Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The follow-up to the amazing web series, Nightwing: Prodigal is finally here!  Prepare yourself for an emotional roller coaster in Nightwing: The Darkest Knight.  Enjoy!

Now that you've watched this amazing film, directed by the talented Matthew Campbell, let's get down to business.  But before we do, be warned, the following review will have plenty of spoilers, so please do yourself a favor and watch the film first, if you haven't done so already.

First off, I have to say, I loved how much better the production quality was on this film in comparison to the Prodigal series, which I loved.  It felt like a feature film, had deeper emotion, amazing fight scenes, and a plethora of super-cameos.

Nightwing: The Darkest Knight picks up three months after the events of Prodigal, with Dick Grayson (reprised by the very talented Brady Roberts) leaving the Green Lantern Corps to return to his home of Gotham.  During this time, we also get our first glimpse of Batman, and an emotional scene between Dick and Barbara before he left for the GLC.  However, when Dick returns, he finds Oracle dead, and in a fit a rage, hunts down the answer to who killed her.

This was the first shocking moment of this beautiful, 23-minute fan film, and it set the pace for what was to come next.  To be honest, it took me aback.  Never did I think they would kill off Babs, but by doing so, it raised the emotion to whole new level.  It drove Dick down a dark path and forced him to decide what kind of hero he was going to be.

We then see Nightwing visit the Iceberg Lounge, where he has to take on a bunch of thugs in an amazing fight scene.  He's then confronted by none other than, Harley Quinn, played by the beautiful Stacey Roy (30 Days of Night: Dark Days).  Her portrayal of Harley was perfectly done, from the accent and dialogue, to her personality and look.  In this scene, we also get to see two familiar faces from the Prodigal series, Poison Ivy (reprised by Kylee Bush) and The Riddler (reprised by Camden Filtness).

Camden's portrayal of The Riddler was noticeably different from his previous one.  In Prodigal, he had more of a Joker-type personality, but in this he was more subdued, almost a little too much so.  I wished he had had more of a Riddler personality, maybe throwing out a few riddles here and there, especially during his scene with the member of the Court of Owls and Deathstroke.

Riddler goes on to tell Nightwing that Batman is the one responsible for Oracle's death, and that he's been exposed to a new type of serum developed by Bane and Scarecrow.  My first thought was that there's no possible way Bruce would kill Barbara, even on some serum.  My second thought was that if true, this serum is one of the most dangerous things we've seen in the Batman mythos, especially with Bane and Scarecrow behind it.

The next scene brings in a bunch of new characters, introducing the Titans.  Here we see The Spoiler, Superboy, Tamara Fox, The Talon, and Red Robin as they try to reason with Nightwing.  I loved seeing these characters make an appearance, but I wished they had done just a little bit more.  And to be honest, I had no clue that was Tamara Fox until I looked up the cast on IMDb.  Hopefully we will see more of them in future installments...possibly even a Titans film?

After the aforementioned scene between Riddler, the Court of Owls, and Deathstroke, we see Nightwing race through Gotham on his bike, passing by Detectives Renee Montoya and Jim Corrigan. This brings us to the big scene of this film, the emotional battle between Nightwing and his mentor, Batman.

This very emotional scene perfectly highlights the struggle between teacher and student, mentor and apprentice, father and son, as Batman tells Nightwing what must be done.  Then the fight begins.  This is a superbly choreographed fight scene, demonstrating the superiority that Batman has over his protégée Nightwing.  Batman continues to push Nightwing, urging him to end it all, but Nightwing refuses to give up on him.

Batman finally gives in to the darkness.  They continue their fight until Batman throws himself and Nightwing off of the building.  My heart races during this shot.  Were they really going to kill one of them?  My question was answered as Batman and Nightwing hit the ground.  Batman goes on to tell Nightwing to be better than he was, passing the torch to his son in a deeply emotion death scene.

We then get a small end credit scene with Montoya and Corrigan talking about a shooting that just took place by a man in a "red hood".  An obvious reference to the villain Red Hood, famously portrayed by former Robin, Jason Todd.  This will hopefully be the subject of their next film, which I can not wait for.

This film was amazing in so many ways.  From the stellar production value, the wonderfully choreographed fight scenes, amazing direction, and a moving score, Nightwing: The Darkest Knight shined with and emotional depth missing from the original series.  If this is the kind craftsmanship we can expect in future projects, then I look forward to seeing anything this crew puts out.

Check out Nightwing: The Darkest Knight and all future projects on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also follow Brady Roberts on Twitter.

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