Nightwing No. 58 review: For richer or poorer in Blüdhaven


Joker’s Daughter has planted bombs in a club. Only the team of Nightwings can save the day, but they’re going to need Ric’s help in Nightwing No. 58.

Nightwing No. 58

Writer: Scott Lobdell, Zack Kaplan

Artist: Travis Moore

Nightwing No. 58 cover (Credit: DC Comics)

The Joker’s Daughter/ Duela Dent is now in Blüdhaven and she has one mission – take from the rich and give to the poor. Her Robin Hood aesthetic is undermined by the fact that she kidnapped a Councilman, strapped dynamite on him and is threatening to blow up an exclusive club to make a point. In Nightwing No. 58, Sap and the Nightwings receive news of Duela’s antics. Are they up to the challenge of saving the day?

Duela’s Got Daddy Issues

By dint of being called Joker’s Daughter, Duela Dent’s character arcs have usually revolved around her issues with being cast aside by her ‘father’. Said father is usually the Joker, but could possibly be any number of villains. It’s her shtick, but the previous issue of Nightwing seemed to veer Duela towards a different end goal.

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It seemed like Duela was indeed invested in bettering the state of the homeless in Blüdhaven, even if her methods were questionable. In this issue, one fully expected to see her come across as an antihero type. That aspect is touched upon in Nightwing No. 58; in fact, Duela makes a poignant statement about the kinds of people that heroes protect over others. But her major motivation still stems from abandonment and a need to prove to herself to her “father.”That’s a disappointing development for the character. Duela isn’t a favorite among readers in the first place; reducing her characterization to “daddy issues” doesn’t do the writing or the series any favors.

Zac and Hutch are in the Spotlight

Ric Grayson remains the main protagonist of the series, and has finally embraced his heroic side. Alongside him, the other character who has been getting some characterization is Sap, the lead Nightwing. It was good to see the rest of the team of Nightwings receive some page-time in Nightwing No. 58.

Zak in Nightwing No. 58 (Credit: DC Comics)

Hutch was the second person to be recruited into Sap’s hairbrained Nightwings scheme, and he’s also been the most pragmatic of the lot. We get a tease of something from his past, and it makes us want more in the future. Hutch is an arresting figure and really deserves to be a fully realized character in this series.

Another refreshing aspect of this “Nightwings” arc is the subversion of Zac and Colleen’s characterizations. Colleen doesn’t appear heavily in this issue, but Zac’s dialogue once again suggests that the editorial team is invested in changing the status quo when it comes to siblings in comic books. How successful they will be remains to be seen.

It’s also refreshing to have Detective Svoboda back in the fray. But when is she going to meet the new Nightwings? How will Svoboda react to them, considering how she felt with the original Nightwing? That’s something this series should really cover in upcoming issues.

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Once again, the DC Comics editorial team appear to be reminding readers that Ric isn’t going anywhere soon. While some fans find this version of fan-favorite character Dick Grayson tedious, the stories have continued to be interesting. However, with Dan Jurgens taking over writing duties from next issue onwards, one can expect an injection of verve for the writing and the characters. As long as there aren’t panels full of expositional recaps, this series should be headed in the right direction.