Review: Nightwing: Leaping into the Light

 Leaping back into greatness.

Written by Tom Taylor Pencils Bruno Redondo Inks Bruno Redondo Colored by Adriano Lucas.

Dick Grayson AKA Nightwing, the first Robin, has been through a bit of a rough patch in the comics lately. After getting shot in the head during Tom King's controversial Batman run in 2018 he became an amnesiac. He was no longer Nightwing, he wasn't even 'Dick Grayson' anymore. He was 'Ric', a cab driver with a cynical outlook on life. It wasn't one of DC editorials best ideas. Thankfully the amnesia storyline is now over. But is it worth a read? It most certainly is!

 Let's dive in.

After regaining his memories, his identity and the mantle of Nightwing Dick Grayson is back jumping of rooftops in Blüdhaven as its guardian angel. One night, after saving a 3 legged puppy from a group of abusers, Dick gets a visit from Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl and currently Oracle. She's the executioner of Alfred's will and informs him that Alfred has left him quite a fortune. While contemplating what to do with his newfound wealth, Dick is thrown in front of multiple fires. Both figuratively and literally. He's accused of the murder of a homeless man he helped earlier and the city's new mayor, put in power by the criminal underworld, is seemingly cooking up something sinister for Dick as well.

Let´s not beat around the bush. Nightwing: Leaping into the Light are some very good comics. It's a book worth your consideration. If not for the excellent characterization of its titular star then just because it's a well-written story.

The story puts its focus on Dick´s character and the city of Blüdhaven. Unlike some other books with a similar combination, the story never feels heavy-handed, dark or forced. The struggle Dick is faced within this story is nothing new, can I do more as Dick or Nightwing?´, but Dick's journey to the answer is handled very well. Is interesting and his struggle feels real without losing the more optimistic and hopeful tone that fits the character so well.

A very well drawn piece of art from the story that shows Dick´s evolution from Robin to Nightwing.

Blüdhaven, Gotham's sister city, has never been as well-known or popular as Gotham. Doesn't have that same level of identity. This story does a good job establishing that identity which helps broaden Dick's world and help him stand on his own. There are still many connections with the Bat-Family but Dick remains the star, his own man, throughout. Barbara is here, Tim Drake shows up and there is a very funny gag about the Bat-Family group chat that Batman fans will very much enjoy.

There is one element of the story I'm not that keen on. Without spoiling anything, Taylor retcons part of Dick's backstory. Specifically, the events that surround the death of his parents at the hands of Gotham mob boss Tony Zucco. I have some reservations in regards to this retcon as retcons of this type don't really have a good track record in the medium. When was the last time a secret twin did result in a stellar story and character, for example? I fear a little that the same will happen here. To Taylor credit though, it's still early days for this retcon. He can still make it work and the way he introduces it here is, at the very least, much more graceful and respectful to the Nightwing mythos.

The art fits the tone of the book very well. It´s got bright colouring that really gets the lighting of the different times of days just right. The facial expressions are very well done and it has a lot of fun little moments and nice attention to detail. I do have to say that I feel that the art, at times, is used to stretch the length of the issues. Seeing how, for example, the buttons can merge into staff is neat if not superfluous.

Conclusion

Nightwing: Leaping into the Light is a good read. If you're a fan of the character you will most certainly enjoy the return of Dick Grayson, quips and all. If you're a Batman fan then this book is this story will have enough Bat-Family related shenanigans to invest you alongside a good showcase for Nightwing himself. Either way, you get a well written story with some very nice art.

Comments