Nightwing Issue 77 Review: “Abstract Holidays”
Nightwing issue 77 gives us a well-needed break from all the post-Joker War sadness and presents a heartwarming Christmas story. Nightwing is still dealing with the fall out and does not know how he feels about his place in his family, but he encounters someone who shows him the value of being with those you love.
First, I really have to mention how cool it is to have an issue of my favorite comic come out on my birthday, especially when it is such a fun and uplifting tale. It also helps that the art is gorgeous. Ronan Cliquet always does an amazing job drawing Dick’s acrobatic skills and form. And of course, Travis Moore draws the most beautiful Nightwing covers. This one is especially nice with the bright skyline behind Nightwing. It gives you a glimpse of the hope in the pages within.
Please note that there will be some spoilers below.
Nightwing issue 77 begins on Christmas Eve with Dick teaming up with Batman in Gotham. They are working on a couple of different cases. Bruce tries to convince Dick to come home for Christmas, but he is hesitant. Dick feels like he has been, “really kicked around,” lately and he just had to walk away from his whole old life as Ric Grayson. They decide to split up to cover more ground though Nightwing feels that Batman is taking the fun job. I really like what Batman says in response, “Who’s to say how these things will turn out? All we can do… is find the good in whatever we end up with.” Wise words, I think!
Nightwing ends up on a case where a company called Dexiturn is dealing with ransomware. The big bosses don’t seem too impressed that they got Nightwing rather than Batman working the case. Which… rude. Nightwing is also an excellent detective with hacking skills of his own. I digress. Nightwing takes the case regardless and is met with a surprising foe. Though not everything is what it seems. And Nightwing may learn a little something from this hacker as well about the importance of family; about being there for and with them.
I felt like writer Dan Jurgens took a break from all the action and drama that Dick Grayson has been facing lately to tell a really uplifting, feel-good story. Considering the time of year and everything that has happened in 2020 in general, this is exactly the kind of story I’ve been wanting to see more of in comics for months now. The story allowed me a brief break from the real world with a tale of hope, love, and caring for your fellow person.
I’m also happy with how Jurgens managed to bring Dick back into the Batfamily in a way that didn’t have his family guilt-tripping him too much or rushing him to come back before he was ready. There was a little of that earlier on since he got his memory back, but I feel like here he ultimately decided to come back on his own and that is better.
I’m generally a fan of Ronan Cliquet’s art, but I feel like his art shined in this issue. The Christmas trees, wreaths, and other decorations, and the snow gives you a chilly yet warm feeling like the Christmases I remember growing up with in New York. The colors by Nick Filardi only highlighted that feeling further with the contrast of the dark night and the bright colors of Christmas. The art and the overall story come together to form this heartwarming tale.
While I enjoyed the entirety of Nightwing issue 77 from front to back, my favorite parts were when Bruce and Dick helped an entire community of people by providing them with a place to live and offering a job to someone who was wronged. I also enjoyed Dick spending time with his family at the end of the issue. It was great to see Damian there! Surprising, but nice considering what is going on with him in the comics currently.
My only complaint is that I couldn’t tell who the other brother was with them. It’s not immediately obvious to me whether he is Tim or Jason. To me, he looks like Jason, but I think Tim would make more sense. Bruce has four sons and three of them are there, so I don’t know.
Now that this lovely tale is over, the next time we will see Nightwing is in the Future State event where his circumstances will be much different from the one he was in today. I’m excited to see what happens next both in his own series and the Teen Titans book in the coming months.
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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2 thoughts on “Nightwing Issue 77 Review: “Abstract Holidays””
While I appreciate the book getting back to basics, I did not like how Jurgens and DC just glossed over his relationship with Bea. The story, and even Dick, admitted his love for her, as she was the one bright spot to come out of the whole Ric saga, it’s really a disservice to do away with her like that. I think male writers have problems writing female characters, because she would not have fallen for his lie about not having feelings for her. Again, I didn’t appreciate that they just threw that experience away, despite the upcoming storyline and “relaunch” of the titles. I think they need to bring her back and do her character justice. As a reader, I would have liked to have seen where the relationship would go, because it had a lot of potential. Thanks for the review.
Thank you for reading and I apologize for the late reply! I do hear you about Bea. I wasn’t thrilled with the way things ended between the two of them. The upside was at least that Jurgens didn’t kill her off for the man pain. I do think a lot of the ending the storyline quickly had to do with the fact that this was Jurgens’ last issue of Nightwing and it does sound to me like Tom Taylor will be getting Dick and Barbara back together… eventually? when he takes over starting in March.
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