Nightwing #79 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Bruno Redondo, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Tom Taylor is better at setting place and emotions than almost any other writer in the industry, and two issues in his Nightwing run is proving his work in more stand-alone books was no fluke. Dick has been hanging around Bludhaven for the longest time, but the city has rarely felt as authentically gritty and challenging as it does here. Usually it’s portrayed as a caricature of a mobbed-up city, and crime bosses like the notorious Boss Maroni are present, but Taylor wisely focuses here on the people left behind and abandoned by the city. The decision to make Dick the heir to Alfred’s fortune last issue came out of nowhere, but it feels like Taylor is going to use that to answer a question that’s very common among Bat-fans—what could Bruce do with his money if he devoted it to public welfare instead? Dick, being younger and more idealistic, seems like he wants to answer that—starting with Bludhaven’s homeless.
This issue is chaotic and funny, as Dick tries to create an opportunity for the homeless to eat, only to be robbed of his wallet by a gang of kid thieves. Those same kids then rob the wrong person and wind up on the run. Barbara’s presence adds some fun banter, and her bond with Bitewing is very cute, although I’m still a little unsure about her current half-Batgirl/half-Oracle status quo, but that’s not Taylor’s fault. The issue seems mostly optimistic, although it doesn’t shy away from how difficult this battle is going to be for Dick. The flashbacks to his youth and how it’s informed him today are great for setting Taylor’s take on the character. But then things take a very dark turn, as a new villain seems to be stalking Bludhaven’s most vulnerable in a ritualized pattern of murder. Taylor is great at both the lighter material and the darkest moments. It’s looking like a classic Nightwing run in the making.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.