Nightwing #88 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Flurry

Written by: Devin Grayson
Penciled by: Shane Davis
Inked by: Marlo Alquiza
Colored by: Gregory Wright
Lettered by: Clem Robins
Editor: Michael Wright
Publisher: DC Comics

Best in the Family

Devin Grayson continues her amazing work chronicling the adventures of Dick Grayson in the pages of Nightwing. In the seven years since the title launched, Nightwing has been one of the most consistently excellent titles within the “Batman Family” of titles. In recent months, Nightwing has become the preeminent title in the line of books. Dick Grayson’s life has been freefalling for a long time, and it just gets worse. With issue #100 fast approaching, I don’t think it’s getting any better for at least another year!

I’ve quietly enjoyed the book for a long time now, but just how good this book is, has only recently set in. Devin Grayson continues to weave exciting, action packed, well-characterized storylines, following the groundwork laid by the series original writer Chuck Dixon. Grayson’s stories have had a distinct focus on the character of Dick Grayson, his troubled love affair with Barbara Gordon. Not to mention his flirtation with his own darker side. Dick looks more and more like his mentor each month.

An affair to remember…

The difficult romance between Dick and Barbara ended last month, and the reverberations have been felt through much of the Batman line. This month, Devin Grayson shows the fallout from both Dick and Barbara’s point-of-view to great effect. Barbara gets a visit from a certain Scarlet Speedster. While it’s only a single page, it’s great to see Wally West show up, a Wally that’s unaffected, to this point, by the happenings in his own book.

Like riding a bicycle!

Dick on the other hand, takes a road trip to help out Haly’s Circus, which he is part owner of. This is the circus he, and his parents, worked with as the Flying Grayson’s. A trapeze artist recently died mysteriously, and a television special is due to be filmed the next day. So the show can go on, guess who is asked to perform once again? With a little prodding Dick agrees. Devin Grayson captures the character of Dick Grayson perfectly. He is first hesitant, but once he gets up there, he’s absolutely exhilarated to be flying beneath the Big Top again. Picture perfect characterization.

Firefly shows up during the performance and things get exceedingly hot for the main character. Devin Grayson brings the story to a devastating conclusion for Dick. Grayson is one of the best writers of emotionally poignant tales in the comic industry today. She closes this one out with a particular flair. Where we go from here will be quite interesting.

Just winging it…

Patrick Zircher only recently stepped aboard Nightwing as the regular penciler. So, it was a bit surprising to see fill-in work this month. Yet, Shane Davis does a stellar job. Davis captures the flavor of this title perfectly, doing a nice job of maintaining the expected style of the book. Mr. Davis’ work will next appear in issue #201 of Wonder Woman. I am hopeful that gig, and this issue will lead to a regular book for Shane Davis.

This was an exceptionally powerful comic book. Blockbuster is pulling out all the stops to end Nightwing’s protection of Bludhaven. Reading upcoming DC solicitations, next month promises an important event in the life of Dick Grayson. From there, Blockbuster seemingly continues to up the ante. The way things are shaking out, Nightwing should continue to be one of the most exciting books on the shelf, leading into an amazing 100th anniversary issue!