Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Nightwing 2021 Annual #1 Review


Crowbars and Flashbacks

Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Daniel HDR, Cian Tormey
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: November 30, 2021

I usually don't get too excited about Annuals, but with Nightwing stuck in Fear State for the past couple of months, I am chomping get at the bit to get a Tom Taylor story all his own.  Throw Jason Todd and the Discoqing suit into the mix and try to keep me away!  Fanboying aside, is this Annual any good?  Let's find out...

The issue begins with trouble in Gotham City.  Oracle is showing Dick Grayson footage that shows Jason Todd is back to his old ways, and while I thought this might be a crazy backdoor way to explain further how Jason Todd ended up on Task Force X, Dick and Barbara don't (want to) believe that this is Jason.

That leads to a nice flashback that gets very close to one of my favorite issues of all time, Detective Comics #416, and if you're going to grab some feels from something, do it from the best!

I love anytime I get to see Dick and Jason together since the opportunities are few and far between and while you could argue this is more of a Jason Todd story, Tom Taylor does what he does best by showing that Dick is a great guy.  Plus, he's in the Discowing suit!!!

While the flashback is about the former Robin teaching his replacement what it takes to fill his shoes, the present story shows the trust and love of brothers who have been through the wringer together.  Tom Taylor does an excellent job of showing both characters' growth and that old habits are hard to break.  In the end, though, both are better together here, and I loved seeing it.

I also loved seeing detective work from the duo and a guest star I never expected to see.  It was a cool return for a character I love, and it fits the story as well.

I don't want to spoil too much, but Dick and Jason team up to take down the baddie (who may or may not be a friend of Tom Taylor) with some badass action and even a few chuckles along the way.  It's not the biggest thing that's ever happened to either of these two, but it is a perfect fit for an Annual, and I had a smile the whole time reading it.

Tom Taylor is the king of fan service, and this is the kind I love.  We get to see the early connection between Dick and Jason, which plays out in the present story in a nice way.  It all looked fantastic thanks to Cain Tormey and Daniel HDR's art.  Sometimes, in an issue like this, either the present or past scenes outshine the other, but they look equally great here.

Bits and Pieces:

If you are a Nightwing, Jason Todd, or just a comic book fan looking for a one-shot story that will make you smile, look no further!  This is fan service done right and was such a pleasure to read.


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