Publisher: DC Comics
Released: May 1st 2018
Issues: Nightwing 30-34
I received a copy of Nightwing Vol. 5 from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Raptor’s Revenge is the latest Nightwing volume (though I think even then we’re at least ten issues behind the single issue prints), and things don’t look good for Bludhaven. They’ve been building up the Raptor plotline since the first volume, so I’m happy to know it’s finally coming to a head here. It’s 50/50 on if they’re actually done with the Raptor plot after this; but since he’s been my favorite Nightwing antagonist so far I’m actually hoping they don’t drop him (maybe just give him a break so he can become a bit more mysterious again).
Nightwing volume five has been getting built up to for quite some time; first there’s the whole Raptor plot (obviously), plus the Bludhaven spin (with Raptor stirring the pot things have begun moving faster), plus several personal plots for Grayson (along the lines of girlfriends and ex-girlfriends…because there’s a lot of them).
I was excited to see the culmination of so many different plots here, but they ended up being somewhat…lackluster. Sure, Raptor is back and looking to actually end things this time, Grayson’s allies in the area are dwindling, plus the whole personal mess he’s got going for himself (one ex still in the city trying to help out, another newly made because of his actions…none of it all that surprisingly), but none of it really feels all that threatening. I want to be scared for Grayson, for Bludhaven and all of the others in the city, but the truth of the matter is I’m not.
I can’t immerse myself to that point; I know that no matter what happens Grayson will save the day and things will go back to some semblance of normalcy. Even the points in this story that had actual impact (like the breakup we were probably supposed to care about) didn’t really matter because we weren’t given time to care.
There were parts I liked about this volume, obviously, since it didn’t get a worse rating. It’s always nice seeing Helena, though I do wish she had actually been called in for the actual fight (though I totally get why she opted to leave the city when she did). Seeing the ex-villains team up all on their own to help out was pretty cool too – that was the culmination of their plot; they finally realized they could be heroes without any vigilantes prompting them to be good.
As for the Raptor plot itself. It was okay. Not bad, not great. I can understand why he both wanted to and struggled with the idea of killing Grayson. Likewise I believe the backstory Grayson was able to dig up on Raptor. I’m not sure the blame that was placed was entirely fair, but I also get why Grayson said what he did (and if we’re being honest clearly Raptor agreed with him, since he’s been punishing himself and others for all these years).
This was a decent read, all things considered. It didn’t quite live up to the hype of five volumes of buildup, but it was still really interesting at points, so I’ll take it. I wonder what they’re going to do next…personally I hope they build up or create a few new Bludhaven/Nightwing villains. I think that’s what this story needs right about now.