Nightwing has been on a tear ever since Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo took over on the series — just look at the number of high scores we gave it! — and the issue out this week continues that trend. This week, the series ties into the Batman event Fear State with Robbi Rodriguez jumping on board on art. With Batman drowning in Gotham, he could use all the help he could get from Nightwing, but what is really going on when transmissions from Oracle don’t seem quite right?
This issue bounces around quite a bit, with scenes changing at a fast clip. It opens with Nightwing in Blüdhaven, but after receiving an encrypted message from Oracle he heads to Gotham to figure things out. Along the way, there are trips to familiar locations, a team-up you won’t want to miss, and a reminder that the police state continues to lock everything down in Gotham.
Taylor never forgets Nightwing’s roots, which can be seen in a key team-up with Batman. Not only does it tie well into Batman’s origin, it leads to a rather emotional moment that has Batman saying something that comes as a bit of a surprise. This is a Bat-family after all, and while Nightwing can take care of himself it’s nice to see they have each other’s backs. Oracle is included in that, and by the end, Taylor uses the character in a cool way that will have fans jumping for joy.
This issue uses captions to put you inside Nightwing’s head and his optimistic view on the world helps tint the interactions in a positive tone. That’s aided by bright color art by Adriano Lucas that suits the graphite style edge Rodriguez brings to the visuals. As a street-level fight comic, the art suits the gritty environments and fast-paced action. It’s also good for a great full-page splash, continued up-close shots of Nightwing’s batons, and some warm glow in the city. Heck, there’s even a spot-on comedic moment involving Nightwing’s new puppy.
The depiction of Batman, in particular, is quite good too, especially with his cape. Rodriguez draws the cape as if it’s part of Batman, and there are some great visuals to show how he manages to sprint with something that’d usually drag you down. The reveal of Batman is also fantastic depicting Batman like some kind of angel of death.
The art is fun and bright, which goes against the overtones of a police state and a steep hill to climb to find some justice in Blüdhaven and Gotham. Emotionally, the book is a bit light which is a surprise given the previous issues in the series. Instead, Taylor and Rodriguez focus on fight scenes and plot progression. By the end of the issue, a new mission is underway and the journey to get here is exciting, but it does feel less personal.
Nightwing #84 brings the heat in the form of cool action scenes, a team-up you won’t want to miss, and an edgy visual style. The Fear State element is just getting started and it’ll be incredible to see the next issue’s team-up.
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