When the second preview for Nightwing 79 broke out, some fans were very vocal about the idea of Dick Grayson criticizing Bruce Wayne. However, when the full issue became available, it became evident to many how much of an inconsequential comment that was. Regardless of how Dick Grayson views how Bruce spends his time and resources, this story isn’t about Bruce. It’s about Dick Grayson, not his sidekick Batman(joke). When Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo finalized their work for Nightwing 79, they published an issue that properly emulates the character of Dick Grayson.
The duo of Taylor and Redondo wasted no time when creating the framework for their Nightwing story. The pair are clearly in this for the long-haul and have set up the baseline for multiple stories to come. However, today’s story isn’t about Blockbuster pulling the strings, it doesn’t delve too much into what Melinda Zucco is planning, nor does it elaborate on what Heartless is up to (or who they are). What it does instead shows what Dick plans to do with the fortune Alfred left behind for him.
Like the summary for the issue says, Dick has a lot of questions and not a lot of answers from the world. So, being the community-loving person he is who constantly pours his all into the world he lives in, Dick decides to answer one question himself. Blüdhaven is a city filled with the disenfranchised. The law doesn’t mean anything there because the justice system is broken. It’s a city that needs saving. Dick decides to start saving the city one slice at a time. After encountering a homeless father, Martin, and his son, Dick decides to buy food for the community. well providing housing for the two. A nice easter egg, as the Pizza shop Dick buys pizza from is “Marv & George’s Pizza,” a nice nod to the co-creators of Nightwing.
Throughout the issue, there is a consistent theme of the importance of one’s heart. For years, DC has pushed that Dick Grayson is the “heart of DC,” a sentiment feared and not frequently handled well by most writers. Tom Taylor is not most writers. Dick Grayson has a huge heart, but that doesn’t make him a big softie who “leads with his heart and thinks later.” Rather, it means Dick likes to put himself where the problems are instead of in a mansion above. Dick’s constant want and aim to improve the community and people in it is seen from his non-violent actions more than his life as a hero. Taylor essentially reminds readers why Dick does things like buying pizza for a whole community instead of only punching bad guys.
The issue isn’t just about Dick’s heart. It’s about Blüdhaven and the people within it. Taylor utilized different angles of perception to showcase the many ways the city is broken. Unlike Gotham, a city filled with bats, Blüdhaven doesn’t have that. Nightwing was gone for quite a while, and in that time the injustice within the city broke its people. And that Nightwing is back, there are a lot of problems for him and Oracle to tackle.
Taylor’s writing is very compelling and detailed throughout the story. His storytelling excellently details the story without having any time to idly sit by. It’s another very fluid story that combines the emotions of Dick with the empathy the reader builds for the city of Blüdhaven. Wes Abbott’s letters are also not lost to the reader. What Abbott does so well is to properly emphasize the dialogue watthour having it take up the page and detract from the scenery. Along with the writing is the amazing combination of Redondo and Lucas’s excellent art. Bruno Redondo is one of the best artists at the time. Couple him with Adriano Lucas and readers get to enjoy some absolutely stellar art. The use of vibrant colors and attestation to detail brings the story to life. Everything is colorfully emotive in all the right ways. Overall, the entire creative team once again publishes a compelling story that leaves readers ready for more.
Moreover, Nightwing 79 is a phenomenal story that brings a lot of grounding to the story. It’s a strong issue that helps give legs to the story and provides some proper groundwork for the story. The story is a strong indication of what Tom Taylor intends to do with Nightwing in the city: provide a safety net.
Writing review: 5/5
Art review: 5/5
Overall review: 10/10