We are in a post-“Joker War” world, but Nightwing #75 takes us back a week before that story concluded, giving strong insights into how Dick Grayson is reacting to the changes that have hit him these past couple of “months”. In our time, of course, this all began back in Batman #55, where he was shot in the head by KGBeast back on September 19, 2018. This led to him becoming Ric Grayson in Nightwing #50, which was released on October 3, 2018.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Nightwing #75!
It has been quite the ride with Grayson having his own “identity crisis” and then finding out the Court of Owls were behind his memory shifts, allowing the Joker to finally gain control and have his own “Boy Wonder.” It’s all over now, but how does this trauma affect Dick Grayson?
Something that writer Dan Jurgens does amazingly well in this issue is remind us just how much of a friend Dick Grayson is. I’m sure the DC Comics hero community was stunned by what happened to Nightwing, and now that he has his memories back we are treated to some great reunions and extended conversations. Right off the bat we get to see Donna Troy and Garth welcoming their friend back, showing that Dick is feeling halfhearted about his situation. I also enjoy the narrative conversation that is happening in the background — I’m sure you can guess who it is, but we will get to that later.
I really enjoyed the extended moments that come from the Joker War where Dick has time with Barbara and Bruce. The conversations were great and I love that both of them want Dick to just go back to “normal” but they are forgetting that Ric was still Dick and that time means something to him, which I’m glad Jurgens uses as a story point. I know as a fan I echo Bruce and Barbara with wanting the status quo to return, but at the same time there was some character development that shouldn’t be ignored.
Speaking of relationships, Nightwing meets with the other Nightwings, but sadly that is a quick shutdown and a “live your life” moment for the team. Honestly, I hope those characters don’t get tossed away. They could be a great supporting cast in the Nightwing book.
The narration I talked about earlier turns out to be between Dick and Alfred, who Dick feels would have wanted him to ditch the heroics and live a life like Ric did. I’m glad that sadness is shown because Dick isn’t driven by vengeance like Bruce, so it is nice to see him wanting what he had and not feeling like he lost. This was a great moment and honestly the best farewell to Alfred that DC Comics has produced. We have seen far too much of Alfred as a memory or a haunting, which really doesn’t help the legacy he had, but here we get to reflect and see Dick’s true sorrow on the fact that the last time he talked with Alfred he treated him like a stranger. That hurts, and the moment is real, which was great because Alfred and Dick were the light in the Batcave for many years and many stories.
The cover does tease us with the KGBeast, so we’re sure to see some major revenge nicely motivated by the back story of how KGBeast was mocked for his actions leading to a frontal assault for Dick’s death at Bea’s bar, but sadly…to be continued.
Nightwing #75 is a good issue, worth a read to see the next leg of Dick’s journey. The heart is there, but it does feel a little lackluster at times. There are great character moments, but this issue is rather slow. Just when the pace picks up, we find out the wait will continue.
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