So "Not Nightwing" Nightwing survived his confrontation with the Joker and surprisingly so did his new girlfriend Bea. But one hypnotic crystal and a few choice words from the Clown Prince of Crime later....suffice it to say not all is well in Bludhaven.
Truth be told as I’ve said many times now this is probably my least favorite era of Nightwing in the history of ever, as many on the interwebs seem to agree but even in these dark times Dan Jurgens, Ronan Cliquet and Nick Filardi have managed to bring a sense of urgency into the pages of Nightwing and maintain a standard of quality in an otherwise mess of a editorial direction for Batman’s #1 son.
This issue we see that the Joker’s plans are hitting full steam with Grayson being an over the top cheery manic man quick to snap when questioned by his friends or family. To make matters even worse the Joker’s new boo Punchline makes her presence known and Grayson shows his new allegiance is in full force as he proclaims he’s gonna be the one to kill Batgirl. Not much else of note happens in this issue but considering the uphill battle the crew on this book is fighting I think they did due diligence with what they have. It’s hard to be completely objective while reading these issues because there’s always a tiny voice in the back of your head saying, “Well ya know if they could turn these bitter lemons into tolerable lemonade, imagine what it woulda been like if DC had just let Jurgens and Cliquet do their thing how much better this would be.”
That all being said, there’s still the fact that artist Ronan Cliquet is an absolutely stellar choice to draw Nightwing and every issue just seems to get even better so that’s a solid plus every month in the “reasons to not drop Nightwing” category. As is the writing of Dan Jurgens, the mind shenanigans trope is reoccurring but his take on a Jokerwing version of Dick Grayson is equal parts entertaining and unsettling so it warrants plenty of grace from harsh criticism.
Jurgens and Cliquet are a great Nightwing team and if you like Joker or the new character Punchline this is a must read.
Nightwing #72: Family Reunion
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8.5/108.5/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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