Review: Nightwing #73
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Ryan Benjamin and Richard Friend
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: Andworld Designs
Reviewer: Tony Farina
The Joker knows Dick Grayson is Nightwing—and the plans the Clown Prince of Crime has set in motion in “The Joker War” will haunt Batman forever. Under the control of The Joker’s new henchperson, Punchline, Nightwing must battle the people he once loved most: Batgirl, the Robins, and…himself.
Colorist Rain Beredo has just brought a thousand points of light into Nightwing #73. This is the first time I’ve seen his work and boy do I LOVE it. I always think Richard Friend on inks is a comic worth checking out, but Beredo just takes the work Friend and Benjamin do and make it sing. The colorist often acts like a score in a movie. We know how to feel or how scared to be and Beredo is composing an emotional symphony here.
I love Batgirl. Tim Drake is my favorite Robin, but Batgirl is, quite possibly, my favorite member of the Bat Universe. Seeing her in this book for the past few weeks has been delightful. Of course, she outsmarts everyone here, which is AWESOME, but the way she is “used” at the beginning is problematic (more on this below). The fight with Dick, Ric, whomever is pretty intense and actually drawn really well. She is the high spot of the book.
I really, really do not like Punchline. I keep trying to care about her, but I don’t. I understand, complaining about her is like living in Florida and complaining about the humidity in August. It is just something that needs to happen. OK. Fine. I’ll deal with it.
This Joker’s son story though is also pretty thin. We’ve spent years dealing with Ric’s brain damage and that has been bad enough, now, we have to contend with the fact he is also under the Joker’s spell. Yawn.
Finally, I am kind of sick of Babs being bait. She gets her own agency of course as the story goes on as I mentioned in the positive section, but she isn’t a damsel. She is not in distress. Stop it. Even as a rouse or a fake out just stop. Please.
Nightwing #73 is scattershot. There are some genuinely great moments with Babs. Batgirl is, without a doubt, one of the best parts of the Bat Family and she shows off why here. Clearly, this is part of the Joker War run and so there are a lot of other things happening here. I understand there is a bigger story to tell and I will remain hopeful that when the dust settles, things in Bludhaven will be just about our favorite acrobat.