The Joker has set his sights on Bludhaven's champion and he's not shy about leaving bodies in his wake. But why he wants Nightwing and the revelation he's fully aware of who the man behind the mask is and what Nightwing cares about most makes the Clown Prince of Crime even deadlier than ever.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Dan Jurgens is slowly but surely making Nightwing worth reading again. I purposely waited to drop this review because we gotta talk some spoilers, in this case Sap is pretty much a dead man and The Joker has decided he liked Talon’s idea to proselytize Dick Grayson but ya know to serve the Joker instead. So yeah, that’s a crazy sentence and the first time in awhile that the stakes have really felt appropriately heavy for someone of Nightwing’s ability. That alone makes this issue worth picking up.
I was certain Joker would blitz through all the Fauxwings but to be honest I kinda like this direction instead. You can see that Jurgens has set them up to go after the Joker rather than the obvious route of him just showing up and slaughtering them all in one fell swoop. More than that we can see there’s a good chance Bea isn’t gonna make it out of this in one piece either which kinda sucks because she was finally growing on me but at the same time we already know if they ain’t Babs or Koriandr then it’s not like they’ll stick around for the long haul.
Shifting gears, Nick Filardi and Ronan Cliquet do their thing on art duties and keep it tight. Also Filardi and Travis Moore dropped some sick covers as well. Nothing out of the ordinary because I think solid art is one of the few reliable things this run of Nightwing has had but even still gotta give props where props are due.
The one thing that did stand out to me is a lack of annoyance. I’ll be straight with ya True Believers, I am not a fan of the Joker. Never have been and probably never will be but every now and then there’s a Joker moment or story he’s in that I can still enjoy (that doesn’t involve Mark Hammill I love everything about his Joker but who doesn’t?). So when I read through this issue a time or two that was one thing that stood out like a sore thumb. Dan Jurgens writes a good Joker, whether or not I like the character I still have enough respect for him to want to see him done properly. Jurgens accomplishes this by writing him as witty and charming but as unbelievably creepy as possible, the difference is that it all feels natural. Joker doesn’t show up punting kittens and edgelord quipping about killing nuns or some nonsense like we’ve seen a ton. One thing I’ve lived by life believing is real gangsters don’t have to peacock about it. They walk in a room and you just know “well alright don’t step on that guy’s fresh kicks.” With this version of the Joker we get that, now I know there’s gonna be some naysayers who aren’t sold on seeing yet another mind control scheme in Nightwing but I think with the set up we’ve been given and the larger application of it here we can forgive it.
All in all this is one of the few Nightwing issue in recent times that really feels like Nightwing. This issue has a similar vibe compared to something like the Last Laugh tie in from the classic Dixon run, definitely worth a read.
Nightwing #71: Insane in the Ric Brain.
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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