NIGHTWING (2016-) #70 review

Nightwing (DC Comics)

How many Nightwings does it take for one Joker to strike to get to the real one? Four Nightwings. And that’s not even the punchline-how will Ric interact with the Joker when he’s not quite sure which one of his two memories is the real one…and exactly how dangerous this clown standing before him is?

Nightwing #70 is available now where all good comics are sold!

Review

Nightwing #70 cover art

The Nightwing series has been an an interesting, transitional journey for the past eighteen months following the shooting of Dick Grayson.

I’ve covered the ramifications of that shooting in plenty of review in this series but finally, after almost two years, I feel like its safe to make peace with the journey that DC has taken the character on.

With the Joker War event looming, the storylines in Nightwing are circling back around to the wider Bat-family as the publisher moves all the pieces on the board to where they need to be.

For Richard/Dick/Ric Grayson this phase of the journey is all about confronting the ghosts of his past, both literal and psychological. This issue finds Ric transitioning in many different ways, from a narrative standpoint he is transitioning between arcs and in his own mind he’s transitioning from the memories implanted in him by the Court of Owls back to those memories of his past that he still isn’t sure that he can trust.

Jurgens storytelling for Ric has moved far beyond the question of whether he will return to his former life. Rather than the series hanging on his potential return to who he was, it has instead chosen to focus on exactly who he is now.

Initial fan backlash to the Ric Grayson name seems all but forgotten as the character has become an integral part of the DC Universe in his own right. Again, I’ve touched on this before but when Bruce lost his memory, the Batman series focussed on how to get him back and not who he had become.

I have to applaud Jurgens for building a world around Ric which has given the series a really rich texture.

Each of the individual members of the Nightwing team has become a fully realised character in their own right and it feels like this issue is teasing that each of them may come up against The Joker in the near future.

Nightwing has surprisingly become a team book with a number of compelling leads who are all capable of shouldering the on going narrative with their own moments to shine. If one were to shoulder the book completely it may not function in quite the same way it would when Dick (pre-shooting) was in charge.

This issue is a great jumping off point for anyone looking to get involved in the Nightwing world. The opening few pages helpfully recap recent events to catch the reader up, particularly as things got complicated when Talon arrived on the scene.

From there Jurgens delicately balances the plot and it yo-yos back-and-forth between Ric, struggling with two sets of memories in his head, and Sap who investigates a break in which leaves him in a one-on-one situation with Joker.

Both drive the plot of the book forwards perfectly. With Ric there’s plenty of intrigue around how he will reconcile these two sets for memories. With Sap we’re treated to one of the new Nightwing’s having their first confrontation with Joker, whose presents looms large over the issue as a whole.

Though there’s a fleet of artists behind this particular issue of Nightwing, it all feels incredibly consistent. Joker looks great, the teams look great and Ric’s new vigilante costume also never looked this good. The series has definitely found a new creative stride.

Verdict

An intriguing opening gambit in a new arc which sets out to prepare fans for the upcoming Joker War.

7/10

Nightwing #70 is written by Dan Jurgens, with pencils by Ryan Benjamin & Ronan Cliquet, inks by Cliquet & Scott Hanna and colours by Rainier Beredo & Nick Filardi. Cover artwork is provided by Mike Perkins, Bruno Redondo & Jason Wright.


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By Neil Vagg

Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG