Writer: Sam Humphries
Artists: Bernard Chang & Jamal Campbell
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo & Jamal Campbell
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Nightwing #41 is a thrill ride conclusion to what has been an enjoyable storyline for everyone’s favorite former Robin. The Untouchable has been a fun read as it has introduced an interesting new villain in the Judge, a man who can see your deepest secrets and regrets and can grant you forgiveness as long as you do what he wants, which often includes death and destruction. The Judge is a new villain but Humphries took the time to establish him in Nightwing’s past as we had two wonderful flashback issues. The first dealt with a young Batman and Robin confronting the Judge for a series of murders. Drawn by the great Klaus Janson the book has a definite ’80s feel that works to establish the story in the early days of Dick being Robin. The second flashback was a story set in Dick’s college years, the time period between his giving up the Robin identity but before he took on the mantle of Nightwing. Again the Judge is causing death and mayhem amongst the citizens of Bludhaven and luckily visiting student Dick Grayson is there to step in. Phil Jimenez, whose art is always a treat, drew this issue and again the story felt like it fit more in with the early ‘00s rather than a current, modern tale. This was a brilliant move by Humphries as it gave the story more weight and ramped up the pressure on Nightwing to finally end the Judge’s reign of terror.
Nightwing #41 is the culmination of the current conflict between Nightwing and the Judge. It is a rollercoaster ride that includes penthouse explosions, motorcycle jumps from casino rooftops, acrobatic fights atop limos held aloft by a crane, and of course over the top dynamic action. The conflict was enjoyable and the resolution was both interesting but also set up a new status quo for Dick Grayson going forward as well as introduced some compelling new subplots. I’m interested to see where Dick goes next.
Sam Humphries hit every beat that makes for a great Nightwing comic. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Nightwing and Dick Grayson and I love when someone gets the character and what makes him work. He’s not a Batman clone, he has a heart, he has a soul and everything isn’t about a mission, it’s about doing what’s right so other people don’t have to suffer like he did as a child. His emotions get in his way and he sees the good in people before their bad and even if it puts his life in jeopardy he trusts other people. Humphries gets this and it is all at play here in Nightwing #41. Bernard Chang drew the majority of this issue, with some wrap up pages from Jamal Campbell. Chang’s artwork was a great choice for this storyline. He has a great flair for action and his layouts the dynamic movements associated with Nightwing. I was hoping for a longer stay from Humphries and Chang but it seems DC has other intentions as a new creative team will take over the title in May but I will always look fondly back at the Untouchable as a wonderful Nightwing tale.