Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Nightwing #83 Review


Grayson's Billions

Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 18, 2021

I was so pumped when I heard Tom Taylor was going to write my favorite character, Nightwing.  The book had been shit for far too long, and Taylor is one of my favorite writers.  After loving the first issue, though, I haven't been digging the series as much as I'd hoped as Taylor keeps playing it safe each issue with fan service moments that feel like they are there to hide the fact that not much story has been going on.  So, after finding out that Dick has a long-lost sister in Melinda (not a huge fan), what do we get this month?  Let's find out...

I'll tell you what we get, a damn good issue!  You don't know how happy it makes me be able to say that!  Enough of the gushing, though, and let's get into this.

The issue opens straight from the last issue's cliffhanger.  Blockbuster and the police are about to bust down Melinda's door, and Nightwing needs to disappear.  Before that, though, Melinda tells Dick that everything isn't as it seems, and while she could still be lying, it's played off that she is genuine.  With that, Tom Taylor shows he has a full grasp of his scenes and gives the reader a clever way for Melinda to escape the oncoming trouble right along with Dick.

Now, if you are new to Nightwing and aren't familiar with Blockbuster, Taylor will give you a crash (through the wall) course in how imposing and intimidating he can be.  I have mentioned in past reviews that Blockbuster being in this book hasn't wowed me.  Sure, he is one of the essential characters in Dick's rogue's gallery, but it just felt like that was the only reason for him being around.  Maybe it's because he was mainly playing out behind the scenes because seeing him fighting Dick again had me pumped!

Of course, Dick gets away, but not before almost dying, and that added on to the fact that he was already injured leaves us with an exhausted Dick, a worried Barbara, and a cool Tim Drake who takes care of Bludhaven while his bro sleeps it off.

Okay, up until now, this was a good issue, but when Dick wakes up and decides it's time to change Bludhaven, it gets way better!  I want to remind everyone that I have been against the overabundance of fan service in this book, but I have to clarify that quickly.  I am against surface-level fan service that doesn't expand or progress the story.  There was a nice moment last issue where many characters swoop into Bludhaven to save Dick before finding out it was a false alarm.  It showed that Dick is loved, but fans of Nightwing already know that, so it felt a bit shallow.  In this issue, Dick goes to many of those same characters for advice, and again, it shows that he is loved, but it also shows he loves them and, unlike Batman, will always lean on others for advice to get things right.  Tom Taylor nails what makes Dick Grayson so unique, and Bruno Redondo helps out by showing almost everyone greeting him with huge smiles on their faces!

The best moment of the issue, for me, was Dick Grayson's conversation with Superman.  While Dick got his name and inspiration from Superman, Taylor shows that he inspires Superman.  What better way to show Superman's love for Dick Grayson than to ask him to look after Jon?  I will admit that this part got me a bit misty-eyed.

We then find out why Dick was going around and what he was setting up, and it's pretty damn awesome.  I won't spoil it, but it ties up a dangling thread that a lot of people didn't like at all and made it into a tear-jerker of a tribute.  Throw in some Bat-Family messages and this is the issue I've been waiting for since Tom Taylor's first on the book.

We then end with a reminder that there is a pretty disgusting villain still hanging around, and after some intriguing trash talk, I am back on board with my favorite hero and writer!

I'm sure that you've guessed by now that I enjoyed this issue.  It's the shift from fan service for fan service sake to great moments that wrap up threads and push the book forward. Of course, sometimes there is a fine line between those two, but I find it easy to see the difference when it plays out like this.

Bits and Pieces:

Nightwing #83 is an excellent issue that has me back on board the Nightwing trolley where I belong.  Bruno Redondo's art is great as usual, but it was Tom Taylor's shift from trying to prove that Dick Grayson is a great guy to just showing me the character I have loved for that very reason.  I can't wait for the next issue!


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