NIGHTWING #58 BY SCOTT LOBDELL, Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
While some parts of the story are lackluster, NIGHTWING #58 is saved by the brilliant artwork of Travis Moore. Worth checking out if you are interested in seeing the nightmare that is the Joker's daughter.
82 %
BOMBS AWAY!

The Joker’s daughter makes an explosive entrance in NIGHTWING #58. Written by Scott Lobdell, Ric Grayson teams up with the Nightwings to take down the clown princess of crime. Showcasing the amazing artwork of Travis Moore, this villainess looks like she’s straight out of a horror film. Will the Joker’s daughter be a formidable threat to the city? Can this new team of Nightwings band together to protect Bludhaven? Check out NIGHTWING #58 to find out.

Terror in Bludhaven

In a country club full of wealthy citizens, the councilman has a pack of dynamite strapped to him. As panic ensues, the Joker’s daughter watches the chaos unfold. Ric Grayson and the team of Nightwings suit up to defuse the bombs and save everyone. Still, some members of the team are uncertain about being masked heroes. So, this isn’t the best way to start off a night of vigilante work.

Boom! Another bomb explodes in the building. Suddenly, Duela appears, continuing her threats. As the Nightwings work to dismantle the bombs, Grayson tries to talk sense into the Joker’s daughter. When reasoning with her fails, Grayson kicks her in the face, knocking her unconscious. Classic. Then, in a puff of smoke, she disappears. Despite not catching the criminal, Grayson working alongside the Nightwings solidifies his return to the vigilante life.

NIGHTWING #58 Page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.
NIGHTWING #58 Page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

NIGHTWING #58 concludes with a heartwarming, and equally heartbreaking, scene between Grayson and Barbara Gordon. She concedes to let him live his own life, as this new identity, free from the Bat family. This issue seems to end with a picturesque ending. Will the Joker’s daughter be causing more trouble in the future? We’ll have to wait and see for the next chapter.

The Jumbled Jester

I have mixed feelings about Duela’s presence in NIGHTWING #58. Her motivation for blowing up the country club is unclear. First, she claims she wants to raise awareness of the poor and homeless in Bludhaven. Then, she changes her reasoning; To gain her “father’s” attention. This inconsistency makes her seem like a rebel with a cause.

Nightwing’s interaction with Duela feels forced. The hero trying to talk the villain out of being evil is an unfortunate cliché. Plus, his knockout kick at the end of their fight was too simple of a conclusion. Their entire conversation and confrontation was just too cookie cutter to me. I expected more from Duela’s appearance in NIGHTWING #58. Hopefully, with more time, she’ll develop into a more substantial opponent.

Exciting Artwork

The art style of Travis Moore continues to amaze me in NIGHTWING #58. Images are straight out of a horror film. Duela sitting menacingly in a room full of televisions, watching her victims, looks incredibly creepy. Plus, her stitched on mask, reminiscent of the Joker, gives me goosebumps.

NIGTHWING #58 Page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.
NIGHTWING #58 Page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

 

With the realistic visuals and use of warm colors, characters have this gentle vibrancy surrounding them. There’s a softness to their faces, especially in those last pages, with Grayson and Gordon making amends. Facial expressions appear genuine and realistic. All in all, NIGHTWING #58 features incredible visuals by Travis Moore and colorist Tamra Bonvillain.

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING #58

Honestly, this wasn’t my favorite issue of this plot arc. Many parts of the story felt forced and hackneyed. While I admire Grayson for reaching out and connecting with Duela emotionally, it feels staged and unauthentic. Also, Duela herself has proven to be a lackluster villain, with no solid reasoning for evil doings. A weak antagonist drags the protagonist down into a cliched hero-villain dynamic. Unfortunately, that’s what happened in NIGHTWING #58.

However, the saving grace for this story was that final moment with Ric Grayson and Barbara Gordon. They have a deep bond, even though he has no memory of her. Gordon’s respect for Grayson and his new life is a touching sentiment.

In NIGHTWING #58, the visuals continue to amaze me. The imagery surrounding the Joker’s daughter are nightmarish and horrifying. Plus, there is this realistic warmth coming from the characters and their facial expression. Truly, they look like living, breathing people with genuine emotion. This issue is worth reading for the artwork alone.

Overall, the story of NIGHTWING #58 does have some weak elements, like the underwhelming villain and forced dialogue from the hero. But what it lacks in plot points, it makes up for in outstanding artwork. If you want to see Joker’s daughter and team Nightwing in action, or Travis Moore’s brilliant work, then this issue is worth checking out.

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