Dick Grayson has a lot of history, and that history always seems to resurface. His return to Bludhaven has kept him busy and Nightwing #30 show cases how busy he's been by the sheer number of people that have involved themselves in his life. In fact, this comic is almost like a refresher course for those who haven't been following along. Let me point out some of the highlights and maybe a cohesive story will follow.
Different gangs are upset with how Roland Desmond (Blockbuster) has been running the Bludhaven Crime Syndicate. Blockbuster remembers Nightwing from his good ole Batman and Robin days. Nightwing has methodically taken apart their operations and now their second hand weapons are falling apart because thieves buy stuff on the cheap. Orca is ready for a change in leadership, but Blockbuster beats him to a bloody pulp in front of his gang and puts a hit out on Nightwing.
If that wasn't bad enough, an assassin who just happens to be another figure from Nightwing's past, is in town. Raptor was Nightwing's mentor and partner while Dick worked undercover for Batman to help bring down the Court of Owls. Talon's moral compass point more toward crazy than justice, and he and Nightwing found themselves again on opposite sides of battle. The former "Talon" believes Dick is a traitor to his class for defending the "blue-bloods" that step on the little guy. Guys like Senator Pollito...
The man Nightwing just saved wants to defund the very thing Dick Grayson is trying to save. His work as a community organizer during the day gives him a street level view of the underserved of Bludhaven. Who else from Dick's past will show up to make things more complicated?
Seems Nightwing cant's even escape a past that nobody is supposed to remember. When Grayson was a super-spy, him and Helena Bertinelli (New Earth) were partners with benefits. She seems to be trying to get him to leave Bludhaven snd come back to Gotham with her. Jeeze Dick... didn't you just have a pregnancy scare? What else could go wrong?
Nightwing's "man on the inside" at the Bludhaven Police Department is Detective Svoboda. Nightwing needs the BPD resources to help track down Raptor, but the department is in a mess and having a tights wearing male model in close proximity who seems to be okay with getting sexy with anybody but Barbra Gordon is messing up the Detectives life. She refuses to help Nightwing despite their... "history." He's on his own, unless he can recruit some help.
Those at risk youths Dick Grayson was trying to save from a life of crime also don't want any part of whats about to go down. They flat out refuse his plea's for help. Nightwing then tells them they need to get out of town and somewhere safe. I'm sure that won't come back to hurt him. Dick has only one place left to go for help, and he's ready to make a deal that might undo all the progress he has made in his new home.
Man... I'm exhausted.
Seriously, we just got a redux of characters for about seven years of Dick Grayson in one issue. I'm not saying it's bad... in fact, the opposite is true... but it still is allot of loose ends that needed squaring off so an epic battle can begin. This is what makes Tim Seeley's story telling so good. There is a payoff for paying attention.
Everyone in the Bat-Family has allot of history, are unraveling it all in a clear and concise manner is difficult. Seeley manages to do just that in a way that doesn't feel overwrought, but necessary still necessary to the story telling. He sprinkles in little struggles in Dick Grayson's life which are pulling him in multiple directions. Dick Grayson isn't the emotionless Bruce Wayne, and all those sentimental ties are going to get pulled very soon.
Miguel Mendonca has fully taken over the pencils from Javier Fernandez and it shows. The lines are cleaner, the faces are sharper, and character designs are larger than life. I liked his work on Trinity and Green Lanterns but I think this is some of his best work for DC.
So, all in all, a great start to a new story arc of the best butt in comics. It's good to see connections being made and I'm anticipating a big payoff in the end.
Rating: 8.5/10 Snake Handling