Welcome back. Today, Rek is going to be reviewing DC’s Nightwing issue #68, written by Dan Jurgens and art by Ronan Cliquet, Travis Moore, and Nick Filardi.
It has been so long since I’ve done a review, let alone a Nightwing review. I think it all came down to my apprehension to doing a review for the character’s solo book after my Ric Grayson rant. (Check it out here –> Ric Grayson Rant) However, I am back and there is a lot to discuss in this single issue. Forewarning: If you left at the Ric Grayson reveal, then this is the issue to jump back onto.
So, to get started, I just want to say that I will be doing a basic review with minor spoilers, so I suggest you read the issue first. However, if you are a little uneasy about returning to Nightwing, then hopefully my review might sway you over. There is a lot going on in this issue and I hope to explore what this story means for Nightwing’s character and I might be eating a few things that I stated at the start of the Ric Grayson change… (Maybe). Read on!
Firstly, I just want to thank Dan Jurgens for jumping on to Nightwing. Although I’ve often referred to him as Damage Control at DC right now, I do realize that he is a great writer and I really mean that. His dialogue among characters is very real and each line fulfills a purpose in this issue, especially near the end when Ric is talking to Bea about their future together. There is a lot of tension and stress, not only placed on Bea and Ric’s relationship, but also this “Ric Grayson” storyline. How can they move forward? Jurgens puts it best by saying ‘Why don’t we save all that weirdness and unpleasantness for tomorrow” which I think sidesteps the concern, but is a total Dick Grayson move. Not to mention setting up the scene on the bridge. The fight between Ric and Cobb was great and I’m happy to see the makeshift escrima sticks making a return since I missed them so much! Plus, that little freefall fight that the two characters commit reminds the reader and Ric of that feeling of falling which Nightwing is so alligned with. Honestly, there was a lot of nostalgia in this single issue that made me almost overwhelmed with joy. There are a lot of callback characters who pop up on the pages and reminiscent scenes from other Nightwing stories.
If you can’t tell already, this issue really brought me back into Nightwing!
Honestly, I was a bit worried at the start as to how they would handle Nightwing’s memories returning, but this issue sets it up expertly. It doesn’t feel like they are just retconning this “Ric Grayson” storyline, or that it is overruling Dick Grayson’s history, just using it to shape Dick’s ability to adapt to any situation he is placed in and taking it on as part of his history. Nightwing has always been an adaptive character who has aged on the page and in the DC Universe. To see a new chapter of his life pop up can be startling at first, but it is all in the hopes of showing off Dick’s persistent optimism and ability to overcome the challenges he faces. Now, I do believe that the “Ric Grayson” story is a bit odd since it removed so much of Dick’s personality and created a character who wasn’t the Nightwing I was used to. I think many fans can agree that Ric’s appearance has been a bit controversial in Nightwing’s comic history. Still, it forced readers to see that Nightwing is more than just a costume. Anyone can wear the Nightwing costume, but it takes Dick Grayson’s character to make the hero. (I hope that makes sense).
So, what does that mean. Well, for starters, I want to take back what I said in the rant since Dan Jurgens has officially proven me wrong. I might not be a fan of Ric Grayson, but I certainly enjoy how he has handled the story. Secondly, Dick Grayson is slowly regaining his memories and this is a great returning point for anyone who jumped ship. Lastly, I suggest skimming through the Ric Grayson storyline (at least the Jurgens parts) since it is all coming back together and you don’t want to miss the next issue!
Now, onto the art!
There is a visible shift in Ric Grayson’s character at the start of the issue that signifies pieces of Dick’s past are returning to him. Even without the dialogue, the art works wonders in portraying this shift to the reader. Ronan Cliquet and Travis Moore have been doing a phenomenal job in the recent Nightwing issues and it shows. I mean, check out this spread! There is so much nostalgia in these and I’m sure fans, like me, truly appreciate the details!
Or this one!
It is very well done and the cover by Filardi equally sets up the tone for the future of this series.
And now, it comes down to scoring… I’ve been waiting for this moment since the start because I’m not lying when I say that I loved this issue. Nightwing fans need to flock back together and read what is being put out right now!
(How well written is the story? Does it stand up to previous issues?)
(Does it tell the story? Does it work well with the character?)
(Does this story need to be told? Is it helping the Character?)
(Is the character represented well? Does the writer understand the character?)
Total: 17 / 20
Like I said, I really enjoyed reading this issue! I hope you all enjoyed my review and decide to get back into Nightwing. Until next time…