Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo continue to make Dick Grayson a rising star in the DC Universe. I’ve enjoyed Clark Kent and Dick Grayson’s relationship; their bond was a significant point of history in DC’s New 52 and Rebirth eras. Tom Taylor recognizes that, and did some setup to plant the seeds for this two-part story back in issue #83 of this series. We see the next step and switching of mentor roles here in the crossover between Nightwing and Superman: Son of Kal-El.
SPOILERS AHEAD for Nightwing #89!
This issue does a great job with history as we get a flashback to a younger Jon Kent going on his first night flight. We get Batman and Nightwing on the hunt for the missing son, and they are in their New 52 styled costumes — it’s great to see that the history of that era is working its way into the overall character history. What is perfect about this scene is how Dick Grayson responds to Jon’s fear by offering him a lollipop and then distracting him with some juggling; a nice callback to Tom Taylor and Dick Grayson’s circus days. Taylor and Redondo do a fantastic job showing a worried father in Clark Kent and again use the hero search and rescue dispatch when one of their own is in trouble.
Tom Taylor plays perfectly by showing us that Jon is stepping into his father’s shoes as a hero and is bringing new dynamics to what it means to be Superman. I also love that Kelex is back and having an active role in the Super Family. Taylor does a great job with Kelex’s voice, and Bruno Redondo creates a fun action scene for Kelex since he does surprise our heroes.
Once we finally get to a reason for Dick to meet up with Jon in modern times, the story starts to move, and it moves to hero hunting. Not sure what those kill lists look like over at DC Comics, but the hero we see hunted and terminated has just had horrible luck in comics. The action for the scene is fun and plays to the crime scene that Nightwing and Superman get to investigate; I love how Dick is guiding Jon along with his questions to help sharpen his skills and powers.
Once the pair invest time in this case, they discover quite a few heroes are in danger, leading to a villain that could give this World’s Finest a run for their money. Tom Taylor does a great job bringing together elements from both books, Nightwing and Superman: Son of Kal-El, and doesn’t overwhelm you. Instead, he sparks your interest to learn more about both worlds and what is happening in them. As always, Bruno Redondo does a fantastic job with action, character interactions, and atmosphere. I feel that is one of the major selling points of this comic series; the atmosphere is perfect for the eye since there is so much…I mean, spend some time enjoying Dick and Babs’ pajamas.
With the upcoming Dark Crisis, this story should do a good job building a bond between Dick and Jon and help to establish them as trusted leaders in the DC Universe. This story will continue in Superman: Son of Kal-El #9 out March 8th. To help with the wait for part two, I can recommend some back issues that have some fun moments between Dick and Clark: Legends of the DC Universe #6, Nightwing Vol. 2 #102, Grayson Annual #2, and Nightwing (Vol, 4) #9.
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