Nightwing #96 is published by DC Comics and written by Tom Taylor. Artwork is by Bruno Redondo, inks by Caio Filipe, colours by Adriano Lucas and letters by Wes Abbott.
Nightwing #96 is available now in print and on digital where all good comics are sold.
They say love is when two hearts find their happy place right next to each other, but to Heartless, that’s just the wall of jars of hearts he has in his back office. As Dick and Babs’s two hearts do find their happy place next to each other, one question they ask each other proves difficult to answer.
It feels like we’ve been building to this moment for months but finally the moment is here. It’s Nightwing versus Blockbuster in a showdown for the ages. With the Nightwing title hurtling towards its 100th issue, Tom Taylor is pulling no punches in making sure Dick Grayson’s solo title is DC’s most monumental title of 2022.
Last month left us on a huge cliffhanger. With Nightwing’s secret identity revealed to Blockbuster, issue #96 swoops in to pick up the pieces with two duelling stories. Plot A traps Nightwing and Blockbuster in their burning building, both staring down the barrel of a fight which neither is sure they can make it out of. In the outside world (and the B plot), Batgirl races to Nightwing’s side.
If I’ve learnt anything about Taylor’s writing by now, it’s that he never fails to surprise. When Nightwing feels like its destination is undeniable, it pulls some amazing punches which twist events on their head. Yes, there is a fight between Nightwing and Blockbuster and yes it’s punctuated by Redondo’s fantastic artwork. The series has never strayed away from being a feast for the eyes and a 12-panel page at the centre of the fight is every bit as pulse-pounding as we’ve come to expect. But it’s the emotional punches which pack even more weight this issue.
Even in the face of losing the fight, Dick never loses his resolve to protect the city. Taylor’s understanding of the character is dazzling. It’s also never been as formidable as it is in this issue. Many writers would simply paint the big fight as the centrepiece of an issue like this. But not Taylor. Between punches Dick, on comms with Barbara, still fears for the future of Haven, the project he funded using his inheritance from Alfred. If your heartstrings aren’t already being pulled then Babs’ response will certainly do the trick.
Speaking of Babs, she’s teaming up with Batwoman again this issue for another surprising turn. I don’t want to spoil it here but Bab’s actions are absolutely brilliant and another stroke of genius for Taylor’s writing. Her undeniable resolve to protect Dick is only a precursor to an emotional finale for DC’s A-list couple. With the fight over, talk turns to their future as a couple with both doubling-down on their devotion to the other. Again, Taylor’s writing is at its best and it brought a tear to the eye to see these two dedicating themselves to each other for the long run.
In the run up to the 100th issue, Nightwing #96 is a Blockbuster – get it – finale to “The Battle for Bludhaven’s Heart” arc.