Writer: Tim Seeley
Pencils: Miguel Mendonca
Inks: Vincente Cifuentes
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
The Drawbacks of Bottom Feeding (Blockbuster Part One)
Welcome to Bludhaven. Think of it as a crappier version of Vegas. So, basically, Atlantic City, NJ. Nightwing is up to his old crime fighting ways and there are some obstacles in his way, both inside and outside of his pants.
First, we are introduced to a guy named Roland, who we learn is just returning to Bludhaven after spending ten years in Blackgate Prison. He’s got a bad hairline and worse ponytail. There’s some wild reverse Jekyll and Hyde stuff going on with our buddy, Roland, as he seems to be perpetually in a Mr. Hyde state and takes a serum to stay all Dr. Jekyll-y.
We learn that a mysterious benefactor known only as The Second Hand is fueling a gang war on the streets of Bludhaven, supplying common street thugs with expensive, technologically advanced weaponry. But, to what ends? In true detective form, Nightwing is following the scent.
Meanwhile, Nightwing’s old adversary King Shark is playing a new role as the casino crime boss of Bludhaven. There are some scene stealing moments here, but in general it all comes across as pretty goofy. For instance, the trumpeting entrance that King Shark receives is just bizarre. And, you do not want to take a tour of King Shark’s aquarium! King Shark wants to use Nightwing’s skin as a rug, and he’s making some interesting back room deals with our new friend Roland in order to procure said Boy Wonder hide rug.
Last we saw the titular character of this story arc, Blockbuster, he was locked up in Blackgate Prison. (Hey! Isn’t that where Roland spent the last ten years???) We pretty quickly learn that this is a different and much more dangerous Blockbuster, again, our boy Roland. Without giving too much away, this new Blockbuster has been tasked with taking out Nightwing by King Shark. Instead, he seems more interested in making amends for his past manipulations of the original Blockbuster. But first, he coldcocks Nightwing and starts a fight cuz, you know… building friendships!
What’s with all the romance?
Also, Nightwing has a new love interest named Shawn who used to be a villain named The Defacer and complains a lot about him choosing to fight crime over commitment. She wants Dick to be a longshoreman out of the belief that it will keep him in Bludhaven. He agrees to go on the interview, and then they have sex. This sort of conversation never bodes well for the non-superhero girlfriend. Oh! And Dick thinks back to a conversation he had with Batgirl while Shawn is straddling him, so there’s also that.
The plot here isn’t the most solid, but it is mostly fun with the exception of Dick’s love life, which honestly should be scorching hot. I mean, he’s Dick Grayson! And this issue has plenty of high flying acrobats visually.
Overall, it’s a pretty good story. Not great, but better than okay. It seems like more of a set up storyline for the big reveal of The Second Hand.