Nightwing confronts the mayor about Tony Zucco. Tony is off on "vacation" with his family, hiding from Nightwing. While surveying the mayor, Nightwing has to face off against the Prankster's men.
The Prankster feels like a villain who will have some longevity in this series. This issue really makes me feel like he could be Nightwing's Joker. I've never really been a fan of Nightwing's rogue gallery, mainly because I consider so many of them more of Batman's rogues. Prankster is a Nightwing villain, and he's one with a great deal of power. He's really been updated to fit in today's world. This is the character I want to see Nightwing battle on and off for years to come. It all ends with a great cliffhanger page.
First half of the issue is a bit slow, but it's a lot of set-up for things to come. I really enjoyed Prankster putting his team together, and Dick slowly piecing together where Tony is located. Then the book picks up quite a bit, as Dick takes on the Prankster's men, in hopes of finding him because Prankster has gone way too far. I like the contrast here. I like being jolted into action. Writer Kyle Higgins has really made this book his own, and it works incredibly well.
Will Conrad takes over on art here, but don't worry, he's pretty dang awesome. There's a fantastic two page spread of an L train (pink or purple line?) crashing into the street below. It has a fantastic perspective and your eye will wander to the background to see a very cool explosion. Conrad's art is solid through the book, and once again, Andrew Dalhouse's colors are awesome. This guy is fantastic with shading.
My only complaint about this book is the background art. There are various establishing shots of buildings. It looks a lot like tracing over photographs. It's odd, and it doesn't fit in well with the rest of Will Conrad's art, which is really wonderful. His normal backgrounds are great. It's just these establishing shots that look bad.
It's another issue of NIGHTWING that delivers a fun and suspenseful story. I'm very excited to read this arc all in one sitting, even though it's great issue to issue. Will Conrad takes over and art and really delivers a great piece, except for some of the establishing shots of the city. Higgins is setting up an epic face-off between Nightwing and Prankster, who is becoming a fantastic villain. This current story is one of the best NIGHTWING runs in years. This is a book you should be reading.
Overall, I highly recommend this issue.