Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have hit the ground running with their first story arc. Thus far we have been introduced to Blockbuster back in control Bludhaven, a new villain in Heartless rising up, and Dick Grayson finding out about his parents unknown past that included his dad having a secret daughter. And last we left Nightwing there was Blockbuster and Bludhaven police coming after him. How will Nightwing handle this situation he has found himself in? Let’s find out with Nightwing 83.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Story Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Bludhaven Commissioner Maclean orders Nightwing to come out of Melinda Zucco’s apartment. Blockbuster does not want to waste time and says he is going in.
In Melinda’s apartment Melinda reveals to Dick Grayson that she secretly brought down two crime bosses from the inside, something that isn’t in her FBI files. This convinces Dick enough to work with Melinda. Dick says that for now they will go along with Nightwing having broken into Mayor of Bludhaven’s apartment to get out of the current situation.
Blockbuster bust in to find Melinda and Audre tied up. Audre mentions that Nightwing left through the window.
On the rooftop a Bludhaven PD helicopter spots Nightwing. Blockbuster soon shows up. Oracle tells Nightwing he is in no shape to fight Blockbuster. Knowing this well Nightwing gets Blockbuster to rage out by calling him out on everything he knows about Blockbuster. Nightwing uses his agility to evade Blockbuster’s attacks.
Blockbuster then calls for the Bludhaven PD helicopter to start firing at Nightwing.
As gunfire reigns down on the rooftop Nightwing decides the best way out of this is to run right at the helicopter. Nightwing is able evade the gunfire long enough to get into the Bludhaven PD helicopter. He quickly subdues the cops in the helicopter and ties them up. He then uses the helicopter to escape from the area.
Later that night Nightwing makes it back to his apartment. As soon as he does he collapses on the floor right in front of Barbara Gordon and Robin (Tim Drake). Barbara and Robin get Dick to his bed. Just as he starts to talk to Barbara about having a sister Dick quickly falls a sleep.
Two days later Dick finally wakes up. Barbara informs him how long he has been out and how Tim has been patrolling Bludhaven during his recovery. Dick says he needs to get to work quickly by talking to people.
Over the next few days Dick meets with Leslie Thompkins, the Titans (Donna Troy, Cyborg, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Raven), and Lucius Fox to get their help in the plan to put his new billionaire status to use.
The last person Nightwing meets with is Superman in Metropolis. Superman wonders why Nightwing didn’t get Bruce Wayne to help him. Nightwing admits that Bruce would’ve likely talked him out of it and its easier to just text. Superman laughs at the truth of this.
Superman then gives his condolensces for Alfred Pennyworth’s death. Superman goes on to reveal he looked up to Alfred for having such love and generosity to help raise so many heroes. Superman then asks about Nightwing’s plans.
A few hours later Superman says that Nightwing’s plan is small and focused enough that will set the example for other in the world to follow. After giving his approval Superman asks Nightwing to look after his son (Jon Kent) for him as he is going to be leaving soon and would like Nightwing to be their for his son. Nightwing says he will do what he can which Superman shows appreciation for.
The next morning outside Dick Grayson’s apartment a large number of media members wait for Dick to hold his press conference.
Inside his apartment Dick thinks this would be easier if he did it as Nightwing. Barbara reminds Dick that he put a lot of work into this and they’ve talked everything over. She then asks if he has thought of a name yet for what he is going to announce. Dick says he has but doesn’t reveal the name.
Before he goes to meet the media Dick thanks Barbara for all the help and advice she has given him through this entire process. He admits he couldn’t have done this without her. As he is about to say more Barbara kisses Dick. After the kiss they both smile and Barbara tells him “Go get them, Boy Wonder.”
Dick finally steps out of his apartment. He immediately addresses the fact he recently became a billionaire. He goes on to say that he will be using newly gained wealth to begin one of the world’s largest, self-sustaining, purely philanthropic foundations that will start by focusing on creating programs to address the homeless crisis in Bludhaven. When the media questions why this is where Dick’s foundation will begin Dick responds by saying simply by saying it is getting colder in Bludhaven.
Dick then reveals that this is just the first phase for his new foundation as he will also work with others to create public and affordable housing, access to employment, prisoner rehabilitation, public transport, free renewable energy, health care, and a guaranteed living wage.
As Barbara, Meili Lin, Melida, Audre, and Blockbuster watch Dick concludes the press conference by announcing the name of the foundation as The Alfred Pennyworth Foundation.
Once he is back in his apartment Dick gets texts from Stephanie Brown, Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Damian Wayne, and Cassandra Cain all praising him for his announcement. Bruce calls Dick and thanks him for honoring Alfred in the way he did.
We then see that Bruce says this while staring at a picture of Alfred and himself as a teen.
Elsewhere, Heartless was also watching the press conference. Heartless reveals to his assistant that he has a past with Dick Grayson. Seeing that his plans for Bludhaven don’t align with him Heartless promises to take Dick’s heart. We then see a wall of hearts lined along a wall right behind Heartless. End of issue.
The Good: Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo deliver the strong impact the final chapter of a story arc should have with Nightwing #83. We get a major fight that showcases Nightwing’s abilities, more development from villains in Bludhaven, and Dick Grayson announcing a massive next step for his and others future.
Kicking off with Dick Grayson and Melinda Zucco solidifying their brother-sister relationship was a great tone setter. Taylor was able to set things up for Dick and Melinda to work professionally through the new foundation while secretly working to take down Blockbuster and other Bludhaven crime bosses. This creates long-term story potential that gives greater importance to Dick and Melinda’s interactions in the future that could add to building on their brother-sister relationship. It also allows them to do things separately so that Melinda can have her own B or C story in different arcs while staying important.
Going from there to Dick going all out as Nightwing by taking on Blockbuster and the Bludhaven Police Department was a great showcase for his superhero side. We once again see how Dick is still not operating at 100% as he is still recovering from being shot in the head. This is a much better way to make use of this major event in Dick’s life without having to change the core of the character. Little things like Nightwing passing out immediately after he got home as he was no longer powered by his adrenaline was a good way to keep this as an emphasis.
And in a very Bruce Wayne/Batman way of doing things we see Dick as Nightwing power through and do his best to fight normally. Nightwing taking risks by angering Blockbuster to attack him so he can use his agility is fitting for his fighting style. Taking an even bigger risk of running towards the gunfire in hopes of stopping the cops from shooting him was an even bigger show that Nightwing put on. We saw how Nightwing combined his risk-taking with his agility to be able to figure a way out of things.
This whole confrontation also re-establishes Nightwing and Blockbuster as enemies once again. As we see at the end of Nightwing #83, Blockbuster is not messing around with asserting his power. He will not let Nightwing invade his territory. Which makes the announcement made by Dick Grayson even more interesting as now both sides of the character are being targeted by Blockbuster.
Speaking of Dick’s big announcement, it was great to see that Dick isn’t simply jumping into using his newly gained wealth that Alfred Pennyworth left for him. Instead, Dick shows he wants to make sure he does things right by not only having Barbara Gordon and the Batman Family help him with his plan but all of his closest confidants. Seeing Leslie Thompkins, the Titans, and Lucius Fox each being people that Dick turns to reminds the reader that a strength of the character is his connections. It shows real leadership that Dick understands that what he is planning isn’t something he can do alone.
Superman being the last person Nightwing meets before his announcement was also a great way to set-up the announcement. Because outside of Batman and Alfred, Superman is the person who has helped shape who Dick Grayson is as a person and superhero. Their entire interaction spoke to how close of a relationship they share. Superman speaking on how what Dick is about to do is going set the example of what other leaders in the world should follow a great way to get the character approval. It also makes Superman asking Nightwing to look out for his son as yet another example of how close they are.
It was also great to hear how Superman revealed to Nightwing that he actually looked up to Alfred. Everything Superman said was on point as to the type of noble and loving person Alfred was. He did help raise multiple generations of superheroes who are important parts of the DC Universe. Superman recognizing this further speaks to how Alfred’s legacy goes beyond Wayne Manor and the Batcave.
Now I am not going to lie and say that Taylor addressing Dick and Barbara’s relationship didn’t get me excited because it did. I’ve said before that out of all their respective relationships I do prefer Dick and Barbara together as couple. Barbara being the person who most helped Dick in his plans felt like a natural progression of their relationship that has become more like a normal adult relationship, well as normal as it gets in the superhero realm. While the kiss doesn’t fully confirm they are a couple again it does get me hopeful that we will see that be their long-term status quo.
All of this build up worked nicely to create excitement around Dick Grayson announcing to the gathered press that he is using his wealth to create The Alfred Pennyworth Foundation. Starting out by tackling the homeless issue in Bludhaven was a good way to bring things back to how we saw so many homeless children living in the streets. This creates a focus right out of the gate for The Alfred Pennyworth Foundation to produce results right away. At the same time, Dick talking about how the foundation will go on to work with politicians and businesses to create long-term change by addressing various needs for the people of Bludhaven was a great way to end the press conference. As Superman said earlier, Dick’s plans are all focused and can set a strong example for others, especially with the people already helping with The Alfred Pennyworth Foundation.
Concluding Nightwing #83 and the “Leaping Into The Light” story arc with Heartless was a strong exclamation point to end things on. This ending worked to establish Heartless as a long-term villain for this series, on a level with Blockbuster. Adding in that Heartless shares an unknown past with Dick Grayson makes things even more interesting. We are now left wondering what these ties between Heartless and Dick Grayson are.
Bruno Redondo once again knocks it out of the park with the artwork. He does such a great job showcasing Nightwing in action. Whether it is dodging Blockbusters attack or diving into a police helicopter, everything Nightwing does is simply impressive to watch. Redondo also packs a ton of emotion to the dialogue heavy scenes throughout Nightwing #83. It all helps to elevate the tone of the story that is built around the major announcement that Dick Grayson makes at the end of this issue.
Adriano Lucas deserves credit as well for his coloring of Redondo’s pencils. A lot of the artwork pops thanks to Lucas coloring, especially during the action sequence at the beginning of Nightwing #83.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, and Adriano Lucas work perfectly together to tell a wonderful, can’t miss story in Nightwing #83. Everything that takes place in this issue carries a sense of importance. Taylor, Redondo, and Lucas have truly created something special with their Nightwing run thus far that fans of superhero comics should not miss out on reading.
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