Review – Nightwing #79
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterist: Wes Abbott
Tom Taylor’s second issue on the Nightwing series follows up the events of the first issue as we see Dick contemplate what to do with the millions that he inherited after Alfred’s death. As he ponders his dilemma with Barbara and his newly adopted dog by his side, he comes across a community of homeless people as he and Barbara go for some pizza. But Dick and Babs aren’t the only ones interacting with the homeless people living in Blüdhaven, as a mysterious new figure known as Heartless has his own agenda for the people of this busy city.
Throughout this issue we see Dick, unsure how to best use his newly gained millionaire status, think back on all of the different “eras” of his life. Nightwing remembers that throughout his life he never really needed a “safety net” because he’s always had family, a father, or friends to keep him from falling. As he goes out to dinner with his close friend/love interest Barbara, he shares doubts and fears that he has, hoping to live up to the high regard Alfred had of him. Barbara reassures him that he has saved lives countless times and even the entire world and that Alfred trusted him for a reason.
As the two are out on the town, they encounter some homeless people who Dick decides to buy some pizza for. Before they know it, the entire homeless community in Blüdhaven, (which is sadly a lot of people) are joining in for a huge pizza party as Dick uses some of the money he has received to give to the people of the town he wants to protect. It’s at this point that we are introduced to Heartless, where we get a sneak peek of what he’s up to when he literally pulls the heart out of one of the homeless people that Grayson bought some pizza for. Meanwhile, someone seems to have stolen Dick’s wallet, but Barbara is able to track it and they relocate it with ease. But when Dick sees that it was taken by a group of homeless children, he tells them to keep it as he realizes what to do with the money. Dick Grayson decides that he wants to be Blüdhaven’s safety net. Someone that’s there to pick people up when they fall just like the people throughout his life have done for him.
Bruno Redondo does a fantastic job with the art within. Redondo seems to get everything right as not only do buildings, setting, background, and faces seem perfectly done, the way he does action is more than satisfying and fits the acrobatic superhero of Nightwing’s fighting style perfectly. Adriano Lucas does a fantastic job giving off a warm vibe as all of the vibrant colors gracing the landscape give the characters an atmosphere that envelops a balance of light and dark. Looking at the colors bouncing off the glass of the skyscrapers and shining light on the busy streets gives a feel that it is always sunset in this busy city. This art style also makes eyes really pop which really helps characters stand out and perfectly builds on the emotion within different scenes like the nervousness of the children in the above image.
The story and art present within this issue fits perfectly with the character of Dick Grayson. With so many members of the Bat-family being so dark and brooding, having a bright and optimistic character like Nightwing in a setting that perfectly compliments his character is refreshing. After the character hasn’t exactly been himself for quite a while now, I cannot begin to express how nice it is to pick up an issue of Nightwing that feels so perfect for the character and gets the character so right. Nightwing is a character that is compared to the likes of Superman himself when it comes to his charisma and can-do attitude, and Tom Taylor definitely gets that. The return to the Dick/Barbara relationship is one that is refreshing and roots the character back into some of his more classic runs.
This book seems to tribute and resemble so many classic and amazing runs in the characters’ history while standing out as a unique contribution to the character. With the Dick/Barbara relationship following up classic storylines like Chuck Dixon’s run, the return to Blüdhaven that became Nightwing’s home turf over the years, and all of the different callbacks showing how much his character has evolved. This book is definitely one for all fans of the character and will certainly make a ton of new fans as it ushers in an amazing new energy for a character that had seemed by many to have fallen off recently. In just two issues, this team has been able to bring such an intriguing and wonderful story to life that I am confident will continue to succeed for a long time to come!
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