Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Bernard Chang
Colors by Marcelo Maiolo
It’s now Part 4 of the Judge arc and if you need a quick recap of what happened in the first 3 parts, here it is. A villain from Dick’s past called the Judge has resurfaced and has a psychic ability that allows him to convince his subjects to act on latent desires they would never fulfill due to the consequences that those actions would bring. Dick was shot a couple of issues ago by Detective Svoboda, who is under the Judge’s thrall, but has recovered and by this issue is chomping at the bit for a showdown.
Dick heads to Guppy’s apartment at the start of this issue to prevent him from killing King Sturgeon, but Dick is too late and Guppy is now realizing what he has done and is wallowing in self pity. Dick however blames himself and how everything that is happening now is because he could not stop Judge during their encounters in the past.
Dick makes his way to the casino where Judge is holed up but needs a way in as security is tight and gets a friend he spots outside to help him. The problem is it is under the guise of being a male stripper! There’s a couple of funny panels where Dick is gyrating in his underwear as the money flows from some very happy ladies and this will surely please a lot readers.
Dick makes his way to the penthouse afterward and confronts Judge. A struggle ensues and Judge stabs Dick in his side as a sniper shot hits the window right next to where they are standing. Svoboda is trying to take one of them out, but which one? We can’t be sure if she is now in control of her actions but we would hope that as an officer of the law that she would not be trying to kill Judge but rather apprehend.
Judge’s goons show up and they hold Dick back while Judge takes off his sunglasses and makes his big reveal – he is blind! It’s quite freaky looking too, as we see that his eyelids have been stitched together. That’s the last Dick sees as one of Judge’s goons delivers a massive punch and Dick blacks out.
STORY AND ART
It’s another satisfactory issue from Sam Humphries as he builds to the 5th part dubbed Face Off. The pacing of the plot is okay and he does a good job of tying up the Guppy portion of this arc so that we can focus on the finale next issue. I can’t put my finger on what is missing from the Nightwing series yet, I keep waiting for something great to happen that will make me crave the next issue but right now I have no problem with the wait.
One thing that always does impress is Chang and Maiolo’s art. Each page is a love letter to the reader. The neons of the casino really do pop and bring you right in. I don’t know if I could happily get through each issue if it wasn’t for the art and the cover is once again another sensational effort that will entice you to grab it off the shelf and flip through.
Come for the art and possibly stay for the story if you are intrigued enough. Humphries has yet to sway me into committing to Nightwing long term, but I do want to know how the finale of the arc is going to play out.