Reviews: CATWOMAN #30 & NIGHTWING #79

CATWOMAN #30 by John Funderburg

SYNOPSIS: The Riddler revealed that he knows details about Poison Ivy’s whereabouts. Now, after the Riddler has been gravely wounded, Catwoman brings him to be patched up by Alleytown’s less-than-scrupulous medics. Now on the mend, Riddler points Selina in Ivy’s direction-but is he telling the truth, or wrapping her up in another one of his riddles? Meanwhile, the Penguin’s come to realize that enlisting Father Valley to take out Catwoman may have been a mistake and finds himself asking whether he hired a hitman…or inked a deal with the devil himself.

Getting high on Ivy’s supply!

Selina is tracking down an enigmatic symbol that she believes is tied to a potent drug that’s been making its way onto the streets of Gotham.  But how is this all tied to the disappearance of Poison Ivy?  Meanwhile, Father Valley is proving to Oswald Cobblepot just how little he knows about the man he hired to kill the Cat.  Make no mistake – there will be blood on the streets tonight!

Catwoman is really shaping up to be a great book.  Writer Ram V continues to level up the excitement and intrigue with each issue, and at every turn, this book offers a rich, visceral experience.  He’s balancing a no-nonsense crime story with lively action, and he’s using foundational DC characters in ways I wouldn’t have expected.  If you aren’t getting these individual issues, definitely make sure to pick up the trade when it hits shelves in November.

And again, Fernando Blanco is stepping up in a huge way and crushing the artwork.  This book looks fantastic.  And I’m even more convinced this month that the colorwork by Jordie Bellaire is making a huge difference.  One of the complaints I’d had about this book previously was how flat everything looked, and I now see that this was largely due to who was handling the colors in prior issues.  What a difference Jordie’s contribution makes!

Catwoman #30 is tremendous – it is easily the best entry in Ram V’s Catwoman book to date.  Pick it up. – John Funderberg

GRADE: A


NIGHTWING #79 by James Armstrong

SYNOPSIS: Dick Grayson has inherited Alfred’s fortune, a puppy, and a whole lot of questions. Who is Mayor Zucco, and what is her relation to the man who murdered Dick’s parents? What sinister plans does Blockbuster have for Blüdhaven? What kind of dog food is best for a three-legged puppy? To answer these questions, Dick’s going to need a little help from his friends — past and present.

The second issue in Tom Taylor’s run on Nightwing has Dick Grayson now the guardian of a great fortune as well as guarding Bludhaven.

While Grayson — aided by Barbara Gordon — meditates on what to do with his money, he starts out small: Splurging on an impromptu pizza party for nearby homeless people after being asked for change by a father and son.

It’s a natural Dick Grayson moment as he flys by the seat of his pants and just does the first thing that comes to mind! A very comic-booky moment.

That sums up my take on this issue. NIGHTWING #79 at times feels heartfelt, on the edge of being sappy, but the still luscious pencils, colors, and banter between Dick and Babs keeps you grounded enough to love it.

Plus, if you don’t want to buy NIGHTWING #79 for the story there’s a panel of a shirtless Grayson showing off abs that put Henry Cavill and LEGO Batman to shame.

While we’re still in a holding pattern as to what will go on with incoming Mayor Zucco, we get a new villain in Heartless.

In a very NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN-esque first impression, Heartless fires a weapon at a man that rips out his heart.

Again, this is symbolism that should be sappy but comes across as textbook comic-booky thrills. DC’s most heartfelt — dare I say bleeding heart — hero gets a villain ripping out hearts! What’s not to love?

NIGHTWING #79 keeps up the momentum of the previous issue and introduces a villain who looks worthwhile! – James Armstrong

GRADE: A

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