Nightwing is without a doubt one of the most consistently great superhero comics hitting the stands today. Then Nightwing #87 delivers an entire continuous drawing from cover to cover and puts itself into the conversation for all-time great series. It returns this week with Nightwing #88 and without a doubt shows Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo are at the peak of their abilities.
If you thought Nightwing was a hero on his own think again. He’s got Batgirl on his side, along with his dog Bitewing, and many more. It’s a story that handles Dick’s ongoing death threats in a superhero way and reminds us one of Nightwing’s superpowers is his friends. There are some clever ideas at work here too, like Dick reflecting on how Nightwing is turning out to be his secret identity.
This issue opens with two pages that mirror each other. The first is Blockbuster, a ganglord who wants Nightwing dead. We get a profile shot of the building he’s in and some key shots of him preparing a hit on Nightwing. On the next page, we get to see Batgirl looking at her computer getting some intel with a similar profile shot of the building she’s in which is much smaller. In these two pages, we get two sides of the coin when it comes to Nightwing’s fate. Will he die at a charity event being funded by the money Alfred left him, or live to see the charity grow and flourish?
I can speak highly enough about the art by Redondo and colors by Adriano Lucas. This book is clean as can be, explores the space be it the layout of the page or the panel. It uses panel structures to show movement across an entire room or draws the eye from panel to panel in the perfect ways. The issue is gorgeous and is constantly playing around in exciting ways.
Colors by Lucas use a lot of cool tones, mostly blue, that allow the brightness to pop as it enters the issue. A “Bang!” uses a translucency that’s quite cool but with a yellow that sharply contrasts with the shadow on Batgirl. When heroes like Flash pop into the book, he’s practically burning your retinas with the super bright red of his suit. There’s a stark contrast reminding us Nightwing is trying to save real people while also living a superhero life.
The story in this issue is simple enough, focusing on a single press event and an attempted assassination. All told, the plot is light and yet the sheer number of visual ideas at work counter any boredom you might think you’ll feel. A panel of cartoon versions of Flash and Dick, for instance, or the way an assassin’s head cracks against a wall and that spills into a panel’s gutter, all add wildly fun elements you will love.
Nightwing #88 is a masterclass in visual ideas you won’t be able to look away from. It’s an action-packed superhero comic filled with intrigue and great character moments, in a realistic setting. Nightwing is a polished and exciting thriller that’s outstanding on almost every level.
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