Issue No. 78 of the comic book series “Nightwing” marked a move into a new era with writer Tom Taylor taking over the series. The first story arc, “Leaping into the Light,” which is comprised of issues No. 78-83, has been an unexpected success for DC Comics. No. 78, No. 79 and No. 81 sold out immediately on their first day and got second printings soon after. This new run has become a fan favorite.
As part of the Infinite Frontier relaunch of DC Comics, this arc follows Dick Grayson back in his adopted city of Bludhaven, vowing to keep it safe from criminals. After Barbara Gordon (Oracle/ Batgirl) visits him, Dick inherits a large sum of money from his late father figure Alfred Pennyworth. Dick is also dealing with a new enemy called Heartless and the mysterious new Mayor Zucco.
The art by Bruno Redondo is breathtaking and immerses you in this universe.
A pervasive question asked throughout the story is what does it mean to be a hero? This can be seen in Dick Grayson wondering whether he should help people as himself or as Nightwing. Along the way, he learns that he can help as both. Utilizing the money he inherits from Alfred, Dick gives all of it away by starting a foundation to help Bludhaven and the rest of the world.
This new run has heart. It isn’t just about defeating the bad guys and saving the day. An equal amount of character development and action gives the arc great pacing, and there is a lot of optimism in the story. Dick Grayson does see the good in people and just wants to help. A quote from him in issue No. 79 exemplifies this: “I want to be a safety net for this city.”
He wants to be there for Bludhaven, the way his adoptive family and friends are always there for him.
“Leaping into the Light” is a fitting title for this new beginning. Everything about these comics feels fresh and new. It is a departure from the dark and gritty comics of recent years, but do not let the splash of bright colors on the page fool you.
Taylor incorporates current issues such as homelessness and corruption into the story. Blockbuster, one of Nightwing’s old foes, leads the corruption in Bludhaven by controlling local city officials. This contrasted with Dick Grayson’s promises to help the homeless with his newfound wealth.
Each issue is about 24 pages long, and by the end, I could not wait for the next one to come out. This need to know what happens next kept me invested in the story throughout the arc. Taylor does an excellent job at creating cliffhangers and plot twists. The series is a page-turner and has gotten me excited about comics again. The storyline is also very beginner-friendly. You can jump into issue No. 78 without any prior knowledge of Nightwing.
“Leaping into the Light” shows that comics can still tell exciting, engaging stories.