What About Dick Grayson? (Nightwing #78 Review)
Nightwing #78 Review
Writer: Tom Taylor
Letterer: Wes Abbot
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Cover: Bruno Redondo
Variant Cover Artists: Skan
“Leaping into the Light Part 1”
The last year and a half have been quite the ride for Dick Grayson. Nightwing is back and is ready to clean up Bludhaven’s streets, or at least make sure that animals do not drive cars. Throughout it all, we get to experience Grayson’s thoughts the whole way.
The issue starts with a flashback on Dick’s part with some internal monologue that gives us yet more insight into the mind of Dick Grayson. We witness his life early on as a ward of Bruce Wayne and even some knowledge about his initial transition into his new life after the loss of his parents. We then jump to the here and now as Nightwing takes out some bullies who were preying on a defenseless pup. Upon returning home, Dick runs into an old friend who has some quite interesting news to share with him.
While Dick is reeling from this news, we are given insight into the city’s underworld and how things have been in Nightwing’s absence. With a display of power and a paradigm shift, we are set up for the apparent overarching storyline of this new run. Dick’s past just may be back to haunt him.
“Leaping into the Light Part 1” is a return to form for Nightwing. With a lack of unnecessary flash and a focus on what makes Dick Grayson who he is, readers are given a reason to support Nightwing again and a need for more. The story delves into multiple topics, including current social issues. We as readers get to see the corruption of government and it opens the discussion for the separation of wealth and morals. Every panel and every word seems just as important as the last, driving the narrative while simultaneously giving readers that feel-good moment of watching a hero do their work.
Taylor’s writing continues to impress with its handling of these issues as well as the depth and strength he gives to every character. Even the most minor pieces give off this strong sense of confidence that makes the interaction or statement stick out to the reader. Taylor brings emotion and thought provocation to every interaction within the story; this effect even being amplified as we read the inner thoughts of Grayson.
Not to be outdone, Taylor’s writing is beautifully supported by Redondo and Lucas. The art and coloring of this issue bring to life everything that Taylor writes. There’s a classic feeling to the art that does well in bringing life to not just the characters but Bludhaven itself. By using the flashback and giving a comparison point, Redondo and Lucas create a real impression that Bludhaven is its own place and not just a copy of Gotham. Warm colors and stark contrasts remove us from the cold streets of Gotham and to the turbulent streets of Bludhaven where corruption is palpable. Readers bear witness to the emotion on each character’s face in every scene with unerring accuracy as well as a tone set forth by the background of the panels.
Summary Nightwing #78 is a perfect return to basics for the character and truly masterful usage of yet another soft reboot event for the DC continuity. Dick Grayson returns in full form and the issue leaves the reader with a better understanding of the title character as well as a hunger for the next step in this story arc that has yet to unfold. With perfect storytelling and masterful artwork, Nightwing #78 is the fresh start Dick Grayson needed and is a true return to form for superhero comics as a whole.