Review: Nightwing #74

"Crystal Cleared"

Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Ryan Benjamin and Richard Friend
Color Artist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: AndWorld Design

Review by Steve J. Ray

I don’t know if Nightwing #74 is the end of an era or not. It’s no secret that many fans have not enjoyed the adventures of Ric Grayson, but I’m not one of them. For me, this issue is the culmination of two years of interesting, innovative and entertaining stories. I knew when this tale started that we would one day see the status quo returned, particularly as this is Dick Grayson’s 80th anniversary, and nothing in comics lasts forever.

Dan Jurgens has been one of my favorite comics creators since his Booster Gold stories of the mid-80s, through his exceptional, ground/record-breaking Superman run. I knew that he would do Nightwing justice, and this story is absolute proof of that. This issue contains action, emotion, revelations, and a twist ending that is the complete opposite of generic. What I expected to happen didn’t, and that’s a rare thing in comics these days.

Thanks For The Memories

Ryan Benjamin and Richard Friend have been stellar guest artists on this series in recent months. Their storytelling’s great and their grasp of classic DC characters is exceptional. This issue doesn’t just feature the regular cast of Nightwing, and current girlfriend Bea, we also get a stellar cast of Bats, worthy of filling even the most discerning of belfries. We see all of Dick Grayson’s mentors, either in the flesh, or in memory, and all of them are as brilliantly drawn as they are written.

I missed series regular Nick Filardi’s colors this month, but I’m never going to say no to seeing more of Rainier Beredo’s stellar artistry. His work on the varied DCeased stories has been incredible, so I knew that Nightwing #74 would look great as soon as I saw his name on the cover. His highlights, flesh-tones (Punchline on page 5), and the sublime memory scenes, in particular, are very memorable, and really enhance the line art.

AndWorld’s letters complete the package, with perfectly presented punch and kick sounds, and crystal clear dialogue. (See what I did there?)

Conclusion

Anyone who’s seen the cover for Batman #99 knows what’s coming next for Mr Grayson, and I can’t wait to read it. I have to say though, I’m actually more excited to read the next issue of Nightwing, to see what happens to the life Ric Grayson has built over the last few months, and what will become of his relationship with Bea.

I think Nightwing #75’s going to be another winner.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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