Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas
I have high expectations going into Nightwing #78. Dick’s one of my favorite characters, now with scripts by one of my favorite writers, and pencils by a collaborator with who he’s already established a rapport. With those expectations in mind, I was not disappointed.
I’m aware of the recent controversy involving Dick (or Ric, more specifically), but I’m actually completely ignorant of the content of those issues. I wasn’t reading Nightwing for a few years as I wasn’t into the pitch. Still, I have felt the absence of the character. As a result, this issue feels like a warm blanket, just allowing me to revel in having my character back. Tom Taylor’s Nightwing feels like a true representation of the character, and if nothing else, a glimpse into the new status quo.
I use the term “new” lightly, as it does feel very familiar. It feels very much like a back-to-basics kind of book, which could feel a bit like a tired pitch at this point, but it doesn’t matter when it’s crafted as well as this. It’s quite refreshing how Taylor and Redondo aren’t trying to impress you with their genius idea that will change everything, rather they’re just trying to tell a good superhero story. It’s a popular complaint that those kinds of stories have been done to death, but they’re such a rarity these days. Even more rare is that kind of story done so well. The dialogue is scarce but meaningful, the characters are well-defined, and the pace is quick and deliberate.
I did take a bit of an issue with Dick’s first hero moment. That being when he is seen saving a dog from a group of people who abuse it. It’s heroic, no doubt, but I can’t help but find it a bit unsubtle. These full-grown men are running around literally kicking puppies while laughing, and when confronted, they pull a gun and attempt to kill it. I get that Bludhaven’s portrayal is that of a city rotten to the core, much like Gotham only more sadistic, but the idea of that being interpreted as “the bad guys literally kick puppies for laughs” is a bit over the top. Even an issue of Batman featuring the Joker kicking puppies for giggles would still be a little much.
Bruno Redondo, who I’m not very familiar with, has drawn an amazing-looking comic. From the very first splash page of Nightwing leaping out into Bludhaven, I was in love. His style is so clean, and it delivers both wonderful character acting and fantastic action and storytelling. He’s kind of come out of nowhere for me, but I cannot wait to see what else he can do as the series progresses.
Nightwing #78 sets up an interesting status quo while also delivering fantastic character work and artistry. I have my nitpicks, but they are heavily overshadowed by the incredible craftsmanship that Taylor and Redondo display.
Nightwing #78 sets up an interesting status quo while also delivering fantastic character work and artistry. I have my nitpicks, but they are heavily overshadowed by the incredible craftmanship that Taylor and Redondo display.