Plot by Tim Seeley and Steve Orlando
Script by Steve Orlando
Art by Roge Antonio
Colors by Chris Sotomayor
Review by Matthew Iung
**WARNING THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS**
Now that Night of the Monster Men is underway part two follows close behind with Nightwing #5. This issues picks up where part one ended and it looks like things are only going to get harder for our heros.
As one part of a larger event the transition from title to title is probably as smooth as it gets. The smoothness can be credited to Steve Orlando who is the scriptwriter for Night of the Monster as a whole. As an individual issues however it leaves a little to be desired. While the action sequence for the end of Batman #7 gets wrapped up the rest of the issue feels a little like marking time. Dick makes a couple discoveries and we check in with the orbiting Bat-family for a couple pages. Overall the issues is well written but feels short and lacks forward motion on a larger scale. While the end of the issues has implications for suspense we’ve already been told the fate of that particular character. On a conversation level the dialog is well written. Dick still cracks jokes and in keeping with a more recent trend he calls Batman out for pushing him and his team away from the conflict. The second to last page has Gotham Girl leaving the safety of the cave to go and help fight the monsters. The reasons she gives for heading out are haunting and would have anyone locking themselves away from it all. So while big picture it may feel like padding that in no way takes away from the cleverness and intelligence of the writing.
As far as the art goes, Roge Antonio really knocks it out of the park. He renders two largely different monsters several Bat-family members and a slew Gothamites. The art also has a kinetic energy that is most often seen in Manga style art. It makes for exciting fight sequences and helps add a sense of urgency to the end of the issue. One sequence in particular of Dick leaping from a rooftop to catch a falling man gives the reader a sense of the speed and precision that Nightwing possess. There is rain and rubble coming down from the sky and there is Dick right in the middle of it all. Throughout the issues the rain acts as a visual indicator for speed and motion. While for some the art may have been a bit of a jarring change the readers are not the only ones in transition. Helping ease readers into the art change is Chris Sotomayor who is still coloring the book. The colors have a slight washed out feeling to them matching the stormy conditions of Gotham. Regardless of the slight wash Sotomayor is still able to make each character stand out while they are on the page. Taking advantage of everyone’s respective highlight colors and often times the color of there eyes. He also really nails explosions and bursts of light. As they happen they cast shadows and light that crawls across every surface they can before disappearing.
Verdict, Take a look. The issue has well write dialog and solid art with vibrant colors. Playing a more minor role in the larger event doesn’t make it any less important. Not to mention that the battle the issue sets up is bound to be a good one.