Hench-Sized Comic Book Reviews – 8/20/22
Quiet week in comics for me because I’m avoiding the major summer events from Marvel and DC. I really should use this time to branch out into more independent comics…but I’m a lazy, lazy man, my good readers. At least we got a new issue of Nightwing.
Comic Book of the Week goes to Dark Spaces: Wildfire #2 for an excellent continuation of this random new series. So I do read some independent comics!
Meanwhile, I loved the first issue of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and I’m definitely looking forward to more! Should be a great show! I also loved Prey and enjoyed Day Shift, though there were plenty of plotholes in the latter. And in the week ahead, I’m looking forward to the new Saint’s Row revival. So plenty going on!
Comic Reviews: Dark Spaces: Wildfire #2 and Nightwing #95.
Dark Spaces: Wildfire #2
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Colorist: Ronda Pattison
Letterer: Andworld Design
As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am talking Scott Snyder’s Comic Writing class on Substack, and I will gladly take any opportunity to recommend it to my readers. I learned so so much in the first year, and Snyder is planning to kick it up a notch in year two. It’s not too late to join up!
The heist is on and the members of the firefighter crew make their way through the woods to the fancy mansion in the hills. Ma is worried about potential problems that will flare up out of nowhere, but everything goes smoothly getting inside. They even find time to cut loose and relax while the download happens. But then a potential problem definitely flares up!
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
The first issue of this series served as good set-up, and this second issue continues the story nicely. Snyder doesn’t waste anytime getting on with the heist, and we actually get some moments of levity and character building this issue. The characters themselves are not so clearly defined on their own as of yet, but they work as a group. Like, I could go back to the first issue to refresh my memory of each individual character, but I don’t really feel like it. The main character, Ma, remains a strong enough focal point that I can focus on her and just accept the crew as a conglomerate.
The artwork remains quite good, giving the whole thing a very unique style and sense of grittiness. So the book definitely feels like its own beast. I think the heist is clever and fun, and Snyder really raises the uniqueness with the focus on firefighting and the stages of a fire. It’s some really good color that makes this story its own, and keeps the heist grounded in the firefighting aspects of the book. That’s a very fun hook and the comic uses it well. And then the cliffhanger ending works exceptionally well this time around, so I’m excited to see what happens next. This is good, quality comics.
TL;DR: The heist is crackling and the tension flares in this excellent, unique series.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Inker: Caio Filipe
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: West Abbott
Any week with a Taylor/Redondo issue of Nightwing is a good week.
Nightwing rescues Mayor Melinda from Blockbuster and then he gathers together her, Maggie Sawyer, Batwoman, the rest of the Bat-Family and the Titans to perform four simultaneous hits on Blockbuster criminal plans that very night. Blockbuster doesn’t take it well and blows up Haven. Nightwing rushes out to help people and gets trapped by Blockbuster, who hits him so hard his mask comes off…and Blockbuster recognizes Nightwing as Dick Grayson!
Comic Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.
The problem with filling a comic like this with so many guest stars is that you start to wonder why they don’t just do everything. Like, all of these superheroes, including the Flash, planned this big, simultaneous bust…but nobody thought to keep eyes on Blockbuster himself? Nobody thought to keep Haven protected? Neither Superman or the Flash could be the one to respond to Blockbuster’s retribution? Obviously this is Nightwing’s comic, but it’s easier to suspend disbelief that the Flash can’t take care of everything if the Flash isn’t constantly in the issues. Also, why the focus on Batwoman’s cameo? I’m all for some Kate/Maggie drama, but it makes little sense for Batwoman’s guest appearance to be so prominent when the very next page shows Batman as part of the crew.
But those are simple nitpicks for an otherwise excellent issue, that features plenty of action, quality Nightwing moments and a shocking cliffhanger. The rescue of the mayor is cool as hell, and I’m glad they didn’t waste any time with it. Just some cool Nightwing action! Then the simultaneous takedowns rock, because it’s fun to note how connected Nightwing is with the superhero community. And the character stuff remains great, like the aforementioned Kate/Maggie drama and then just seeing Maggie put her foot down as the new police commissioner. Taylor is still building a really fun supporting cast.
Honestly, if he wants to add a Batwoman/Maggie Sawyer romance subplot to his Nightwing comic, I am all for it. What else is Batwoman doing these days?
TL;DR: Another excellent issue of Nightwing that features a bunch of fun cameos and raises the stakes of the story by a metric ton.
The comics I review in my Hench-Sized reviews are just the usual comics I grab from Comixology any given week, along with a few impulse buys I might try on a whim. So if there are any comics or series you’d like me to review each week, let me know in the comments.