Nightwing #114 Review

Nightwing #114 Review – “Fallen Grayson”

Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have had an epic creative run on Nightwing. They’ve taken Nightwing to a whole new level with the work they’ve done. That’s resulted in award-winning, critical, and commercial success Taylor, Redondo, and there other collaborators work. Now we know all good things eventually come to an end. That end is finally here as Taylor and Redondo will begin their final arc, “Fallen Grayson,” starting with Nightwing #114. Find out how this ending begins with our review.


Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Bruno Redondo

Colorist: Adriano Lucas

Letterer: Wes Abbott


“THE EISNER AWARD-WINNING TEAM OF TOM TAYLOR AND BRUNO REDONDO RETURNS! The Eisner Award-winning duo of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo reunite to tell Nightwing’s greatest story yet. The culmination of Heartless’s sabotage on Nightwing reaches its dramatic climax when Nightwing loses his ability to leap, impeding his duties to be the superhero we know and love.” – DC Comics


Nightwing #114 is the calm before the storm for what is to come for the “Fallen Grayson” story arc. For much of this opening chapter it felt like we were given the prelude for what is to come. A lot of that has to do with the structure of this story for the most part taking place in the “past.” That made for a slower issue than may be expected for the final story arc in Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s creative run.

The decision to have most of Nightwing #114 to take place in flashback form did speak to a big problem going into the “Fallen Grayson” arc. For as great as Taylor and Redondo’s run has been the one fault that can be levied against their direction is the lack of development around Heartless. After being presented as a big threat in his debut the moments that Heartless has had have been few and far in between. The most notable things he has done has being defeated and getting thrown out of a building by Blockbuster in Nightwing #93 and killing a bloodied and injured Blockbuster in Nightwing #96. So to say Heartless has been an underwhelming villain would be an understatement.

That’s where we see Taylor and Redondo work overtime with Heartless scenes in Nightwing #114. They needed to make sure that whenever Heartless was on screen they maximized that time. They did just that by treating this as a reintroduction of Heartless both in and out of costume. Both as Shelton Lyle and Heartless, the character was an unapologetic villain. That’s exactly what he needs to be to get over.

Nightwing #114
A young Dick Grayson remembers attempting to make the climb to his parents platform at Haly’s Circus in Nightwing #114. Credit: DC Comics

Quickly building up Heartless’ gang ranks was the thing that was most needed for the character. We’ve already seen Heartless defeated in a fight by Nightwing and Blockbuster. So we already know that he isn’t on Nightwing’s level as a fighter, even with all his body augmentation. Which is where building a cult-like gang around Heartless is the direction that he most needed. Utilizing the fear of death and even killing people in front of their children got over how Heartless built himself up.

All of that built into the Dick Grayson side of the story. The opening with Dick Grayson and Haley lost in a snowy mountains does establish how bad things are for the series lead. The flashback we get for the rest of the issue does give a good indication of how he got to the state he is in the present. Based on how things are going Heartless target will continue to be Dick Grayson rather than Nightwing.

This builds on how much work Taylor has put into making sure Dick Grayson’s accomplishments beyond what he does as Nightwing are as notable, if not more so. Which did make the swerve about someone utilizing Blockbuster’s name to try to ruin what Dick Grayson and Barabra Gordon have built through the Alfred Pennyworth foundation was interesting. This will be a big test for what has been the foundation of this entire run.

Wile all of that was effective storytelling we hopefully won’t spend much more than the next issue in this flashback setting. The more time we spend in the present with a broken and lost Dick Grayson the better this story will be. Hopefully the focus will shift to that and what Heartless is doing in the present in the next chapter of “Fallen Grayson.”


Nightwing #114 was pure set-up for what the “Fallen Grayson” will be about. This set-up was especially needed to establish Heartless as the endgame villain for Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s final story arc in their creative run. All of the developments did their job in getting over what this story will be about. Now hopefully the remaining chapters will focus on moving forward in the present rather than stuck in the past with more flashbacks.

Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

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