Nightwing #85 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Robbi Rodriguez, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: It might be Nightwing on the cover, but this issue belongs to Barbara Gordon in the narration and the narrative. That may be a necessary corrective given how much heat Tom Taylor has gotten from the internet over including her as Batgirl and some of the dialogue choices. I appreciate the anger some people still have over her return as Batgirl, but I don’t think he ever had any power to change that. What he does have the power to change is the narrative around her time as Oracle, and I think he does a good job this issue—even if it starts to feel a little like a pointed corrective. It’s good to hear Barbara and Dick talk about how much influence Oracle has had over the DCU, and to see her explicitly refer to Cass and Steph as her successors. But while that hits the right notes, this is ultimately a Fear State tie-in, and there isn’t going to be all that much time for reflection.
The evil Oracle Seer has been in the background of the event from the start, but she’s never taken the helm until now. The idea of an information guru’s network being used for evil to spread misinformation around the world is actually a terrifying concept, and the frenzied way Barbara tries to spread the word to just about every power player in the DCU before going dark is exciting. The bulk of the issue, though, is just some action segments as Nightwing and Batgirl try to escape some Magistrate goons. The flashback segment to the two of them as teenagers sneaking out delivered some fun youthful energy, and there’s nothing all that wrong here (except the cliffhanger, which is such an obvious fakeout that it’s even acknowledged in the cliffhanger tag), but Taylor has been building a complex, compelling run in Bludhaven, and it’s hard to not feel like this is a diversion from that.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.