Nightwing #72 – Dan Jurgens, Writer; Ronan Cliquet, Artist; Nick Filardi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Joker War is ramping up around the DCU, and that includes in the side Batman titles. And for Nightwing, it’s just in time for another screw-job on his mind. He spent a year as Ric Grayson, was then mind-wiped into being a Talon, and now it’s time for the Joker to play mind games with him. When we last left off, Joker had gotten ahold of the mind-crystal that was responsible for erasing his memories. And when we pick up, Bea is seeking the help of the one person from Dick’s old life she knows – Barbara Gordon. Seems that after she was knocked out, Dick told her he disarmed Joker and destroyed the crystal. He claims to be back to normal, but is displaying odd manic behavior – making bizarre over the top breakfasts and snapping at her when she questions him. We know from the cover that he’s very much not well, but it’s almost to the end of the issue before we find out the extent of what’s been done to him.
This seems to be the last act before Dick is fully restored to his old self – he’s been seen in his traditional Nightwing costume on covers – and I’m hoping Bea doesn’t disappear from the title. I know Dick and Barbara are the favored pairing, but Bea’s in many ways been the heart and soul of this whole era. On the other hand, I am more than ready to see the alt-Nightwings leave – they only appear in a brief segment where one of them has yet another close call with death. The ending has Punchline drop by to cause more chaos for Barbara, as it’s revealed what Joker’s master plan for Dick is. The ending has a nice creepy visual or two, but it’s pretty clear this is just a prelude to whatever’s coming in the main storyline. Jurgens has turned this book around pretty significantly from its low point, and the Ric Grayson era will never be a classic but it’s been redeemed with the last few twists in a big way.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.