Blüdhaven’s Heart Beats For You: Reviewing ‘Nightwing’ #93

by Scott Redmond

Overview

The very heart of Blüdhaven is at stake as various forces continue their plots to save or control the embattled city, their paths still not ready to fully collide quite yet. Month in and month out this team and any guests continue to showcase why this book is one of the best around, hitting all the right notes to create a powerful and beautiful as well as heartfelt and realistic look at these characters and their universe.

Overall
9/10
9/10

The world is a big old ball of really crappy stuff that is overwhelming, and sometimes the collective we just need something sort of light-hearted or silly to give at least a bit of light in the day. Nightwing #93 in many ways helps fit right into that particular need.

I’m certainly not alone in noticing that there are far more major comics that are doing really really long slow builds. Heartless was introduced well over a year ago, 15 issues ago to be precise, and this issue picks up on the cliffhanger of him and Blockbuster facing off and finally gives us actual information about what this villain actually wants. A plan monologue that happens with Nightwing nowhere to be found and actually fully unaware that this villain is even still a thing after their brief encounter that would have been probably months ago at this point in the universe’s timeline.

Tom Taylor writes a lot of great character moments which can be seen here, especially between Dick and Babs and his interactions with others. Pairing his sensibilities with Bruno Redondo’s ability to take anything even the simplest of moments and make them gorgeous and spectacular is a winning combination. At the same time, I somewhat hope some of these simmering storylines start to wrap up. Especially since in so many cases the various villains from Heartless or Blockbuster or the cops and the great assassins have been so very ‘dumb’ in some senses and easily defeated in the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, stories, where the hero is able to metaphorically knock down the villains who were dumb enough to come to screw around in the place they vandalized without ever actually delivering a physical blow, are my jam. Heroes winning against these things that are mirror images of the same things we go through in real life can be cathartic at times. Yet, when the hero is just able to easily blow through all obstacles like they are nothing because all the villains are playing on easy mode it can be a bit underwhelming.

All the focus on relationships and the fun moments as well as the kickass action moments, I mean that whole motorcycle escape was just fantastic, help this series greatly. But it would be nice to have Dick face some more formidable challenges, that might make his fight to save Blüdhaven just a bit more complicated. We’ve seen shades of this such as the destruction of the building that he called home a few issues ago or the great events of the one continuous shot moments of Nightwing #87. What I’m saying is that overall, I’d like to see the hero struggle a bit more, giving the victories even more weight when they occur.

As mentioned above these issues just take on such a distinct amazing life when Redondo and Adriano Lucas are working together on the issues, making everything from character or quieter moments to action moments slick and colorful and epic. Redondo’s paneling is top tier as even the pages that employ the same panel style feel different, and so many pages are taken beyond the normal to really highlight the moment or action being taken. Wade Von Grawbadger steps in to ink the last few pages of the issue but did so in such a way that even looking back at them I really could not tell the difference because his work was so seamless.

I love how Lucas’s colors are bright but also muted and naturally vary by each panel which just feels real and gives distinct life or attention to moments. Just in the park scenes, there are bright greens and purples and highlights of red and even bright yellows all over the place. The continued aspect of having certain color filters for specific characters such as the green for anything that has to do with Oracle or the reddish-pink/purples hues that follow Heartless and Blockbuster respectively remain cool.

This book is at its best when this creative team is altogether as Taylor nails the character story elements, Redondo and Lucas give us such amazing visuals, and it’s all capped off with the great lettering work always brought by Wes Abbott. He gives all of the dialogue and captions such a weight to them, they make an even bigger impact than would come from their meaning. All of it exudes the personality and energy of the characters too while making sure volume and tone are quite clear based upon how the text is positioned or sized in the moment.

Also, as usual, the SFX is one of the best elements in this book as they are just so big and powerful and in the moment, attached right to the action they are meant to be coming from. Not only that but each SFX has its own personality as well, as each sound or aspect has its own place in the world and style to make it stand apart from each other. I love a good mix like here where there are panels full of SFX and then there are others that are devoid of them because the moment is being allowed to speak for itself.

Nightwing #93 is now available.

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