Written By: Rob Avon
With the first arcs of the Batman titles just finishing up, we now get our first Bat-Family crossover in the DC Universe Rebirth Era. Written by Steve Orlando and penciled by Roge Antonio, Nightwing #5 brings us chapter two of “Night of the Monster Men”. I’ve been reading Nightwing since the Rebirth but it’s ok if you haven’t because you can just jump right into this story. This issue takes place immediately following Batman #7, which I imagine most people are reading anyway because it’s fantastic.
Dr. Hugo Strange has infected the people of Gotham with a chemical that turns them into hideous monsters who attack Gotham. Strange has been playing a big part in the main Batman series lately (in fact, in this issue we also get a little backstory into what part he’s played with that plane from Batman #1) and his presence is felt strongly in this issue. On top of that, these characters are feeling the impact from the loss in Detective Comics #940. Especially Batman, who feels responsible for it, and Spoiler; whose light hearted spirit becomes dulled down to a deep sorrow.
In Nightwing #5 we get a great ensemble cast of characters from Batman (Duke, Gotham Girl, and the man himself), Detective comics (Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan, Clayface) and our titular Nightwing, all working together like a well-oiled machine. Batman and Batwoman take on the monsters themselves, while Nightwing gets to be the detective investing where these creatures came from. Duke and Alfred try to figure out what the chemical is and find a cure as Spoiler, Orphan and Clayface evacuate the entire city (with help from a new Bat gadget invented by Duke). This comic made me excited to read the next chapter and to see where this story takes us.
Since Rebirth, DC has been killing it with their Bat titles. Getting such quality work from these creators makes exploring the extended Bat-Family exciting in a way I don’t think it has been in quite some time. With Nightwing #5 we get to see that family working together to defeat some big big monsters and it’s a good time. Even though most of the action scenes are given to Batman and Batwoman, this seems like something that’s going to change in the chapters to come. This issue has action, emotion, is fast paced and it’s fun as hell!