Nightwing has consistently been one of the best comic books on the market since Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo began their run on the series. After having Nightwing help the Batman Family deal with major problems in Gotham City we’ve seen Dick Grayson return his focus on making Bludhaven a better place for its citizens to live in. That mission has not been easy as Dick Grayson has been targeted by Blockbuster and other villains to stop everything he is trying to do to improve Bludhaven. Luckily Dick Grayson has some Super-Friends like Flash to watch his back. But will that be enough to save Bludhaven from the control of Blockbuster and the corrupt politicians? Let’s find out with Nightwing #92.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Back during the Dynamic Duo days, after Robin (Dick Grayson) gets seriously injured stopping a gang attack Alfred Pennyworth convinces Bruce Wayne to stop being Batman and be supportive of how he speaks with Dick about what happened.
In the present, Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Haley meet Bruce and Ace at the opening of Haven where a statue of Alfred is placed in the center. While Bruce isn’t totally comfortable with the statue of Alfred, Dick says the statue represents not just Alfred but their entire family.
Blockbuster shows up and tries to intimidate Dick, Barbara, and Bruce to stop the opening of Haven. Dick was prepared for this as he reveals Superman (Jon Kent) is doing the honors of helping open Haven.
Seeing that Superman is their Blockbuster immediately backs down and tells Commissioner Maclean to get their people ready.
Later in the night, Blockbuster’s gang tries to burn Haven down. Nightwing, with Oracle’s help, shows up to fight off Blockbuster’s gang. During the fighting, Nightwing unmasks all of the members of Blockbuster’s gang. Being unmasked the gang run off scared but it is too late as Oracle already got pictures of all their faces.
Over at his penthouse suite, Blockbuster is pissed that his plan failed. Blockbuster doesn’t get much time to think of what Nightwing did as Heartless shows up. Heartless, who has taken out Blockbuster’s security, says he has a proposal for Blockbuster that has to do with Dick Grayson. End of issue.
After the last few story arcs have focused on Nightwing teaming up with his Super-Friends with Bludhaven acting as a backdrop it was great to see that changed. That is not to say the last few arcs haven’t been enjoyable, they absolutely have been. But having Bludhaven become the focal point of the story arc starting in Nightwing #92 was a refreshing return to the mission statement made in the first arc of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s run.
The opening flashback did multiple things for Nightwing #92. On the forefront, we get to see a spotlight on how Dick Grayson has always been a person who cannot ignore helping people in trouble. Even if that gets him in trouble with Batman he will not hesitate to help people. That determination is something that Dick has carried into his adulthood.
This flashback was also a reminder of how important Alfred Pennyworth is to the entire Batman franchise. Alfred was really the heart and soul of the Batman Family as he was the one that was always there to look out for everyone. Whether it is to help heal them, sitting down to talk, or giving a reality check when needed, Alfred did so much for the Batman Family. Alfred not backing down and making Bruce realize that he had to not be Batman at this moment but instead be Bruce Wayne, father-figure to Dick Grayson.
Having this flashback open Nightwing #92 was a reminder of how what Dick Grayson is building is inspired by what Alfred meant to the Batman Family. Even with Bruce being hesitant because of where he is at with accepting Alfred’s death this is all more than their memories of Alfred. Haven is something carrying Alfred’s legacy of how he helped raise and teach most of the Batman Family members while alive.
It also created greater importance to the protection of Haven. There is a personal tone that Dick, Barbara, and Bruce take when confronted by Blockbuster and his intimidation tactics. Seeing how Dick recognized that Blockbuster wouldn’t let the opening of Haven go smoothly showed how much long-term thinking is going behind this direction. Especially after the Titans already made their statement having Superman at the Haven opening further drove home how Blockbuster’s normal mafia tactics will not work against what Dick Grayson is building to improve Bludhaven.
With the constant failures, he is running into we are seeing how desperate Blockbuster is becoming. Now with the previous Nightwing and Flash team-up taking away Blockbuster’s ability to hire the best assassins, he is resorting to using normal people. The problem for Blockbuster with this is that these people he is employing aren’t ready to counter what happens when going up against superheroes. This is what we see with how Nightwing and Oracle had the perfect plan to swiftly stop the attempted destruction of Haven.
This creates an unfamiliar story around Blockbuster as we have the main villain of a superhero series that is the underdog. Being placed in this spot makes the surprise appearance of Heartless a bigger deal. With where Blockbuster is at having any sort of powerful ally is a big get for the villain. This ending also works to elevate Heartless as a villain who has the appearance of someone who could turn things completely against Nightwing and his allies.
Though not a major focus, it’ll be interesting to see how things develop during this story arc for Melinda Zucco. The longer she is helping her brother, Dick Grayson, the greater the risk she is taking of getting discovered by Blockbuster to not be on his side. Now it looks as though Blockbuster and Heartless will be working together Melinda will be in even more danger if she is not careful. Which does create multiple angles to be invested in for this new story arc.
Once again Bruno Redondo’s artwork is a major factor in Nightwing #92 success. Redondo and Adriano Lucas do a great job with making the opening flashback to the original Dynamic Duo days having a look we are getting a story taking place a decade ago. The presentation for the present-day scenes was also well done with how Haven did have a hopeful feeling during its opening day. Which made Nightwing jumping in later in the night to save Haven an even bigger deal as you don’t want this place of hope for Bludhaven to be taken away.
Nightwing #92 is a strong start to a new story arc that brings the focus back completely on what Dick Grayson is doing to make things better in Bludhaven. Seeing Blockbuster be placed in a spot where he is working against all the odds is a unique spot for the main villain of a superhero comic to be in. This makes how Nightwing will deal with the big game-changer at the end of this issue build greater interest for what will take place in this series moving forward.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10