Nightwing #92 by DC rings in ‘The Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart.’ Tom Taylor lays out the story as the series writer, with Bruno Redondo on pencils, Adriano Lucas on colors, and Wes Abbott on letters. Dick Grayson has been the target of several assassination attempts paid for by Blockbuster. All of them have failed, which means Grayson’s plans to make the Haven a better place for all are coming closer to reality, while Blockbuster’s hatred reaches a fever pitch. Bring it.
First, a flashback to the good old days of Gotham when Grayson was the first Robin. I can never get enough Robin stories, and this one amps up what we’ve seen before. Grayson is and has always been a hero for the people, and he will risk his life without question for another’s safety. The start to this issue was not only written very well, but it informed the scene in the present because it shows us that, although that perseverance hasn’t left Grayson, he has also found better ways to put it to use.
While there are a few great nods to Alfred this time out, and the story progresses into Bludhaven’s villains and supporting cast, this is a Grayson story. Seeing his growth, fighting for his city on more levels than mere fisticuffs, and his relationship with Barbara is all a level of maturity more superhero books need. I’ve always felt Bruce Wayne should move away from being Batman and that Grayson is the better Batman. This issue, heck, this whole series, to be fair, proves it.
Gotham and Bludhaven need a lot more TLC than tied-up perps with bloodied faces. They need long-term, substantial care on multiple levels, a degree of therapy, morals, empathy, equalization, and genuine philanthropy to solve generations of madness and depravity. I think the best comics imitate life. Batman books are redundant in the extreme. However, if they do anything right, it portrays the inanities of modern urban existence, especially in the Northeastern part of America. Blight. The unhoused. Violence. Organized crime. Sometimes writers put silly masks on the baddies, but the city drama is close to home. We could go on talking about rich white men, but Grayson is now a rich white guy throwing his inheritance into making a better world. He’s a role model. For street kids, geeks, the disenfranchised, immigrants, and the wealthy (in how to practice real giving).
Nightwing #92 delivers no shortcomings. Pacing, characterization, mood, development, and the interaction of all the characters are delivered in perfect pitch. There are lovely moments of levity, action, intrigue, and drama. Hopefully, DC leaves this book out of future Gotham crossovers so that it can continue to flourish. Other than that worry, zero complaints. Speaking of zero…
Art! Redondo’s art style is an exercise in precision maintenance and a craftsman’s wisdom in knowing the exact amount of lines o lay down in any given panel. Though I swear he managed to make the flashback look different than the present-day panels, I don’t know how he did it. Visually, it’s there. It might be heavier inks, the subtle shift in Lucas’ amazing color scheme, and love of light blue. I can’t put my finger on it, but I love the slightness of it. Just noticeable while not being jarring. Lucas and Abbott follow in step with the same attentive professionalism in the bright color schemes and regimented words that have made Nightwing a top-tier book to look at as well as read.
Get this for the incredible story of a man and of a hero. Get this for the art, the colors, the wording. Get this for the best Batman book on the market. Get this so that it encourages more positive story changes in other series. Either way. Get. This. Issue.
Nightwing #92 is available wherever comic books are sold.
Nightwing #92 delivers no shortcomings. Pacing, characterization, mood, development, and the interaction of all the characters are delivered in perfect pitch. There are lovely moments of levity, action, intrigue, and drama. Hopefully, DC leaves this book out of future Gotham crossovers so that it can continue to flourish.