Nightwing #100 – Tom Taylor, Writer; Bruno Redondo, Scott McDaniel/Karl Story, Rick Leonardi/Joe Pardo, Eddy Barrows/Eber Ferreira, Javier Fernandez/Caio Filipe, Mikel Janin, artists; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Tom Taylor’s Nightwing run has all been building to this—a fifty-page jam issue bringing back many of the iconic artists from the character’s decades-long history. But while the artists are celebrating many different runs, this is all Taylor, wrapping up many of the stories he has been building since the first issue of his story. The villain Heartless, who displaced Blockbuster as the main villain of the run, is making his move on Nightwing’s city—and at the core is the massive private prison that has become a scourge on the city. Filled with thousands of people, many of whom are simply awaiting trial and are unable to make bail, it’s the perfect place for Heartless to build an army—and that’s exactly what he does.
This story reminds me a lot of Knightfall in places, in that a new and deeply personal villain who wants to break the hero has unleashed an army of villains to push him to the limit. This army includes hundreds of ordinary citizens, as well as the hulking man-beast Elephant Man and Dick’s would-be assassin KG Beast. The difference between Dick and Bruce, though, is that Dick has friends. From the Titans, to Barbara Gordon working as Oracle, to even some of the Bludhaven citizens he’s able to keep from going down the wrong path, he’s ultimately able to win the day after an absolutely brutal battle not through force, but through believing that the city and everyone in it is worth saving.
And that’s where the most important part of the issue comes in, because this isn’t just about the battle for Bludhaven. It’s about the future of the DCU, as the remnants of the Justice League after Dark Crisis ask Dick to take control of whatever comes next. This is something that’s been a very long time in coming, as Nightwing has been an elite hero for decades, but it’s great to finally see. We don’t know exactly what form this will take, but it seems the core of the team will be the friends who have had Dick’s back for the entire run. The solution he comes up with in the last few pages is inspired, and it makes me wonder if Taylor’s plans for this story are far bigger than Nightwing. Stay tuned—this issue has done an amazing job of building the hype.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.