With a wonderful eye for detail, outstanding dialogue, riveting visual storytelling, and a deft, careful plot, Nightwing #80 is a new era for the erstwhile Boy Wonder is a wonder to behold.
Dick Grayson has a lot going on. The death of one of his father figures, Alfred Pennyworth, has left him rich. Within the first 24 hours of that (all shown in the last issue), he's bought food for a homeless encampment, rented a hotel room for a homeless man and his son, had his wallet stolen, and fallen back into bed with his on-again-off-again ex Barbara Gordon, herself an extrajudicial vigilante on the keyboards called Oracle. He wakes up to police detectives at the door, asking about the murder of the homeless man in question. This sends the title character on a hunt for information and the missing son, which requires an assist from his "brother" Tim Drake ("Thought of by many as the best Robin. I totally get it") with great sibling-styled banter and motion.
The visual storytelling by Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott (you'll remember them from Taylor's engaging Suicide Squad run) does fantastic work with both small details (check the t-shirt Grayson is wearing early in the issue) and facial expressions (there's a Kevin Maguire-worthy silent panel after an awkward question is asked), matched only by the wonderful and innovative means of showing motion and action that steadily drives the plot forward. Add to that Tom Taylor throwing down on the script with a really solid last page introduction of the true antagonist (foreshadowed throughout the plot), and you've got a winner on your hands. RATING: BUY.
By Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo
Dick Grayson's always had a big heart. From protecting those persecuted by bullies in his youth, to combating evil alongside Batman as Robin, to pledging his newly inherited wealth to enriching Bludhaven as Nightwing — his kindness and generosity have always guided his life. But now a new villain stalks the back alleys of Bludhaven, removing the hearts of the city's most vulnerable. Who is this terrifying new menace named Heartless, and will he be able to resist plucking out the biggest heart in all of Bludhaven? Read this (literally) heart-wrenching issue to find out!