Nightwing 80: Into the Fire

Art by Bruno Redondo (DC Comics)

It goes without saying that the Nightwing creative team is publishing one of the best comic books right now. Today’s Nightwing issue is nothing short of a shot of serotonin for Nightwing fans. Not only is this week’s supporting cast used to the best of their ability, but our titular character is once again the true example of what it means to be a hero. Once again, next to Superman, Dick Grayson is the one hero who is the most consistently the best example of how to be a hero.

Jumping straight into today’s issue, the story opens with Dick being accused of murder. Luckily, we all know he didn’t do it, and so does Barbara Gordon, his closest ally who also happens to have a law degree (so does Dick). After convincing the police officers that Dick is innocent, has an alibi, and that further questioning is a waste of time, Dick and Barbara get straight to work.

Speaking of allies, it’s about time another one of Dick’s closest allies helps out. Tim Drake, thought of by many as the best Robin, comes with a helping hand (and a new wallet for Dick). From this point on, it’s classic 90s nostalgia for everyone. Nightwing and Robin ride on top of a train, fight crime, and do some detective work. However, this shouldn’t dissuade readers from the ultimate cliffhanger, as Dick finally comes face to face with Heartless.

Tom Taylor continues to outdo himself with every new issue of Nightwing. What makes his characterization of Dick Grayson so good is he clearly has seen and heard the concerns fans have had over the last decade. They’re tired of Dick being dumbed down, being reduced to his body, and just being one dimensional. His Nightwing is nothing of the sort. Dick is every bit as intelligent, serious, sincere, and calculated as he should be as a strong leader. Similarly, Taylor continues to showcase Barbara Gordon’s intelligence and vast capabilities, resources, and (despite the current state of affairs DC has put the character in) makes her the strong warm character fans know and love. Aside from the two main characters of the series, our guest star Tim Drake is written amazingly. When Tom Taylor isn’t killing off Tim Drake in Injustice and DCeased, he writes a very compelling case for why the character is the best Robin. Tim embodies everything Robin is meant to be, and Taylor evidently recognizes his worth beyond being a tech-savvy genius. Tim has as big of a heart as Dick does. And the two aren’t just brothers for a reason. Today, fans were able to experience some of the best interactions the characters have had in the last decade.

Additionally, both Bruno Redondo and Adriano Lucas continue to spoil fans with some absolutely amazing art. Redondo flexes his artistic skill throughout the issue, displaying his various styles of art. Whether he’s showing Dick and Barbara walk thorugh his apartment from an bird’s eye view, showing Dick and Tim fight crime across a beautiful textless spread, or providing emotional depth through the slightest of facial expressions, Redondo is doing some of the best work in his career. Similarly, Adriano Lucas continues to have the colors bring a layer of vibrancy and emotion to the pages. The orange hue Lucas uses adds a fire of life to the story. Together, the pair are creating artwork that deserves to be framed in an art gallery.

Moreover, Nightwing #80 is nothing short of amazing. From the beginning, it’s been evident how many layers this story was going to have. Between Heartless, Melinda Zucco, and Blockbuster all working against Dick Grayson and Nightwing, this Nightwing run is shaping up to be one of, if not the best, the character has ever had. This issue is another example of how much love Taylor and co. have for the entire Nightwing-world (maybe he deserves his own corner in the DC Universe beyond the Batman line, DC). This issue not only meets expectations, but goes so far above and beyond it makes fans wonder when the story gets nominated for an Eisner.

Writing Review: 5/5

Art Review: 5/5

Overall Review: 10/10

Published by Michael G

Michael is from Illinois and the founder of Comics Cave Reviews. When he isn't reading or writing comics, he's probably watching hockey or playing guitar.

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