If there's anyone who knows how to end their run with a bang, it's Kyle Higgins. Between this issue of NIGHTWING and DEATHSTROKE #8 (which was also pretty emotionally jarring), Higgins reels the reader in with some incredibly touching moments. He knows how to get to the reader while really leaving them the feeling with "this is it."
The moment that really grabbed me, as the reader, was the three pages of Jen and Dick talking on the roof about the loss of Jen's parents. It's this brilliant moment of two characters truly connecting to each other through the loss of loved ones and if you don't get a bit teary eyed during the scene, you must teach me to mask my emotions just like you can.
Aside from this moment, Higgins provides a somber issue that also goes over the life Dick Grayson has had as a vigilante which truly reads like a love letter to the character, the series, and to its fans. It's heart-warming and touching, but ultimately, depressing as those reading FOREVER EVIL knows what happens next.
If there's one thing these past two issues did for myself and probably for other readers, it's that we all became aware of how great the art of Russell Dauterman is, along with the beautiful coloring of Pete Pantazis. Everything about Dauterman's work is utter brilliance from his fight sequences to the emotion he puts in the faces of these characters. This book made me a fan of his work and I'm ready to follow him onto his next project.
The overall ending of this issue really works well and it will keep fans happy, even though it's not a big reveal. However, it is a great looking piece of art by Dauterman. As a longtime fan of the book, there's no frustration or aggravation. The ending feels right and perfect, all while catching up Dick to the events of FOREVER EVIL without actually bleeding into the book itself.
It's Higgins' last issue and the second to last issue for this book.
Jokingly, I said that writing this review felt like an obituary rather than an actual review, and that's completely true. Higgins' run on this book, especially his stint in Chicago is some of the best storytelling to come out of this character in a very long time. There's a lot of love put into this issue as Higgins very obviously says farewell to those who have supported the book. While we shouldn't take away anything from Dauterman's stunning art throughout the past two issues, it's sad to see Higgins leave the book, but he does so with style, class, and with a gigantic bang. Overall, I highly recommend this brilliant issue.