Creative Team: http://www.dcindexes.com/features/comic.php?comicid=131646
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Penciller: Eddy Barrows & Geraldo Borges
Inkers: Eber Ferreira & Ruy José
Colorist: Rod Reis
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Assistant Editor: Katie Kubert
We start a new arc in Nightwing # 10. That new start begins with a beat-to-hell Nightwing on the cover by Eddy Barrows and Rod Reis, as usual. This time there's a twist. Eber Ferreira inked the cover over Barrows' pencils. The inks lend a stark quality to the image emphasizing the danger Nightwing faces, especially given the image of his assailants reflected in the pool of mixed blood and rainwater.
Inside, Kyle Higgins finally gets to begin unraveling a mystery that he first hinted at during issue # 8. Nightwing doesn't have much to go on in the way of clues, a pair of identical brandings on two brothers who were apparently murdered using one of his escrima sticks. The fact that the murder weapon is tied to a member of the Bat-family and being kept out of the media (revealed in issue 8) makes him think there maybe something more to the story. In the meantime, we also meet several new characters: Detective Travis Nie seems to have a vendetta against the whole Bat-family, but a particularly nasty personal grievance with Nightwing. He even sends a SWAT team, guns-blazing, to take Nightwing at the victims' apartment, disregarding the potential collateral damage to other residents of the building. Surprisingly, we also find that Nightwing has earned the support of a high-ranking city official whose life he saved during the Night of the Owls attacks. Higgins teases out more information as the issue continues and Nightwing uncovers a small army of self-styled revolutionaries calling themselves the Republic of Tomorrow led by someone calling himself Paragon. The last big surprise that we get (humongous actually) comes in the form of a business venture Dick has been exploring with Lucius Fox and Lucius' revelation that the only bank that might be interested in the proposition is run by Sonia Zucco, daughter of the man who killed Dick's parents.
Barrows and Ferreira give us plenty of great art between the covers, continuing to deliver excellent character and background detail with dynamic page layouts and interesting panel designs. Unfortunately, the only page of theirs I don't love is the issue's title/splash page featuring the single largest drawing of our main character. His body seems too skinny; an acrobat of Nightwing's caliber should have significantly more developed lats. Additionally, the position appears as though it would be awkward for any character except maybe Spider-Man. On the other hand, the fight sequence in the apartment and Nightwing's dramatic escape from the situation looked fantastic. His loft's armory is equally impressive.
Sticking with the art, Geraldo Borges and Ruy José do an excellent job picking up where Barrows and Ferreira leave off. It helps that Borges' layouts and pencils share a very similar-looking aesthetic with Barrows' own. The second art team gets an additional leg up from colorist Rod Reis who brings a unifying element to the visuals that was lacking in the transition from one team to the next back in issue # 9. The only really big dip that the art takes in the book comes in the less-detailed backgrounds compared to Barrows and Ferreira.
Higgins introduces some very interesting character dynamics using the supporting characters in the book. Why is Nie so vehement, to the point of recklessness, in his pursuit of Nightwing? Since when does any city official besides Commissioner Gordon have any interest in repaying a member of the Bat-family for saving his life? Are Dick and Sonia really going to be able to put aside the fact that her father murdered his parents in order to work together? And how much more awkward is it that he thinks she's cute?
I love the possibilities that this issue represents. I'm also ecstatic to see Higgins be able to tell his own story with Nightwing in the main seat, as opposed to riding sidecar to Batman in the former's own series. Nightwing # 10 is a pretty good beginning to an arc meant to bring some clarity to a mystery that's been building for a long time. Discounting the one page discussed above and single small panel in the corner of one of Borges and José's pages, the art is really good to excellent.