There’s a great little Fire and Water Presents podcast segment out there called Panel By Panel, in which my pal Siskoid and a guest chat about a single frame of comic art. Shows are short, about 20 minutes, as composition, execution, colours, storytelling and the like are discussed. If a panel from Nightwing #87 were chosen, the show would be considerably longer.
Because it’s not actually a case of ‘a panel’ here, it’s the panel. One piece of comic art split across two splashes and ten spreads, adding up to one incredible image.
Newly wealthy Dick Grayson has sworn to use his money to improve Blüdhaven. Not everyone wants this to happen and Barbara Gordon has heard that a hit has been put out on Dick. She gives him enough warning to avoid the first hail of bullets, but the bad guys aren’t giving up.
That’s the set-up for writer Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s groundbreaking tale, Get Grayson, and that’s all I’ll say so far as story beats go. Just sit back and enjoy a beautifully choreographed and illustrated chase sequence that comes with cracking characterisation.
The amount of thought and craft that’s gone into this issue is ridiculous, as the creators – and let’s not forget colour artist Adriano Lucas and letterer Wes Abbott – take us on a whirlwind tour of Blüdhaven, from the tram station to the warehouse district, with a stop-off at Dick’s place. On the street, on balconies and in windows, the ordinary folk populate foreground and background, bringing the pages to life in Rear Window style. Full-page bleeds allow the action to roll on from page turn to page turn, while multiple images of the running, jumping, tumbling and flying Grayson remind us that ‘dynamic’ is Dick’s middle name. An ambitious high-wire act, this issue is a one-off, and one pulled off with huge style.
Buy this comic. It’s one to treasure.