Nightwing Issue 78 Review: “Leaping Into the Light – Part 1”

Nightwing Issue 78

Nightwing issue 78 marks the beginning of a new creative team. This time it is writer Tom Taylor taking the reins along with artist Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas on color, and Wes Abbot on letters. After Dan Jurgens tied up some of the loose ends in Nightwing #77 and two issues of a more jaded Dick Grayson in Future State: Nightwing it’s exciting to get back to the Nightwing we know and love again.

There will be some spoilers below.

I must confess, I have been super excited about the new creative team for Nightwing ever since the announcement first came out. I was ecstatic to see one of my favorite comic book writers on my favorite comic book. Taylor’s work on the multiple DCeased series that I had read had brought such character sensitivity and depth, gut-wrenching emotion, and yes even a few laughs – I knew he would give Nightwing the respect he deserved. I have to say, Nightwing #78 did not disappoint, not even a little.

Nightwing issue 78 begins in the not-so-distant past with Barbara Gordon defending a kid from a group of bullies. Dick quickly joins in to assist. This is his first meeting with Barbara. Dick and Barbara’s “meet-cute” was a little more “meet-hero” as the two were able to successfully protect the kid being bullied. The police do show up, but it is Detective Gordon to the rescue. Dick worries that Bruce will be upset with him for being heroic in public, but it is Alfred who greets them, and he is quite proud.

In present day, Nightwing takes on bullies yet again. This time, it’s a group of high school boys (I’m assuming by the lettermen jackets.) throwing rocks at a 3-legged dog. Talk about some horrible people! Dick saves the dog and ends up taking her with him. When he gets back to his apartment Barbara is there with a letter from Alfred who had been murdered not too long ago. What he had to say to Dick wasn’t only heart-wrenching, but surprising as well.

Not everything is good feelings and puppies though. Classic Nightwing bad guy Blockbuster is up to no good and calls the city his. And the new mayor is someone that Dick Grayson is probably going to have some issues with considering her relation to a certain life-altering figure in Dick’s past. I have a feeling things are going to get interesting for Nightwing and Dick Grayson very quickly.

As I mentioned, Tom Taylor is one of my favorite comic book writers. I have a lot of respect for him. All of the interviews leading up to the release of this comic was ticking all the boxes I was hoping for. Taylor realizes that Nightwing is an A-lister and should be treated as such. He acknowledges that Nightwing is one of the best detectives in the DC Universe.

Taylor definitely highlights how Dick is one of the biggest-hearted characters in comics. As Taylor said on his Twitter page, “I like positive heroes and Nightwing is one of the best.” Considering life in general for over a year now, it’s never been a better time to write the kind of story that Tom Taylor is looking to write with Nightwing. We could all use some more uplifting stories and the writing in this issue really did bring a smile to my face.

Artist Bruno Redondo has been working with Tom Taylor for ten years now and it shows. The art goes along seamlessly with the writing. Redondo treats Dick and Barbara with the same careful intention that Taylor uses. There is such heart being easily displayed in the clean solid lines. As always, I have to give a shout-out to artists who portray Nightwing breaking out of the lines of the panel grids. To me, that shows that the artist really understands the character. Nightwing is too full of movement to be confined by the page.

Adriano Lucas brings a beautiful pallet of colors to Redondo’s art. Bludhaven may be a dark city, but Nightwing is a bright and hopeful character, and the oranges, yellows, and violet colors behind him make Nightwing really stand out on the page. The aesthetic not only pops, but it makes the overall look of the comic breathtakingly beautiful.

My favorite panel is definitely when Dick shows Barbara the puppy he brought home. Nothing is even being said, other than Barbara somehow saying, “♥️!” But, to me, that truly shows how multiple people work on a comic and help bring it to life. It’s one of the most creative and certainly one of the cutest panels I’ve ever seen in a comic.

I definitely enjoyed Nightwing issue 78. I think I can safely say it is my favorite issue of Nightwing that I have ever read. It is so visibly obvious that every person on the creative team and the editors involved truly love Dick Grayson and wanted to give the fans a story that they would love as well.

If you ever wanted to start reading Nightwing, but didn’t know where to start, start here. It’s an amazing book and very new reader-friendly. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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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