Nightwing #81 Review

written by Tom Taylor

art by Bruno Redondo

cover by Bruno Redondo

Pride card stock variant cover by TRAVIS MOORE

variant cover by Rafael Grassetti

ON SALE 6/15/2021

$3.99 US | 32 PAGES | FC | DC

Pride card stock variant cover $4.99 US| FC | DC

card stock variant cover $4.99 US | FC | DC

If you’d have told me a year ago that Nightwing would be the best book put out by DC a year later, I’d have laughed in your face. Pretty sure many others would have too! So, here we are in our fourth issue of the Taylor/Redondo run. Can Nightwing #81 keep up the torrent pace!? Let’s head to Bludhaven and see what Dick, Barbara, Tim, and Haley are up to this month!!


Tom Taylor gets down to business on many fronts in Nightwing #81. Many stories are touched on without any feeling rushed or not given the time they deserve. We get Nightwing/Heartless, Dick/Babs/Tim, and the ever more intriguing Zucco/Maroni plot thread. We also get some insight on the actual city of Bludhaven. How Dick feels about it, the people of the city, the people that run it, who he chooses to ask for help, and who he relies upon. Issue #81 shows why he has chosen to invest his time, life, and money into Bludhaven.

Nightwing finally faces off against Heartless. It’s an interesting fight for sure. While Dick finds that Heartless is enhanced, he’s also lacking in other aspects.

While it’s certainly a play on words, Heartless’ dialogue perfectly shows in a nutshell why Nightwing is one of my favorite characters. Dick has “quite the heart”. He cares, he has empathy, shows grace, etc…. And this, my fellow Nightwing fans, is EXACTLY why in my opinion Tom Taylor believes that Nightwing is an “A” list DC character.

And as the fight rages on, sometimes enhancement trumps skill and training!!! Dick calls for help on many fronts and then wakes up after being knocked out.

At this point in the story we get to what my favorite part of the Taylor/Redondo run has been this far. That being the relationship between Dick and Babs. The inclusion of Tim Drake only adds to my enjoyment. The Bat book editorial team is knocking it out of the park these days. Every book feels like it’s happening in the same universe rather than all happening completely independent of the other books as we’ve seen in the recent past. The inclusion of other Bat-family members only makes it feel even more “real” to me!

After a sleepless night, Dick decides to go against some really good advice and do some detective work on the Mayor Zucco issue. If you managed to avoid pre-release spoilers you were in for quite a cliffhanger!!


The art as in the previous three issues continues to be an absolute joy to look at. Taylor gives Redondo room to tell the story with little to zero words frequently. The facial expressions tell much of the story. The chemistry between Dick and Babs can be “seen”, I don’t need words to feel it. That’s awesome pencil work!!

The colorwork by Adriano Lucas only enhances an otherwise spectacular book. The way fire reflects off of Heartless’ helmet to the muted pastel colors of Bludhaven are but a few examples of this!

And as a bonus due to selling out the first printing, we get this fabulous second print cover by Redondo!!


Four issues in, and no letdown at all from Taylor and company!! Nightwing #81 really gets numerous storylines rolling on all cylinders and I literally can’t wait for more


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