Written by Tom King
Art by Matt Wagner
Colors by Tomeu Morey
Letters by Clayton Cowles
It’s a rare thing in comics for a story arc to continue to resonant after its completion and to have it fundamentally change a character. The events of issue 50 continue to affect the Dark Knight and his change has not gone unnoticed by those closest to him. In fact, those changes are exactly what prompt one of the people closest to Bruce to step in.
Intercut between moments in the present and the past, Nightwing has decided that he needs to find a way to help Bruce deal with the reality of his new life. It’s a bittersweet exchange between the two of them as we see Bruce trying desperately to connect with a scared, hurt and grieving little boy and Dick deal with a hurt and grieving man facing an uncertainty that he’s never had to face before. It’s an interesting story that shows how deep the connection is between these two characters.
Tom King continues to deliver something new and interesting with his take on Batman. Even with the Freeze investigation continuing to trouble Bruce, having the two of them fighting low-level thugs like Condiment King and Crazy Quilt is a great way to get Dick to break Bruce out of his funk and put him in a position where he can be vulnerable. Structurally, King does a great job of cutting in and out of the past and I love the scenes with Bruce and Dick trying to help each other. They are poignant and add some great character development in relation to the current arc.
Wagner’s art in the issue is perfectly matched to the narrative. This is an issue all about the personal connection between Bruce and Dick and there isn’t a need for a lot of action sequences and over the top details. What the art does is give the reader facial expressions and cues that allow for the emotion of the story to come through.