Percy continued in TEEN TITANS #12.

NIGHTWING #29 pg. 3
NIGHTWING #29 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Seeley seamlessly steps into the world that Snyder has invented with his own take on the Dark Multiverse. With an outstanding new art team including Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennesey, and Adriano Lucas, NIGHTWING #29 builds up the suspense and action successfully in this fun, well-constructed crossover. If you don’t want to hear any spoilers from DARK NIGHTS: METAL #2, however, don’t read this review.

READ: Need to catch up on the Dark Multiverse? Take a look at our review for DARK NIGHTS: METAL #2 here!

DC’s A-Team

In TEEN TITANS #12, it was revealed that the Batman Who Laughs broke into Arkham Asylum. There he gave several reality-bending cards to criminals like the Riddler, Poison Ivy, and Mad Hatter, so they could warp a portion of Gotham to their whims. In NIGHTWING #29, Nightwing, Robin, Green Arrow, Harley Quinn, and Killer Croc face Mister Freeze in his ice kingdom inside Gotham.

NIGHTWING #29
NIGHTWING #29 page 6. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

My one complaint is that if you expect an interesting story about Mister Freeze, this isn’t the comic for you. The issue is much more focused on the team that has come together to stop the Batman Who Laughs. The best thing about crossovers is seeing a bunch of your favorite characters who rarely meet come together, as the Suicide Squad meets the Teen Titans.

READ: Do you want more focus on Mister Freeze? Then take a look at our review for ALL-STAR BATMAN #6 where he’s front and center!

Most fascinating to me is the relationship between Robin, Green Arrow, and Nightwing. TEEN TITANS #12 showed that Robin was really struggling with his dad’s disappearance in DARK NIGHTS: METAL #2. We forget that, while Damian Wayne tries to put on a grownup façade, he’s really a child who needs his father. As a child, one of the most powerful fears is losing your parents. We can see that Damian is petrified by this idea.

Over the previous two issues, Green Arrow has tried to become a temporary parental figure to Robin. Yet, the Boy Wonder claims he doesn’t need babysitting. Nightwing joins Green Arrow and takes up his fraternal role with Damian. I’ve always loved Damian and Dick’s relationship because Grayson is able to express the love that Bruce often fails to convey to his son. Dick is now here to comfort his brother and the two are once again on an epic quest to save their father.

The Heaviest Metal

Another thing that’s great about Scott Snyder’s DARK NIGHTS: METAL is that the metal works on a literal and figurative level. Yes, powerful metals from the Dark Multiverse are an important aspect of this event. Yet, “metal” also refers to the mood of the crossover. See, Snyder replicates the tone of a heavy metal band. When Dick Grayson appears he isn’t wearing his standard Nightwing costume but a suit of dark armor and a cape. His outfit makes him look like a fusion of Batman and Jon Snow. Then there’s the fact that Mister Freeze has raised an army of Ice Giants to fight for him, which perfectly embodies Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song. Finally, there’s even a part when Nightwing, Robin, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, and Green Arrow fight Mister Freeze with swords, shields, and axes. To say the least, this comic is extremely rad.

READ: Want to see how other comic book projects have utilized Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song? Then check out the THOR: RAGNAROK trailer in all its metal glory.

Another metal thing about this crossover is its villain. The Batman Who Laughs is a creepy, fascinating, yet kinda goofy amalgamation of Joker and Batman. He doesn’t appear as much in this issue but his presence is definitely felt. This is especially true when he sends out his horde of demonic Robins. Eerily, these Robins only utter the word “crow.” We see in DARK NIGHTS: METAL that the Batman Who Laughs is able to control them with another word: “bar”. Together this forms a dark, twisted reference to the crowbar that the Joker used to murder Jason Todd. Instances like these are how the Dark Multiverse crossover maintains an urgent, often disturbing tone, while not taking itself too seriously.

Art in NIGHTWING #29

Tim Seeley works with a totally different team than he usually does, with the lead artist, Paul Pelletier, doing pencils for this issue. Pelletier is a DC veteran, having worked on multiple titles such as AQUAMAN, CYBORG, and JUSTICE LEAGUE. This shows in his art, as he represents each character with great reverence. He also does a fantastic job drawing the hellish Robins, which may haunt my dreams for years to come. They evoke the horror of the flying monkeys from the WIZARD OF OZ mixed with demonic bats.

NIGHTWING #29
NIGHTWING #29 page 11. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The most distinctive images in this installment are the battles with Mister Freeze’s ice giants. The color pallet and fight scenes are incredibly vibrant in these sequences. Yet the art is also able to capture the coldness of Freeze’s world with the shades of blue and white, as well as the flows of the wind that gusts across the page. A lot of credit for these effects go to the inker Andrew Hennessy and colorist Adriano Lucas. Together, this team creates a vision of a new world in this dystopian Gotham.

Final Thoughts

If you have been loving the comics in the Dark Multiverse, you will enjoy NIGHTWING #29. Scott Snyder set up a great story in DARK NIGHTS: METAL. Now, we’re reaping the benefits of his work with terrific action and an intense, yet fun, story in “Gotham Resistance.” Meanwhile, Seeley is a good enough writer to ensure that our central characters don’t become lost in the action. DC fans should look for this comic in their local comic stores. When they read it, they will find it’s much more than just a Nightwing comic!

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3 Comments

  1. Odin

    September 24, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Great review, by the way.

    Reply

    • Aaron Young

      October 6, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Absolutely Agree Odin! Glad you liked it!

      Reply

  2. Odin

    September 24, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Nightwing is one of my favorite DC characters, and it was very good to see him portrayed like what he truly is: A born leader, who uses empathy to gather his group together and give them hope. A man who is able to hide his own fears and insecurities not for the sake of pride (like Batman does), but to be able to give the moral support he knows his team needs. His “metal costume” was amazing and the art was great too. A very good story, specially if you are enjoying the Metal saga.

    Reply

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