Nightwing Annual 2022 #1
Written by Tom Taylor, Jay Kristoff, CS Pacat
Art by Eduardo Pansica, Inaki Miranda
Inks by Julio Ferreira, Adriano Lucas
Colors by Adriano Lucas
Letters by Wes Abbott
The Rundown: The surprising history of Heartless is revealed. Haley’s inner thoughts are explored. Nightwing gives Superman some much needed assistance.
The story opens with a narration of a mysterious figure. Then we are introduced to Gerald Chamberlain and discover how he becomes a mentor to Shelton Lyle. Several scenes are shown regarding the development of their relationship and Shelton’s coming of age. Later on, an accident occurs that changes Shelton’s life and the aftermath of that event is explored. Finally, Gerald and Shelton engage in shocking behavior.
I am in awe. Taylor’s latest Dick Grayson narrative is an amazing full circle discourse that harkens back to the first chapter of his Nightwing run. Much like the 2021 Annual, this issue presents a well-crafted character portrait of a deadly villain. But, with a surprising reveal.
There are so many fascinating conjectures to be made. However, the one that stands out the most in my mind is the relationship between Gerald and Shelton. The juxtaposition between these two men with Alfred and Bruce Wayne is brilliant. It speaks to love, purpose, and obsession. It also reframes the context in which Dick’s presence allows for emotional engagement. I have nothing but praise for this insanely brilliant work. Well done, Mr. Taylor.
The story opens with Babs contacting Dick for a date night. She arrives at Dick’s flat, and the two head out, leaving Haley behind. Soon, the couple run into a group of enemies and find themselves in a dire predicament. Then, in a turn of events, a surprising hero arrives and saves the day. Later, Dick and Babs return home to find Haley in a compromising spot.
This cute story finally gives the reader the Haley content they’ve been waiting for. Dog parents will also appreciate the care that was taken in showing the relationship between pets and their families. Haley is truly the “Bestest Doggo.”
Dick Grayson welcomes Jon Kent into his home for a heartfelt discussion. Afterwards, he and Jon engage in a training session while Dick has flashbacks of his time as Robin.
I love any interaction between Dick and Jon. Even more, I appreciate how their relationship is at turns brotherhood and mentor/mentee. The second generation of heroes each have their own distinctive personality and way of doing things. Dick’s open-hearted style matches perfectly with Jon’s emotional charm. They are the self-aware versions of their fathers and dare I say: Their friendship potential seems stronger.
The Art: Three distinct art styles compliment the respective storylines. I find this to be an impressive feat as virtually the same creative team is responsible for each section. Bold color choices are shared, but it is the commitment to detail that really catches the eyes and allows for an immersive environment. Overall, I found the visual choices enhanced my emotional and sensory connection to the tales.