Nightwing hasn’t skipped a beat, but it’s also returning to regularly scheduled programming as Bruno Redondo is back and the main story kicks back in after a side adventure involving the Magistrate. How do Tom Taylor and Redondo mix things up after an ingenious first volume? By creating a comic that is one continuous drawing from cover to cover — and it’s glorious.
It’s a bold choice, and one that begs DC Comics to print these with one long gatefold. It’s not just a clever visual idea alone, but a progression of Nightwing inspiring a city. To catch readers up, Dick Grayson told the news he would be using his inheritance from Alfred to help the people of Blüdhaven. Nightwing #87 opens with Dick finding out there’s been a hit put out on him and it’s tied to that money. This sets in motion a daring chase to his apartment and from it through the city streets which allows Redondo to show us many colorful people throughout the city.
The chase is exciting, well-drawn, and very easy on the eyes. Redondo has Nightwing running on the city street, which takes place on the bottom of the page, running up fire escapes, swinging three stories up, and running on top of buildings at the top of the page. Basically told via multiple double-page splashes, you get a full picture of the city as Nightwing moves from left to right of the page.
There are multiple clever ideas at work to mix up the scenery and also keep Nightwing moving in new and inventive ways. In one moment, for example, Nightwing borrows a motorcycle and takes a left up the middle of the page and then towards the right again now on a bridge in the distance. It’s also worth noting Redondo’s main cover plays with the visual idea of Nightwing rushing down a single street, but in a completely different way. From cover to cover, this book is visually exciting.
The book captures the heart and soul of Blüdhaven well through the use of people minding their own business on the street, in their apartment, or around a fire by the river. There are tons of little details, giving readers a read on the citizens Nightwing hopes to help and save, and even how Nightwing is inspiring them. Two examples include Nightwing tags and little kids play-acting as Nightwing with his escrima sticks.
Taylor tugs at your heartstrings via Nightwing’s dog being kidnapped and the inclusion of Batgirl in Nightwing’s ear. That allows Nightwing to communicate with Barbara and as he lets her know what is going on as the story unfolds. Even though his dog being kidnapped may not be the highest stakes storytelling, Taylor makes it so by showing how emotional and worried Batgirl and Nightwing get in their chase to save her.
Nightwing #87 is an incredible visual feast that reminds us why comic books are one of the best storytelling formats. It stretches the imagination with clever use of every page, never skimps on details, and makes you care greatly as an innocent dog is snatched. This isn’t just a great comic, but a work of ingenuity and art that’ll stand the test of time.
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