Nightwing #75 is the double-sized issue return of Dick Grayson. Dan Jurgens is the writer of the series. Travis Moore and Ronan Cliquet are the dual artistic team. Nick Filardi is the colorist and Andworld Design is the letterer. This series is published monthly by DC Comics. The creative team has brought Dick back to the fans, after ages under the amnesiac-plagued identity of Ric Grayson, but there are still some issues with Dick finding himself.
Yes, Dick got his memories back after being toyed with by the Joker and even got his Nightwing costume back in Batman #99. However, this issue begins by letting readers know that although Dick had taken back the mantle, he is not comfortable with being Nightwing. Enter the parade of guest stars attempting to convince our hero to keep wearing the black and blue tights.
It begins in a touching fashion with a visit from Donna Troy and Garth, two of Dick’s pals from the original Teen Titans. It cannot be expressed enough that the writing and artwork on display in this issue truly catapult the reader into a heartfelt scene. Having never been the biggest fan of the Titans, this scene alone made me want to read their back issues, as Jurgens and company truly highlighted what made them fun, and the biggest role Dick played in solidifying that team. But alas, Dick isn’t feeling it. Something in him is just as missing as his memories are regained.
What follows is a double-sized buffet of character interactions between Dick in his Ric Grayson costume (NOTE: perilously too close to Nightwing to ever have taken seriously) and his closest heroic comrades. Each and everyone tries to convince Dick to be Nightwing, all the while battling leftover wannabe bad clown foes from Joker War. Storywise, it’s pretty run of the mill. While it’s understandable why everyone in the Bat-family wants Dick to be exactly the man they remember, fighting by their side, it’s at once relatable and also irritating. Its relation comes in the awareness that these heroes are human beings, imperfect, used to live moving in certain patterns.
Dick being shot by the KGBeast cut into that pattern, and now it has come back to them, so they would naturally want to get things as close to normal as humans (who dress in costumes and put others in the hospital) can manage. But the aggravation comes in everyone, save for the Titans who were a bit more empathetic, wanting Dick to be Nightwing simply because…well, he is. They do this despite his protests that he has yet to feel completely himself, and needs more time to search things out. But his own family refuses to allow him that. Meanwhile, in Russia, a much-maligned KGBeast is ridiculed for having shot, but not killed, Nightwing. Needless to say, he does not take well to such chidings and determines to correct his mistake. Things are about to come full circle.
The script by Jurgens is good overall. The Bat-family’s reactions are cold, rude, but also strangely fitting for the cast from Gotham, who dwell in dark alleys and are not the most uplifting bunch in comics. Dick’s personal journey in Nightwing #75 to get out of his own head is moving in steps rather than the leap fans might want after the long Ric story arc. However, it feels right. Trauma such as memory repression and brain damage should never be whisked away in a single issue, and as of now, Dick Grayson has lived three lives, four when you count he was a spy the previous time DC tried to off him. Jurgens really knows this cast, from Gotham to Bludhaven, and his smooth, yet stressful for Dick, transition back to the character fans love and missed is well-timed.
Speaking of well, Moore, Cliquet, Filardi, and Andworld Design collaborated to make this issue absolutely beautiful. Characters are expertly rendered, very emotive and the hues and shades on their skin tones and clothing are detailed and brilliant. The Titans and Dick all appear very youthful and that scene of panels with them is a highlight. From start to finish they impress and make Nightwing a visual feast.
While there is one more con with this issue, later on, Nightwing #75 is an impressive return of the title character to his old self. It has been a long wait. Now that DC has Dick back on track, let’s hope he gets his full adventuring life in Bludhaven. This is the city fans have clamored to come back, one made for Dick Grayson. But with all of the detours to the many Batman crossovers, and attempts to get rid of this beloved character, it feels like Bludhaven and, by extension, Nightwing, never really get to stand on their own.
There is a broad swath of Bat titles. Gotham is covered. In ten years’ time, let’s add some good quality titles to the Nightwing Family and let this blossom. I’m looking forward to seeing how this title moves forward.
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While there is one more con with this issue, later on, Nightwing #75 is an impressive return of the title character to his old self. It has been a long wait. Now that DC has Dick back on track, let’s hope he gets his full adventuring life in Bludhaven. This is the city fans have clamored to come back, one made for Dick Grayson. But with all of the detours to the many Batman crossovers, and attempts to get rid of this beloved character, it feels like Bludhaven and, by extension, Nightwing, never really get to stand on their own. There is a broad swath of Bat titles. Gotham is covered. In ten years’ time, let’s add some good quality titles to the Nightwing Family and let this blossom.