Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Andworld Design
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: January 18th, 2021
Well, for those that aren’t aware after NIGHTWING #87’s elongated chase scene, someone’s out to stop Dick Grayson from donating billions to Blüdhaven to help the local community, provide lost people with homes, and rebuild families. However, someone doesn’t like this idea one bit. And I can give you one guess as to who that someone is, especially if you’re over 25 years old and have rented movies in the past. Let’s dive into NIGHTWING #88 by Tom Taylor as readers see the true importance of friendship as well as a new villain to hit the Dick Grayson Sweepstakes running.
NIGHTWING #88 REVIEW
Like it or not, Tom Taylor is writing a NIGHTWING and BATGIRL that feel extremely Gen Z. For those out in the dust on this whole Boomer, Gen X, Millennial, Gen Z notation, someone who was born around the late 90s through to the mid-2000s is classified as Gen Z. Additionally, someone who is Gen Z is currently the youngest generation apprised with social media trends, technology at their fingertips, much more connected to their emotions, and sling out sly new slang terminology setting them apart from the world at large. CAP!
Now, why do I bring this up? Easy. Like it or not, Taylor is writing towards his demographic through NIGHTWING. The dialogue and tone between Dick and Babs throughout their conversations fits this mantra and everything stated above well. This also makes NIGHTWING come across incredibly young and half makes this reviewer forget how old he actually is supposed to be. This just makes my brain spin as I try to condense everything that’s happened in the history of the Bat-family into a max 5-8 year timeframe.
Granted, this is not necessarily Taylor’s fault. His intent isn’t to confuse or diminish the character. But as a longtime reader, it just makes the character more relatable to current fans but also more confusing and less reliable to the older. It makes Dick and Babs seem reasonably new to crime-fighting. So, did the KILLING JOKE happen to Barbara? And if it did, the recovery was quick, right? Furthermore, Taylor writes this story like NIGHTWING and BATGIRL have history AND simultaneously like nothing else that’s happened in comics has already occurred. Yet as we see later, the tone becomes even more confusing as Dick gets a lot of help from his friends. So, the history is there… just condense.
On a more positive note, the Alfred Pennyworth Foundation and what it stands for is a spectacular idea. I think the premise throws a unique wrinkle into the entire Bat-family. Where does the funding for their “extracurriculars” come from now? Well, that will be something I’m sure all the BATMAN titles, as well as within the pages of NIGHTWING, will need to work out. Moreover, the subtle humor with the guest stars this week was spot on. It wasn’t too much, however, it was just enough to add that extra element of fun to the narrative.
Lastly, my logical side sees a hole in the premise of NIGHTWING #88. At one moment Dick Grayson was shot at twice, disappears for a moment and returns on the scene in his NIGHTWING costume along with most of the TITANS. My point: how does no one connect the dots that Dick is NIGHTWING based solely on his suit, built, black flowing hair, and similar gymnastic movements as someone familiar with a circus? And furthermore, I thought this was a NIGHTWING issue and not all about the TITANS? By page 5, it turns into a TITANS book.
The Gen Z tone dates the issue too much and makes NIGHTWING relatable to the current younger demographic but also takes away from the characteristics that make NIGHTWING who he is. This just feels more like a common tone in Taylor’s style right now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing it’s just not reflective of the character and more on society and social trends bleeding into the dynamic of the character. Furthermore, as his friends show up to help, they encompass the book more than him. I get that it shows readers how important Dick is to everyone. However, I’m reading NIGHTWING for… NIGHTWING.
Overall, the art is fine, the action sequences are spot on, and I love the vibrant designs from this art team. Moreover, the spread with the TITANS together is outstanding. It’s just something I’d want to see in a TITANS book. Hopefully, Taylor can make this feel more like a NIGHTWING title from the main character’s traits to the people involved in the book. This issue wasn’t bad by any stretch. It certainly held my attention enough. Still, I felt like I was reading something else and not NIGHTWING. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!