Nightwing issue 86 is the final Nightwing issue in the Fear State storyline. Tom Taylor does a good job wrapping the story up with a satisfying conclusion full of action, heart, and a little bit a humor. But not everything is taken care of. Nothing can ever be that easy in Gotham!
Please note that there will be some spoilers below.
Nightwing issue 86 features Dick Grayson back in the lead role. It continues Barbara’s story, but it’s taken from Dick’s POV. I really enjoy the full cast of characters in this issue with Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle), Tim Drake (Robin), Stephanie Brown (Spoiler), and Cassandra Cain (Black Bat). This issue definitely has more action than the previous issue and was a ton more fun in general. I particularly loved the character interactions.
Nightwing 86 starts how the previous issue left off – with a bang – or more accurately, a BOOM! An explosive was set off in the Clock Tower and Nightwing, Batgirl, and Robin are terrified that Stephanie and Cass were inside. They search frantically for the two as they are unwilling to give up on them. Dick also has a little bit of a flashback to when his parents fell to their death. Not to get too spoilery, but not everything is what is seems and thankfully the two are okay.
Our heroes soon meet up with Steph and Cass who are a bit surprised with all the hugs. They didn’t realize that Dick, Barbara, and Tim thought they had been blown up. The team of five soon devise a plan to take out Skybase-01, which is how the Magistrate keeps an eye on the city.
But before they go, there is a cute moment where Tim is excited to tell Steph and Cass that Dick and Barbara kissed. Tim wants to know if Dick and Barbara would prefer to go alone to which Dick responds, “We’re launching an attack on a hostile force. You think we want to be alone for that?” Tim only replies with, “I don’t know what you find romantic.” Just a great funny moment between the two brothers just before things get more serious. Are they able to take out Skybase-01? You’ll have to read the issue to find out!
In my reviews for the first two parts of the Nightwing Fear State Event, I discussed how I didn’t feel like there was as much going on for Nightwing. This issue definitely picked up the pace and involved Dick Grayson in a more meaningful way that I was very happy to see. Dick plays a pivotal part in the end, and it was a satisfying conclusion to this storyline.
As always, Tom Taylor does such an amazing job writing Nightwing. He’s very good at giving characters a lot of heart and making you care about them. They’re unique and emotive. There is nothing cardboard about them. I think with Taylor, it’s always the character interactions that shine above all else. I just love seeing Dick interact with his family and those he loves. There’s something special about how those relationships are highlighted in this series.
Speaking of relationships, I’m also glad as someone who doesn’t ship Dick and Barbara to still see their relationship being written so well. I guess if anyone could do the two justice, it would be Tom Taylor. There is no drama or Barbara being mad at Dick for some odd reason while Dick is also being really immature. It’s refreshing so far, and I hope it continues to be that way. If you’re going to have Dick and Barbara together, they need a different approach than what has been done in the past.
I think Robbi Rodriguez’s art was a good fit for this storyline. His characters are expressive which works well with the character interactions written by Taylor. You can easily tell what the character is feeling by looking at their facial expressions. And of course, Adriano Lucas’s colors as always are beautiful. I know I’ve said it many times, but he truly is one of the greatest colorists in comics today. The letters by the super talented Wes Abbott complete the overall visual package. DC Comics seriously brings their A-Team with this book.
Nightwing issue 86 is overall a very satisfying ending to the Fear State storyline. There are some lose ends, but the story wraps up well. I know I’m excited to see what happens next when Dick is finally back in Bludhaven. It’ll be interesting to see how his city (and his new sister) has been getting along without him, especially after his huge announcement on how he wants to help Bludhaven!
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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