Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Color Artist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Review by Steve J. Ray
I’ve been hyped about Nightwing #87 since writer, Tom Taylor, and artist, Bruno Redondo, started teasing it on social media back in September. Bruno has been working on this issue for months because, as you will find out when you read the issue, this comic is a little bit special. No… scrap that. This issue is INCREDIBLE. We’ve seen multi-page spreads before, but this is the first time (to my knowledge) that we’ve ever had a complete 20 page issue that’s made up of one massive image, with the characters moving across it. The final result is simply astonishing!
A Comic That Soars Above The Rest
The only word I can use to sum up this issue is, “WOW!” Every page is a delight to look at, study, absorb, and read. We get subtle jokes, creator cameos, Scooby-Doo’s ride, witty dialogue, and incredible action. Of course, this is by and large one giant action sequence, so don’t expect deep philosophy or a psychological study of the complexities of the human condition. No. Expect pure, white knuckle, laugh-out-loud entertainment.
One (unjust) criticism I often hear leveled at DC Comics is that they’re too dark, or too gritty. This series has been one of the most joyous and fun books on the shelves for years, and arguably never more so than since this wonderful creative team took over. The writing is perfect, the art is sublime, Adriano Lucas’ colors are some of the finest you will ever see (look at the panoramas, lights, reflections, and tones in this issue alone!) and Wes Abbott has never worked harder than he has on Nightwing #87. Getting letters to flow with the images has got to be difficult at the best of times, but when the images are part of one, huge, sprawling, highly kinetic collage of awesomeness, the job must be harder still.
In short, I bow my head with love and respect to every single member of this creative team. Jessica Berbey, Ben Abernathy, and Jessica Chen; I’m so jealous… but I don’t envy you. I know that editors have a really tough job sometimes, but when you get results like this, the rewards are worth the struggle, I’m sure.
Nightwing has always been one of my favorite series, and I’ve collected every issue since volume one (way back in 1995). Dick Grayson is a character that has always attracted the best writers and artists, probably because he could actually be the true center of the DC Universe. This series has always been good, frequently been great, and sometimes downright essential reading. The run which began with issue #78 falls firmly and lands in a superheroic pose at the very top of the latter category.
If you haven’t been reading this title, run (don’t walk) to your nearest bookseller/comic shop, or whiz over to your favorite online retailer and order Nightwing: Leaping Into The Light, which collects issues #78-83 of this stellar run. You won’t be sorry. While you’re there pick up several copies of this issue because you’ll be looking at them so much that you’ll definitely need spares.
If only all comics were this good.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment