Written by Benjamin Percy
Art by Chis Mooneyham
Colors by Nick Filardi
To be honest, I don’t know what to make of this first issue from Benjamin Percy. I have been mentally preparing for a creative team change for so long, I may have built it up too much in my head, and now that it is here, I need to decide if I like it or not. I guess that’s what the review should do right? Here goes…
The tone of this story is all about technology. In Dick’s own words technology has made crime fighting more difficult in so many ways. At the start of the issue, Dick is traveling on the subway when all of a sudden all the commuter mobile phones start going haywire and then start to detonate. Dick uses some nifty baton skills to knock them away from the commuters and out of the subway car to “safely” explode. He later picks Barbara’s brain about it, and her best guess is some very sophisticated malware relying on poor signal and a battery boost to start the detonation. Dick’s answer to this? I wish I could punch technology in its stupid face.
The next day Dick is going about his normal routine, and we meet Willem Cloke, Dick’s newest PT client. Willem has a bionic implant where his left eye used to be, and Dick hopes that soon Willem will be comfortable enough to tell him what happened. No doubt this implant will play a part in this new arc soon enough.
Next, Dick is off to the local deli for some food where the proprietor of the store introduces him to a very cool feature that his place of business now has, an environment holographic that allows for an augmented reality to consume the whole store giving it a complete facelift – it’s called Phantasm.
Later on during a murder crime scene meeting with Detective Svoboda, Nightwing picks up one of the Phantasm units left there and decides to try to figure out how they work. There is a main unit and a small piece that attaches to the back of the hand. Dick attaches it and is suddenly presented with a reality where he is in Wayne Manor with Alfred, even though he is still in his Bludhaven apartment. He deduces that the phantasm unit scans your neural network and your surroundings while tapping in to your central nervous system.
Before Dick can even complete his theory in his own head, the hand piece extends out to resemble a mechanical spider, it then crawls across his body and burrows into his chest. Is this real or virtual, we’ll have to wait 2 weeks to find out.
In regards to this issue’s art, Mooneyham’s style is something I’m not really accustomed to. His signature is to accentuate facial details and objects with mostly horizontal sketch lines rather than just shading. It works I guess, I just don’t know if I can get used to it and like it over an extended period of time. It’s a sharp change from what we have been used to on this title, but I guess that’s the point right? This is supposed to be a fresh start for Nightwing.
Give this issue a go for yourself and see what you think because I can’t make a hard decision for you. It’s Percy’s very first issue, and he deserves some time to impress us. The issue itself didn’t knock my socks, but if you need that to happen for you to actually buy this issue then pick up the virgin variant cover by Romita Jr, Miki and Morey. It’s absolutely beautiful!