Nightwing issue 73 continues the Joker War story with “Collateral Damage.” Ric Grayson is gone and Dicky Boy, as so named by the Joker, is in his place. Batgirl is being held hostage, and the Joker has the rest of the Batfamily in his sights.
As the cover proclaims, Dicky Boy thinks he’s part of “One Big Happy Family” with the Joker. (Anyone else recognize the same font being used from “A Death in the Family?”) With the Joker’s control over Dick, his past has been rewritten once again. And just exactly what Dick’s new history is, is explained to an extent in this issue. Dick doesn’t have fond memories of his parents and sees their murderer (the Joker) as his savior. He was apparently still Robin though, interestingly enough.
Dick continues to do acrobatics on top of buildings around Gotham much happier than normal and with a bigger than necessary smile on his face. He also still has that unfortunate costume that is reminiscent of Captain America’s sidekick, Bucky Barnes. In this issue, Dick faces Barbara in a fighting ring. She’s hoping to get through to him, but he basically just keeps playing her.
Probably the most disturbing part of Nightwing issue 73 is when Barbara tells Dick to focus on the people he really knows, the ones he loves. Dicky Boy responds with, “I love… [the Joker]. The one who took me in and taught me everything!” I probably could have gone my entire life without reading that, as I’m sure Barbara could have gone without hearing it.
For those who are a fan of Punchline, you’ll definitely want to pick up this issue. She doesn’t interact with Dick too much, but she does have a running conversation going on with the Joker while they observe Dick fighting Batgirl. We learn about one of her skills other than fighting in this story.
I have to say that lately, I’m enjoying each new issue of Nightwing more than the last. Dan Jurgens definitely has a story set in place with real direction. And it’s all leading back to getting Dick Grayson back; to getting Nightwing back. I can’t wait, but I’m also currently enjoying the journey.
Dick is one of the most trusted characters in the DC Universe, so it is interesting to see how the other characters deal with him not being trustworthy. So far, we’ve seen Bea and Barbara interact with this new version of Dick and it looks like some birdies will be next.
In general, it seems like the Joker War event has had some really positive feedback and the fans are enjoying it. I’m mostly seeing it from the Nightwing title, but it does feel like overall they’ve really upped the ante in the writing for this event and I’m definitely enjoying it.
If you’ve been on the fence about reading the Nightwing title, I’d highly recommend reading the Joker War event. The writing is interesting and at times quite comedic. Overall, it has been very enjoyable to read. I’m excited to see what happens next, and we’re finally only a couple of months away from getting Nightwing back!
Author: Jessica Rae
Jessica has a BA in music with an emphasis in voice and spends her day typesetting, editing, writing, and moderating webinars. Jessica primarily reviews anime and comic book series. She also offers insights on various movies, books, games, and other geeky topics.
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