Fans of Dick Grayson are going to love this issue. DC Comics’ Nightwing #83 is all about the good Dick has done over the years. And it’s about the good he plans to do in the future. But all of it is spurred on, and ultimately for, Alfred Pennyworth. Writer Tom Taylor, artist Bruno Redondo, colorist Adriano Lucas, and letterer Wes Abbott are creating a tribute to the man behind the Bat family with this series.
Taylor gives us a tour of Dick Grayson’s life in this issue. We see him interacting with the Teen Titans, the Bat family, and even a Justice Leaguer or two. In many ways, Taylor makes this feel like the breath before diving in. He teases dark new chapters. He even points out how difficult Nightwing’s projects for Blüdhaven are going to be. But Taylor still takes the time to let Nightwing take stock. We not only see the ways that Dick Grayson has touched the lives of so many, but we so did Alfred. Alfred was a man who meant so much to the DCU at large, not just the Bat family. With some jokes and some danger thrown into the mix, this issue is fun and moving.
There are a lot of bright moments to Redondo’s art in this issue. His action scenes are dynamic and brilliantly done. As Nightwing runs towards a helicopter that’s shooting at him, Redondo makes it so that the shots are coming at the reader. We feel like we’re right there with Dick, being shot at. And when Nightwing swings from the helicopter, we see multiple instances of him in one panel, marking his trajectory through the air. But it’s when he gets home that we see the beauty of Redondo’s art really shine. Dick lies down in bed, after a long couple days. His brow is knitted together and he seems troubled, but his eyes are closed. Then his face relaxes and he’s asleep. It’s a small moment in a rather action-packed issue, but it’s beautifully done.
There’s an overall arc for the color palettes in this issue. When we begin the issue, Nightwing is in danger. The colors are dark blues and reds. But as Nightwing starts making plans for Blüdhaven, the colors brighten. Lucas shows that Dick is doing what he’s supposed to be doing. He’s laying claim to his destiny. Then, as the villains of the story react to the news, the colors return to the danger filled pages of red and blue. Nightwing might be making bright plans, but there’s going to be some resistance.
Abbott continues to use spacing to show levels of intimacy between characters. When Nightwing’s word balloons are overlapping or being overlapped by someone else’s lines, it’s a sign that he feels a closeness to them. We can hear the warmth in their voices. But sometimes, the same effect is used to show a familiarity of circumstances. When Nightwing has to cut off one of Blockbuster’s rants, their lines collide in the air. Dick has done this 100 times before, so he knows when it’s his cue. But in each of these moments, Abbott creates a visual rhythm. We can hear the pauses and the banter.
DC Comics’ Nightwing #83 is a really wonderful issue. It takes a tour through the life of Dick Grayson, pointing to all of the things that have made him great. Pick up Nightwing #83, out from DC Comics August 17th, at a comic shop near you!