The current Nightwing series has hit a major milestone with its 100th issue. That milestone would be enough to make this a big issue but it is not the only reason. Why? Well, Nightwing #100 also is one of the comic books that takes place post-Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. Along with Action Comics #1051 later this month DC Comics has promoted Nightwing #100 as a comic book that helps lay the foundation for the new DC Universe status quo. Now let’s get into what Nightwing #100 is all about.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Bruno Redondo, Scott McDaniel, Rick Leonardi, Eddy Barrows, Javier Fernandez, and Mikel Janin
Inkers: Karl Story, Eber Ferreira, Caio Filip, Joe Prado, and Rick LEonardi
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Wes Abbott
As Heartless breaks in and recruits prisoners at Rosebud Processing Center Nightwing rushes to respond to the prison riot while Oracle calls for additional backup.
Nightwing is able to convince those convicted of petty crimes to stop following Heartless and help people in danger.
Cyborg, Flash (Wally West), Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy, and Raven teleport in to help Nightwing take on Elephant Man, KGBeast, and Heartless’ gang rampaging across the city.
As all that is going on Heartless convinces Tony Zucco to work with him on a plot to take down Dick Grayson.
After saving the day Superman and Wonder Woman ask Nightwing to meet them over at the ruins of the Hall of Justice. There Superman and Wonder Woman ask Nightwing to lead the heroes in protecting the world as they are still figuring out what form the Justice League will return as.
Dick Grayson goes to Bruce Wayne to ask his advice on the matter. As they stand in front of Alfred Pennyworth’s grave both Dick and Bruce open up about their differences and how Alfred helped keep up their line of communication.
After Bruce apologizes for always pushing him away and admits he is proud of him Dick hugs Bruce. Dick says that he will still need Bruce’s guidance while leading the other heroes then ends with another hug and says “I Love You, Dad.”
A few days later after talking with his sister, Mayor Melinda Grayson-Lin, about the Alfred Pennyworth Foundation buying the land where the Rosebud Processing Center was located Dick works with Barbara Gordon on the next part of his plan.
A month later Nightwing holds a press conference where he announces the Titans (Cyborg, Flash Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy, and Raven) will now be located in Bludhaven with a new Titans Tower finishing construction where the Rosebud Processing Center was once located. End of issue.
Nightwing #100 accomplishes multiple things all at once. Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo are able to address the ongoing developments with Bludhaven’s status quo post-Blockbuster’s death. Then there is Nightwing’s growing role in the greater DC Universe post-Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths address. In the process we learn more about the direction of a DCU without a Justice League will be as the Titans are positioned stronger than ever before. All of that with Scott McDaniel, Rick Leonardi, Eddy Barrows, Javier Fernandez, and Mikel Janin joining Taylor and Redondo to celebrate the Nightwing #100 milestone.
What makes Nightwing #100 work best is that it does not lose track of the direction the series has been on. That could’ve been an easy route to go given how, as with other big events, Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths could’ve been used to give everything a fresh start. There is definitely a feeling that we are going in a new direction that has elements of a fresh start. But it is a fresh start built on the work done by Taylor and Redondo during their Nightwing run that is being enhanced by what Dick Grayson did in leading the heroes during Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths.
Bringing all that together made Nightwing #100 a different type of celebration issue. Because there is very much a sense of how Dick Grayson is using everything he has been through to push forward. And in pushing forward he is also looking to make things better, as he has since returning to Bludhaven and starting the Alfred Pennyworth Foundation. This all leads to a milestone issue that taps into Dick Grayson’s place as the start of legacy characters.
All of that makes how artists Scott McDaniel, Rick Leonardi, Eddy Barrows, Javier Fernandez, and Mikel Janin join Taylor and Redondo in celebrating Nightwing #100 unique. Rather than having all these artists that have had memorable runs on Nightwing do backup stories they are brought in to enhance the spotlight on how far Dick Grayson has come. It was particularly great that Scott McDaniel worked with Redondo to tell a lot of the Bludhaven story. McDaniel is the artist that established the world that is Bludhaven and it was cool to see him work with Redondo to tell this story.
Heartless being the key instigator in everything was a good way to establish how this new direction for Nightwing will be built on everything in Taylor’s run. Without Blockbuster we’ve seen Heartless maneuver his way into filling that power vacuum. Having Heartless tap into a major symbol of Bludhaven’s corrupt foundation in Rosebud Processing Center worked to show there is still a lot of work for both Dick Grayson and Melinda Grayson-Lin still to be done.
Even though Heartless plot was foiled by Nightwing and the Titans we see that he has even bigger plans in mind. Showing that this was all a distraction to obtain a major puzzle piece in his plan with the recruitment of Tony Zucco to his side does further elevate Heartless as a major threat. Because Heartless aim won’t just be taking down the heroes but also going after Dick Grayson directly. Bringing in Tony Zucco sets up a bigger personal story that both Dick and Melinda will have to deal with as a family and leaders in Bludhaven.
Spotlighting how part of the previous regime’s corruption was using the system to keep the underprivileged down and in a cycle where they can’t leave a place like Rosebud Processing Center a stronger case for what Dick Grayson decides to do next. We’ve seen how while he was able to take down Bludhaven he didn’t do it alone. And with villains like Heartless looking to take advantage of what Blockbuster left behind.
All of this helps to further elevate what the Titans will now be representing in the DC Universe. We already have what Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman ask Nightwing to do in filling the hole left by the Justice League which makes the Titans an even more important team. Having Titans Tower now be located in a place that was previously used by villains to create negativity around Bludhaven gives the base much more meaning. This pushes the idea of how the Titans will be representing hope as now they are also closely located to Gotham City.
Nightwing’s meeting with Superman and Wonder Woman does a lot to set up what we will see in the current DC Universe. We get the confirmation that the Justice League will be on hiatus for now. The way both Superman and Wonder Woman talk it’s clear that the DCU focus at least in the immediate future will be to rebuild more of the individual heroes and how they work together. Choosing Nightwing does indicate whatever form the Justice League will return as is likely to be built of representing the legacy of the DCU, possibly coming back as something similar to Justice League Unlimited.
With this request, there is no better place for Nightwing to turn to kick it all off than bringing in his best friends to help. Cyborg, Wally West’s Flash, Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy, and Raven are all the heroes that Dick Grayson trusts the most. It is a strong starting point for fulfilling the role Superman and Wonder Woman asked him to fill and elevate the Titans to be important to the new DCU status quo. This is also a nice reset for the Titans as well as they can start off focusing on the core team to have a strong foundation before bringing in other heroes to be part of the team or continue training new metahumans to become heroes.
The conversation between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne was also something that was a long time coming. We haven’t seen them have this type of long, personal talk for a while since they both have been busy with being involved in one event after another. Having Dick and Bruce both remove their mask and cowl, respectively, was a nice touch to make this discussion much more open and personal. It all further emphasizes how important they are in each other’s life. Also without Alfred around we see that Bruce is opening himself up to being more of a father figure rather than always being distant since he had the safety net of Alfred watching out for the entire Batman Family.
This conversation also does a good job of subtly working within Chip Zdarsky’s Batman. The way they talked this does place Nightwing #100 before the events of Failsafe. With that, it gives more insight into what Dick said when talking with Tim Drake after Bruce’s disappearance. While he believes Bruce is alive, he isn’t as concerned about him as Tim. This conversation with Bruce, along with the one had with Superman and Wonder Woman, shows why in a world without Batman that Dick would focus on stepping up more to ensure Gotham City is protected and fill other roles Batman has.
Nightwing #100 is an excellent celebration issue. Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo make great use of all the developments in their run to enhance Nightwing’s status quo in the post-Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths DC Universe. Scott McDaniel, Rick Leonardi, Eddy Barrows, Javier Fernandez, and Mikel Janin all also provided artwork for Nightwing #100 making this an even more special celebration comic book.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10