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Nightwing 1: Leaping into the Light

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Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo, the creative team behind Suicide Squad: Bad Blood, reunite to produce a surprisingly decent Nightwing book with Volume 1: Leaping into the Light. He, too, doesn’t have much to do in this first volume, and this is really the only true problem I have with the arc. Dick is such a great guy and Tom Taylor, with the help of the fantastic art by Bruno Redondo, manages to make Dick's warmth personality jump out of the page.

Anyway, Bruno's Nightwing looks like an acrobat rather than a body builder and the rest of his figures look right to me. For Dick, Blüdhaven is an opportunity for him to be a hero on a grander scale beyond “punching bad guys and then waiting to punch more”. There’s the inclusion of Melinda Zucco as well, who looks like a villain on the surface, but holds a connection to Dick that further explores unconventional family ties in an issue dedicated to her backstory.I read this because I am somewhat committed to reading a few/a lot of the Eisner 2022 nominees, and this is one I hadn’t yet read.

But protecting Blüdhaven is no small task, especially now that it's being menaced by Nightwing's most terrifying foe yet-a mysterious and murderous villain with a penchant for stealing his victim's hearts, known only as Heartless. And in the end, we are supposed to be really moved when Dick gives a speech we hope our current spate of billionaires would listen to, as if they would give most of their money to healing the world (okay, a couple billionaires are in fact giving a ton of money to charity).Suddenly now the richest man in Blüdhaven, Dick is hoping to do more than just being Nightwing, but other forces have sinister plans for the city. I have not read any Nightwing solo comics – though the Grant Morrison/Scott Snyder-penned comics when Grayson was temporarily Batman is worth reading – but after reading Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s eleven-issue maxiseries Suicide Squad: Bad Blood, I was excited to see what they were going to do with the former Boy Wonder. Tom Taylor does a great job juggling all these things and Bruno Redondo does a awesome job on art duty. I saw a couple editing mistakes, and I already know the kind of corporate production these comics go through, vetted by everyone, so I was put off on page two already a bit.

Taylor has a good handle on the Bat-family and I'm excited to see where this run goes in the future. Rick Leonardi and Neil Edwards draw the handful of pages that make up the flashback sequence, which aren’t bad but aren’t that special either, and I wasn’t that impressed with Heartless’ character design. What interested me in this new run, was them going back to basics, with Dick being back in Bludhaven, Blockbuster has taken over city hall and runs everything behind the scenes. It’s not a badly-written book, it’s just mostly very easy to put down because nothing that gripping is happening - until that final chapter, which has a great scene where Dick escapes Blockbuster and takes down an attack copter.This first 6 issue arc shows Dick Grayson (Nightwing) being visited by an old friend, Barbara Gordan. He is perhaps best known for the DC Comics series, DCEASED (Shadow Awards Winner), NIGHTWING (nominated for 5 Eisner Awards), SUPERMAN: SON OF KAL-EL (GLAAD Award Nominee), INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US, SUICIDE SQUAD, EARTH 2 and BATMAN/SUPERMAN as well as Marvel's FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN, ALL NEW WOLVERINE, X-MEN: RED, DARK AGES and SUPERIOR IRON MAN. This was so good - all the right amounts of action, friendship, family, grief, romance, and hope put together to show exactly the type of man Dick Grayson is. And, if you’ve read Taylor’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, you’ll know he can really bring the emotion when he wants, and he leans HARD on the feels for that closing chapter, in a way that even I was gagging from all the moving Dick moments had a lump in my throat. The new character’s like Melinda Zucco and Heartless are intriguing, and Blockbuster plays as a badass brute protagonist.

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