The last few years have not been kind to Dick Grayson. The character has gone through a lot. But now with the whole Ric Grayson Saga behind him it is time for Dick Grayson to be Nightwing again and figure out his life in general. To help that happen Dick Grayson learned about what Alfred Pennyworth left him in his will: a fortune that made Dick Grayson a billionaire. What will Bludhaven’s resident hero do with his new fortune? Let’s find out with Nightwing #79.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Dick Grayson thinks back to how he has lived his life without a safety net thanks to knowing that his parents, Bruce Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, the Teen Titans, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, and Damian Wayne were there to catch him if he falls. He then thinks how everyone needs someone that makes them feel safe as he looks at Barbara Gordon petting his new puppy (named Haley, as voted by fans).
Dick eventually asks Barbara if she is hungry. She says she is so they go get a bite to eat.
At Marv & George’s 24 hour pizza place Dick at first orders two slices of pizza but Barbara reminds him he is a billionaire now so he orders four slices instead.
Dick and Barbara then go sit by a statue of a person fighting a kraken. After talking about everything that has happened to him Dick says he wants to do more for Bludhaven, especially now that Alfred left him such a fortune, as he always believed Bruce could’ve done more as Bruce Wayne.
A homeless guy named Martin and kid, Elliot approach Dick and Barbara asking for some spare change. This gives Dick the idea to buy them and others food.
Later, Dick is shown buying pizza at Marv & George for a crowd of people. As everyone is eating pizza Dick tells Martin that he is booking him and Elliot a room at a hotel that he’ll pay for them to stay for a whole month.
Dick then suddenly realizes that some kids stole his wallet. Barbara can’t help but text the Batman Family that this just happened much to Dick’s frustration.
Later that night, as Martin and Elliot walk to the hotel that Dick got them someone holds them up with a gun. Martin tells Elliot to run. As Elliot runs off the person from the shadow shoots his gun straight through Martin’s chest while saying he is taking Martin’s heart.
Back at Dick’s apartment Dick gets changed into his Nightwing costume. As he does that Barbara adds a new device she has been working on to Nightwing’s mask so they can stay in contact.
Nightwing then takes off with Barbara as Oracle giving him directions on where his wallet is through the new communicator she gave him. Nightwing notices that the directions lead him where Salvatore Maroni is meeting someone he does not recognizes (who turns out to Melinda Zucco, Tony Zucco’s daughter who was given the title of Mayor of Bludhaven by Blockbuster in Nightwing #78).
As Maroni talks to Melinda about how proud he is that she taken the job of mayor the kids that stole Dick’s wallet steal Maroni’s wallet that was on the table. Maroni’s guards see this and immediately chase the kids.
Nightwing sees this and quickly takes out Maroni’s guards before they kill the kids. Oracle tells Nightwing she is calling the cops so he can go after the kids.
Nightwing is able to tail the kids to a homeless town under the freeway. Nightwing is shocked to find it filled with kids. The kids wonder if Nightwing is the man without a heart and they ask him not to hurt them. Nightwing promises he would never hurt them and says they need the money more. Nightwing then takes off as he thinks about how Bludhaven has never failed to hurt him.
On the roof of his apartment Nightwing tells Oracle that he knows what he is going to do with the money Alfred left him. He reveals he is going to be a safety net for Bludhaven so he can catch who have fallen.
We then see the person who killed and stole Martin’s heart standing over Martin’s body. End of issue.
The Good: Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo aren’t looking to rush there run on Nightwing to get Dick Grayson straight into fighting one villain to the next. After everything the character has been through the last few years investing time into establishing who Dick Grayson is now and moving forward is the right move. That is exactly what we see happen in Nightwing #79.
The magic of Nightwing #79 is that while Taylor and Redondo take time in examining Dick Grayson’s character this issue never feels slow. Everything that is said and done by Dick, Barbara Gordon, and other characters has a sense of purpose. That purpose is all focused on moving the overall Nightwing series forward.
The opening with Dick thinking about how he has never needed a safety net because he has always had people there to help him was a great way to summarize who the character is. Its been said many times before that Dick Grayson is the hero with the most connections in the DC Universe. That isn’t just simply because he has been around for as long as Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent, and Diana Prince. Its because he has a natural charisma that allows him to become friends with just about anyone and get others to follow his lead. Redondo’s artwork in particular highlights this as we see Dick’s entire career in a beautiful double page spread.
In the process Taylor does a great job in establishing how Barbara Gordon is the person Dick trusts most. The trust isn’t just a superhero thing but they both feel they can openly talk about their lives with each other. That is something we see throughout this issue as Dick openly talks about criticisms he had about Bruce’s not always doing everything he can with Barbara. While we get these serious conversations Taylor also shows how they have a fun banter with each other as Barbara isn’t afraid to text the Batman Family about some kids stealing Dick’s wallet. It all fits in perfectly with the strong connection that Dick and Barbara have, and it is something that is shown to us throughout Nightwing #79 rather than told.
Through this extended conversation Taylor is able to get over how we do find Dick at a place in his life where he is not sure what to do next. He knows that he wants to continue helping others but isn’t sure how exactly to do that as both Dick Grayson and Nightwing. Establishing that narrative transitioned in well to how Dick discovered the major homeless crisis that Bludhaven has right now. In meeting Martin, Elliot, and the kids living in the homeless town we see how Dick realizes that to maximize the fortune Alfred left him that he has to help the people of Bludhaven. And that is not just simply as Nightwing but also Dick Grayson.
Which worked well into the narrative from the flashback to Dick’s childhood when Alfred mentioned that Dick Grayson is someone who doesn’t need a mask to step up to help others. Now with what he just saw as Nightwing in this issue Taylor establishes what the character’s goal is when he talked to Oracle about becoming Bludhaven’s safety net.
This new direction for Dick Grayson also made how we will likely see Nightwing clash with the Heartless villain that killed Martin and stole his heart. The children at the homeless town wondering if he was Heartless quickly added to how this villain has already become a legend with the kids in Bludhaven. Given how they killed Martin it would not be surprising if Heartless was part of the cause of how extensive the homeless crisis is in Bludhaven.
While they weren’t a big part of Nightwing #79 Taylor does make sure to remind us that there is also a gang problem in Bludhaven. In the last issue it was re-established that Blockbuster is running things thanks to the power he has in the underground world that extends to the Bludhaven government. Now with Nightwing #79 we know that Melinda Zucco, Tony Zucco’s daughter, also has some connection to Salvatore Maroni. Brining in these various crime families in the form of Blockbuster, Zucco, and Maroni helps set-up some long-term plot threads for the series to deal with in the future.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: In just two issue Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have made Nightwing one of the must have comic books that DC Comics is currently publishing. Nightwing #79 solidifies the direction that Dick Grayson will be taking to help protect and save the people of Bludhaven. If you are a fan of superhero comics you should not miss out on reading this series. Taylor and Redondo are creating something special with their run on Nightwing.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.