REVIEW: ‘Nightwing’, Issue #76

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Nightwing #76

Nightwing #76 drops our hero into the rematch against the KGBeast in a battle for Bea’s life. Dan Jurgens pens this issue, with Ronan Cliquet on pencils, Nick Filardi on colors, and Andworld Design providing letters. The KGBeast wants to make sure he kills Nightwing this time around by taking Dick Grayson’s girlfriend hostage. It’s a maneuver that proves the KGBeast’s absolute stupidity, but maybe that was never in question, to begin with.

DC Comics has given Nightwing the shaft a few times since the New 52 redefined much of their storied universe. Nightwing started out with a bang, in a great red and black costume, with additional backstory about the circus and cast he grew up with and a new lease on life. Then they ‘killed’ him. He became a spy, which was overall a good story arc, but he returned to his old ID and the Nightwing persona. Great! Then they shot him in the head, courtesy of the KGBeast, an exceptional marksman who apparently can’t score a clean headshot. Okay. Dick turned into Ric, got a new life as a cabbie, a new girlfriend in Bea, and wanted nothing to do with being Nightwing…except when he was.

Yes, this is treading old, painful ground fans may not wish to revisit, but as it happened, it affects the character and should be taken into context while perusing this current storyline. In the last issue, the KGBeast, humiliated for not killing Dick, goes to Bludhaven to get the job right the second time around. He finds Dick surprisingly easy to trail (strange for a member of the Bat-Family…or maybe not), catching him with his lady, and strikes.

Okay, so it was inevitable these two would have a rematch. What doesn’t add up is the KGBeast holding Bea hostage in a classic supervillain move. He’s a killer, one trying to prove he can kill a target. This act by him is pure cowardice and defeats his entire objective. So, understandably, Nightwing is enraged. The battle between the two is noteworthy, and we get to see how pitiful this villain is. We also see a rejuvenated Dick is in his old role. It’s a back and forth, this story arc that is two issues in now, of good and bad. KGBeast could have been a great foe, the fight bigger and longer-lasting Or maybe it should have gone just as is. It left an uncertain element as if KGBeast moving into Bludhaven and becoming the new Big Bad might have been good. But perhaps this is good. Get it out of the way and let’s see what Bludhaven has to offer, especially if it’s new and not another Bat relation.

The good news is here aplenty. Dick is fierce as Nightwing. Some quick side arcs look promising for the future. I would still like to see Nightwing expand into the Night-Family, with some more interesting Bludhaven villains, corrupt cops, and firefighters (very neo-noir, which the pre-New 52 Bludhaven excelled at) and give it a life that this current version seems to lack. Being back on track affords that now.  

Full confidence in Jurgens that he is going to take the title far and explore the city and its characters. He already laid the groundwork with the Nightwings, a group of characters one can only hope get a lot more action and time. They were a highlight of the Ric Grayson arc. The same goes for Bea, and hopefully more characters with gritty reps and complicated personas fill future pages, along with equally complex villains. I also hope to see Nightwing building a better network of crimefighters here than Bats has in Gotham. Jurgens has been at this a long time, and what he has contributed to Dick and the city he defends is already great stuff. The future looks bright.

Cliquet makes for an interesting artist. His work melds the sketch, grit of Lee Weeks with a smidgen of animation of Eric Canete. With Filardi’s colors, Nightwing and Bludhaven take on a neon glitzy, sleazy yet modern aesthetic that makes Bludhaven look like a city on the East Coast, all while retaining enough of the artistic flair and brightness to remind the reader this is still the superhero genre. They have formulated a fitting look for the series and hopefully, it remains for a long time to come and these two get to render some great (and terrible) new foes, faces, and costumes.

All said Nightwing #76 is shaking off the old to move forward. This issue will perhaps startle as well as settle old scores and is definitely worth a look. If you quit on Nightwing in the recent past, pick it up again. See what sticks and what falls off.

Nightwing #76 is available wherever comic books are sold.

 

 

Nightwing #76
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TL;DR

All said Nightwing #76 is shaking off the old to move forward. This issue will perhaps startle as well as settle old scores and is definitely worth a look. If you quit on Nightwing in the recent past, pick it up again. See what sticks and what falls off.