REVIEW: ‘Nightwing,’ Issue #96

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nightwing #96

Nightwing #96 from DC Comics brings ‘The Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart’ to a successful conclusion. Tom Taylor pens this issue with Bruno Redondo on art and Caio Filipe on inks. Adriano Lucas stays on colors with Wes Abbott on letters. Back in issue #95, Nightwing was under Blockbuster’s foot, literally, and unmasked. Bludhaven was on fire after all Hell broke loose. Nowhere else to go but up from here.

So Blockbuster knows. As Batgirl comms Nightwing about the fires, she finds the hero is busy. Blockbuster is with him in the burning building, knowing that he and Dick Grayson are one and the same. It just gives him one kill to remove two enemies. Too bad Nightwing is just as angry, just as tired, just as mean at this moment. He takes it to the villain, and honestly, that was my favorite part of the issue. Yeah, the dialogue was great, but the fact that Nightwing tells Blockbuster he’s sick of him and then proceeds to go on the offensive was pure joy. Yes, get rid of him, beat him down.

Nightwing #96 offers a lot more, as it rolls on, that brought me continued joy and amusement. The story twisted from what I expected and ended with a surprise. There was a lot of dialogue placed into what is essentially a final conflict issue, but not a single word balloon felt forced. Taylor drops a wealth of great lines and information from heroes and villains as the Blockbuster/Nightwing battle rages upstairs. Since the story began, Nightwing has been tested in more ways than one, but the best part of the entire storyline had to be the teamwork, from superhero guest stars to the real and political assists that brought us to this point. I did not expect the resolutions Taylor produced, and I love how he ended this story.

Taylor has stewarded this series with love and a healthy dose of awareness for what the old 90s Nightwing series was about. It would have been easy in this age of nostalgia to have the feud between the two characters go exactly the same way. But Taylor is smarter than that. While some of the same notes prevail (destroying Dick’s home, big violent end clash), the notes that were missing back then are apparent now. Barbara Gordon/Batgirl’s prominence is golden. An ensemble cast, even though most are temporary, makes more sense considering the entrenchment of the threat. This gives ‘The Battle For Bludhaven’s Heart’ a sense of completion in terms of Nightwing lore and definitely a feeling of forward progression. And the artwork reads just as whole, clean, and complete as the words.

Redondo’s perfect line artwork and Filipe’s cephalopod ink sprays go together like wine and cheese and give Nightwing a modern, classy look that knows when to slather on the premium darkness. Lucas is hands down my favorite colorist who manages to make Budhaven look inviting despite its personal issues. And for all the dialogue, Abbott placed it with appreciated surgical precision.

Nightwing #96 is summer action movie greatness. I loved every panel, the twists and turns were sublime all the way to the final page, and there was enough humor squeezed between the broken glass and electric arcs to make things amusing. I’m hyped to see what comes next in Bludhaven, from rebuilding to what will befall Nightwing next. This was a phenomenal issue.

Nightwing #96 is available wherever comic books are sold.


Nightwing #96
5

TL;DR

Nightwing #96 is summer action movie greatness. I loved every panel, the twists and turns were sublime all the way to the final page, and there was enough humor squeezed between the broken glass and electric arcs to make things amusing. I’m hyped to see what comes next in Bludhaven, from rebuilding to what will befall Nightwing next. This was a phenomenal issue.

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