Nightwing teams up with Batman to take down Crazy Quilt in a Gotham museum. Batman insists that he needs no help, but Nightwing sticks around anyway. Dick is staying at Wayne Manor to help Bruce to get over being left by Catwoman. They later team up again to stop the Condiment King. All the while, we flash back to young Dick Grayson’s first days at Wayne Manor after losing his parents to the tragedy at Haley’s Circus.
Batman #54 brings the reader an upbeat and heartwarming story of Nightwing being there for Batman, even when Bruce claims he doesn’t need anyone there for him.
It’s endearing and shows how much Bruce needs his Bat Family. The pairing of the present story of Dick trying to get through to Bruce with the young Dick Grayson fighting against the parenting of Bruce Wayne shows how Bruce was there for Dick and him now returning the favor.
It’s not subtle, but it doesn’t need to be in this case. It also shows a softer side to Bruce that we rarely get to see anymore.
The conclusion is impressively heartfelt and even sad. I won’t spoil the payoff, but you can probably guess how a story like this goes—well, when killing a character is off the table.
Matt Wagner imbues the comic with a classic comics aesthetic that often highlights the prominence of the muscles and figure over finer facial detailing. That said, Wagner can still detail a face quite well in the close-ups. Batman is back in the trunks like Superman, and the costume is sans a lot of the armor-like features it’s had since Batman Incorporated and New 52. Tomeu Morey keeps the colors bright and well-contrasted to further iterate that classic comics appearance.
Batman #54 is a heartfelt comic focusing on the importance of Bruce’s first ward and closest companion. It’s about being there for those vulnerable and in pain, and it tells the story well. It’s good read and comes with a recommendation. Check it out.
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