Review: Nightwing #114

by Matthew Lloyd
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Review: Nightwing #114
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Bruno Redondo
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Wes Abbott

Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd




There’s more to last issue’s celebration of Dick Grayson…and none of the Bat-family sees it coming.  Heartless enacts his plan to take down Dick Grayson!


For a while, comic writers have been accused of writing for the trade.  Single issues when collected in these trades are called graphic novels sometimes, despite not being conceived as such.  However, with Nightwing #114 it’s clear that Tom Taylor has constructed his run on Nightwing like a novel.  The theme of Heartless has run throughout while Taylor developed his cast of characters with their own stories along the way.  Heartless is still around and Dick Grayson’s journey under Taylor is inextricably linked with Heartless.  He’s not just an adversary or danger from which Bludhaven must be saved, Heartless is in some ways the opposite of Dick Grayson.  As long as this idea isn’t overused it can be very effective, perhaps one remembers Mike W. Barr and Michael Golden’s Batman Special #1 from 1984 with the story “The Player on the Other Side.”  Nightwing 2022 Annual recounted much of Heartless’ backstory that explores the similarities between Dick and Heartless.  This adds a cohesiveness to the run as well a through line.

Even though most of the recent issues of Nightwing have been illustrated by some fine comic book artists, it’s great to have Bruno Redondo back on art chores for the entire issue.  It’s not just his look, or ability to communicate with characters’ expressions, but his layouts and dramatic choices.  An early two-page spread is a great demonstration of this.  It’s great storytelling!

There are lots of character moments peppered throughout Nightwing #114 that range from Dick’s good heart, the lovely and infectious dynamic between Dick and Babs, and the way Bruce Wayne views his family.  This was on display in the emotionally moving Nightwing #100, and it’s echoed here.  It’s one of the consistent aspects of the series that have made it a fan favorite.  


It’s hard to find a negative with this issue.  It is slightly surprising for the meat of this issue that Taylor takes us back to Dick’s celebration from last issue, whilst only teasing what comes next on the opening pages.  It remains to be seen how well this storytelling technique works for “Fallen Grayson.”


Nightwing #114 is a solid start to Taylor and Redondo’s final story arc.  It includes many of the elements that have made their run successful over the past three years.  Redondo is in fine form as he returns to the title and the story points towards a big wrap up for what comes across as a longform graphic novel.


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