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Review – Nightwing Annual #1 (DC Comics)

Nightwing Annual #1
Overall
6.3/10
6.3/10
  • Writing - 4/10
    4/10
  • Art - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Overall - 6.3/10
    6.3/10
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Summary

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: DC Comics
Release: August 29, 2018

Nightwing fights “fake news” in Nightwing Annual #1

 

Nightwing vs The Vire in Nightwing Annual #1

 

Nightwing comes to Gotham for a little help from Batgirl in Nightwing Annual #1. It seems he has been infected with some sort organic memory malware by the “Dark Web” organization, which is stealing all of Dick Grayson’s information. If you know anything about Dick Grayson you know he has a lot of secrets in his head. It seems this “Dark Web” has infiltrated Gotham City and leading reporter Vicki Vale brings in Nightwing for his expertise on the situation. It is not long until a new villain of the Dark Web, “The Vire,” rears its ugly head to spread lies and deceit.

Writing

Nightwing Annual #1 Cover by Otto Schimdt
Nightwing Annual #1 Cover by Otto Schimdt

Annuals are like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes they are one-shot stories, sometimes they are continuations of stories that only take place in annuals, other times they are continuations of other ongoing stories from the regular series. So, it seems Nightwing Annual #1 is a continuation of the ongoing story in Nightwing. An editor’s note or a recap page would have been extremely helpful to catch new readers up or to give a little explanation of what is going on.

Obviously, I am not very up to date with Nightwing’s current life, which is my own fault. I can’t fault the story too much for not catering to me for not have been reading Nightwing’s ongoing adventures. But still, a recap page or something would have helped tremendously. That being said (and if I ignore the fact the story lost me from page one) Nightwing Annual #1 was a slog to get through. It felt very long and not in a good way; those extra annual pages did not help.

Writer Benjamin Percy hits the reader over the head repeatedly with the “fake news”, “media mind control” narrative. It is a trendy topic and I get it, but there are probably more subtle ways to get things across than just blatantly repeating it throughout Nightwing Annual #1. The dialogue and characters felt off and the story had no rhythm to it. 

Art

The main reason I picked up Nightwing Annual #1 was for Otto Schmidt’s art. The last time I remember seeing his sequential work was in Green Arrow a long time ago, so I was excited to see his name on this. Otto Schmidt has one of those immediately recognizable art styles. His character designs have this seductive feel to them. I also love that he gives Dick Grayson a 70’s type haircut, long and shaggy with some killer sideburns. He looks like a 1970’s male model and everybody should draw him like that.

I am not sure what it is but Schmidt just has a fluidity with characters. Everybody in Nightwing Annual #1 has this inherit motion and movement to them. He has that very European, sleek art style (he is originally from Siberia) that I love seeing in American super-hero comics.

His sequential work also has a wonderful flow and movement to it. The characters’ movements and actions feel smooth, like they’re gliding through the pages. He also has some superbly expressive faces throughout Nightwing Annual #1. He does some great cartooning work showing emotion throughout the issue.

The coloring does feel a little off, though, a little softer and lighter than normal. Almost as if he used watercolor techniques. I am not a huge fan of it. The coloring just feels a little odd. It is not a big deal, just not my favorite. His ink lines also feel a little lighter as well. It doesn’t affect the art too much, but it was noticeable in Nightwing Annual #1.

Conclusion

The story in Nightwing Annual #1 was odd. The characters’ dialogue felt off and the story as a whole did not flow very well. The saving grace is some delightful artwork from Otto Schmidt. His character work is fantastic and is always stunning to look at. Nightwing is a character I always want to like and get into, but Nightwing Annual #1 did not help that out.


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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