REVIEW: ‘Nightwing’, Issue #85

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Nightwing #85

Nightwing #85 brings the second part in its crossover with Fear State. This issue is written by Tom Taylor and illustrated by Robbi Rodriguez. Adriano Lucas brings the colors with letters artfully placed by Wes Abbott. DC Comics loves its crossovers, especially when it involves Batman. It seems as if there is a gap of only three to four months now between them. This would be great if they were amazing stories and weren’t cutting into the tremendous foundation the creative team has been establishing in this series for 2021. Last issue, Nightwing went to Gotham after receiving a call from Oracle, only to find out she didn’t send one. Oracle has been hacked. Seer is in control, and what she knows could end more than just the Batman family.

Seer has it all. The actual names of all the Bat vigilantes, Justice League secrets, global intel, you name it. With Oracle locked out of her system, it’s time for her to go into attack mode. Despite recently turning the name over to Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, Barbara jumps into a new costume as Batgirl. Right off the bat (pun intended), the costume is excellent. I love the gliding cape and the simplified, easy-to-put-on costume.  I also like that this issue opens up with Barbara’s thoughts on the problem and her praise of the new Batgirls.

So, this issue makes Batgirl the focal point, which is excellent as the series has been working hard to establish she and Dick are getting closer than ever before. Seer comes out of nowhere and quickly pits heroes against the current Magistrate problem that is the backbone of the Fear State storyline. Whether or not Seer is in league with Simon Saint is unclear, but she plays up as an interesting enough villain. Nightwing is a background character, and to an extent, he should be this issue. However, I would have preferred more thoughts and feelings from him on the situation.

There is a race against the clock element that plays out to cut Seer off from gaining complete control, and the chase/fight is fast. Taylor is working well within the parameters of the Batman crossover, but this could have been done in Bludhaven, perhaps. There is the same fantastic relationship dynamic and pacing, but the Magistrate story is no more intriguing now than when first shown in Future State.

Rodriguez brings in the art and an obvious toned down yet strikingly different art style than the book sees via Redondo. It zips across every panel in rushing lines, minimalist faces, and heavy use of ink for some lovely shadows. Lucas basks Gotham in eternal fiery orange sunset while offering a telling sickly green hue to the hologram of the Seer. Also, those are excellent color choices for the Batgirl outfit.  Abbott’s lettering skills offer zero options for comment and everything to give in terms of compliments. I love the SFX, the deft placement of balloons during very wordy panels, and SFX in large size when appropriate. 

Nightwing #85 is a solid issue for Barbara Gordon and her new nemesis. Not going to lie, though; Fear State can end ASAP. It’s a defund the police tale told in reverse but not in a satisfying way, and honestly, the unhoused issue, Dick’s wealth strategy, and Heartless are better storylines I want to dig into. Now, if this story of Seer follows Babs into Bludhaven, awesome. But can’t wait for the return to what this team has been working towards.

Nightwing #85 is available wherever comic books are sold.

 


Nightwing #85
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TL;DR

Nightwing #85 is a solid issue for Barbara Gordon and her new nemesis. Not going to lie, though; Fear State can end ASAP. Now, if this story of Seer follows Babs into Bludhaven, awesome. But can’t wait for the return to what this team has been working towards.