Review: Nightwing #1

And here I am, getting my hands on the comic I was looking forward to the most out of the entire relaunch as I am a huge fan of Grayson.

SPOILER WARNING!

To be honest, I’m a little torn on what to think of this.  I enjoyed how it opened and the end really reeled me in, but part of the story midway in left me a little unsure of just how I felt.

Basically we start off with Dick patrolling the city and giving us a bit of info that he was acting as Batman for about a year and is recently back as Nightwing.  Something that he is generally glad to be for he never fully felt himself as Batman and to him, it was almost more of a role he was filling because no one else could “while Bruce Wayne was… away”.  Okay, so my leading into that quote is rather out of context, but I wanted to hit that part for as far as I know at least, it hasn’t been stated in this new 52 if Bruce was presumed dead due to events of Final Crisis or if that bit has been tweaked yet.  I’m assuming its the same, but no one has stated it outright yet.  Either way, his time as Batman has made Dick grow and improve even further, though another line that gets to me even more though is Dick thinking “Now, Gotham has nothing that can scare me.”  It just seems a bit off for Grayson to think.  After all, he’s spent most of his life as a super hero and it just seems too cocky for the character.

Anyways, we soon come across Dick living in a loft again more in the middle of the city than outside which is mostly done to point out some philosophy differences between him and Bruce before he goes to visit Haley’s Circus.  Something he’s been a little afraid to do because this is it’s first time back in Gotham since the death of his parents.  This is the part that kind of throws me off in the issue.  Yes it is a good way for those who somehow don’t know Dick’s origin story (which I think is just behind Bruce’s in which nearly everyone who knows the name would have heard), but Higgin’s writing here just doesn’t fully sell his reluctance to me here.  He has Dick afraid even though he states right in the issue that Dick has visited the circus dozens of times – just in other cities.  He also leaves me unsure if Dick is still the owner of Haley’s Circus (something he acquired during his first Nightwing series).  Not to mention he has Dick going on the trapeze yet playing rusty since the people at Haley’s don’t know he hasn’t “been keeping up with my acrobatics.”  Just a bit that feels off to me as his last series he rejoined the Circus for a while working the trapeze and he taught it at a gym to kids for a good while.  Ah well.

While Dick is heading home come night time, a hired assassin comes after him.  Someone who is intent on killing Grayson and does not know he is Nightwing.  This guy is a little unknown for what his outlook is and if he really is a good guy kind of like Jason has been in the past or the Punisher is in Marvel.  I say this for we got a look at what I’m assuming is the assassin outside of his outfit killing two muggers and he tells Nightwing that he doesn’t know who he is protecting for Grayson is “the fiercest killer in all of Gotham” making it seem that despite most likely being a hired assassin, this guy generally may just go after the bad guys.  To put a slight damper on that though, he apparently kills two cops that had tried to stop him.  This guy is actually faster than Dick (who is one of the fastest non-metas in the DC Universe) and shows impressive displays of acrobatic abilities too.  Really, I want to see more and know more of him, but sadly him getting an advantage over Nightwing is where the issue ends.

Eddy Barrows’ art in this issue is amazing accompanied by Mayer’s inks, Higgins does a pretty good job of painting Dick’s outlook on no longer being Batman but I do wish he would have made a couple points a bit more clear.  A final complaint/question I have too is just where is Nightwing keeping his gear?  We see for a moment a grappling line which I’m just assuming is built into his suit like it was with his old Nightwing outfit during his time in New York.  The big question at the moment is where does he keep his escrima sticks, does he carry any other gear besides that now since no compartments are visible, and in the start he had pushed a hidden button on his suit but what it did is rather unclear.  Generally a good issue, but sadly it didn’t quite hit me as strongly as Men of War #1 or Batgirl #1 did.  Still, I am really looking forward to the next issue.

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12 Responses to Review: Nightwing #1

  1. Brandon says:

    Good review! You know that the ending is typical comic book cliffhanger. I guess that we can be a bit jaded after reading comics for so long. I tried to view it as “what would I know about this character if this was the first issue I have ever read of him?” mindset. I tried to see it from a fresh perspective, which is what I would expect Higgings was going for, since this is a soft reboot of DC comics, and to me, it worked. I liked the set up, it gave a lot of information on the character and it did it faster than all of that decompressed storytelling style that has been so predominant lately. It gave a new reader everything they need to know about Dick Grayson. Could it be done better? Yes, I have seen it done with other comics but not all comic writers are that good. Higgins is very competent and I expect much more of him going forward.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      Thanks, and I’m trying to at least partially look at these new issues as needing to somehow or another at least give hints to their past, and I agree that Higgins does a pretty good job at it. Not the best I’ve seen, but definitely not the worst.

      I’m also excited for after reading Batman #1, well it seems the two stories will be dealing closely with each other and so I can’t wait to see how Higgins and Snyder will handle the next few issues. Mainly if they’ll basically run on their own while giving just references to the other, or if they’ll enter into a more full on cross over with Batman dealing a good deal in Dick’s comic and Nightwing being a good deal in Bruce’s comic.

  2. lebeau says:

    I thought it was fairly strong. It’s tough to do Nightwing and make it feel like something other than Batman Lite. For my money, no one but Chuck Dixon ever really pulled that trick off. But this is good. It’s on par with Tomasi or the better Grayson issues.

    My guess is most of Dick’s solo series ain’t canon no more. So I wouldn’t look to things like him buying Haley’s or having returned. Basically, if it’s contradicted by the new stuff, it didn’t happen.

    My guess for the mysterious bad guy is that it’s the new guy at Haley’s.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      I’d only be slightly sad if Nightwing’s last series is mostly ignored. I enjoyed it, but he really got ripped apart by a lot of different writers. The guy who closed the series though I think did a pretty good job of pulling Dick back up before it ended due to Battle for the Cowl (can’t recall that writer’s name at the moment).

      The thing here though is I never saw much as contradicting. Sure it did give the feel Dick wasn’t the owner but never actually stated if he was or not and even Dick as the owner didn’t have much say in the Circus so him not knowing things isn’t surprising. And this issue did state outright he had been back to the circus a number of times, just that it being in Gotham was different…

      And I thought of the new catcher as being the bad guy. But then it would leave the question of who the guy who got off the bus was as they seemed to be different people.

  3. Dave P says:

    I thought this was a strong 1st issue. Dick came across clearly as his own person and hero. The art was fantastic, so dynamic and clean. No, it doesn’t give us any info about who else might be a player in the series, which makes me think he will stick close to the rest of the family (unlike his previous time in Bludhaven). But that might not be essential for a successful 1st isue. Speaking of the past, Dick used to be the 3rd best hand to hand fighter in the world right? Good thing the bad guy is fast or Higgins might have looked bad having Grayson taken down so easily, or maybe Dick has been “depowered”. My only real complaint is the use of 2 minority guys as thugs by the company that was touting its friendliness to the underrepresented. I’m not sure what was more knee jerk, my reaction or the stereotype they used. None the less, I’Il recommend it to others and be back for more.

  4. xxadverbxx says:

    They often don’t fully state someone as the “best” out there or where they place (a strong exception to that is apparently Mr. Terrific). I know though that Dick is considered DC’s greatest acrobat – at least for non-metas. He also has been stated to be faster than Batman numerous times in comics. Fighting skills I don’t think I’ve ever seen it stated though. I know he doesn’t know as many forms as Batman and DC Wikia states about Nightwing “He is considered one of the finest human combatants in unarmed combat, almost on par with Batman” and little later on states he can hold his own at least against people like Deathstroke and Batman (among others). Some would even claim he would be capable to defeat Batman in a fight and that was before he became Batman. And as we see in this first issue, Dick considers himself even better for having been Batman. Due to all that though I doubt Dick has been “depowered”. Maybe he was being a little “cocky” considering how he depicted himself at the start of the issue. Or as one of my friends would say, “You can’t have a good story without drama” in terms of something not fully making sense, and so it may of course just been done for a little added drama.

  5. Chaupoline says:

    The phrase “Dick Grayson is the fiercest killer in Gotham City and he doesn’t even know it” makes me wonder if either he is going to stay a regular human or end up either one of Wildstorm’s aliens or if John Grayson was a member of Team7 and Dick Grayson will end up in a new Gen13.

    • xxadverbxx says:

      Being very knowledgeable in the Wildstorm stuff I will flatly say: Uhhhh what?

      • Chaupoline says:

        If Dick’s father was a Kheran then the would be Assasin may be a Daemonite and the quote would make sense. The reverse would make sense as well. In Grifter, the Daemonites have made an appearance and almost implanted a D into Grifter. Voodoo’s debut is next week and will progress the Daemonite storyline.

        The possibility of a Team7 connection would explain why John Grayson was hiding out in the circus and someone could be trying to eliminate potential Gen Actives.

        Either of these scenarios would change the status quo for Nightwing and take him out of the Batman-lite world.

      • xxadverbxx says:

        Interesting… for the bits I understood XD

        And sorry but I had meant “unknowledgeable” but in my tiredness forgot the “un” part.

  6. Chaupoline says:

    At one time almost all of the Wildstorm titles were tied to Team7. The team was supposed to be made up of the best special operators in the US military. They received their orders from International Operations (IO) and its director Miles Craven. Craven wanted his own superhero team and so sent the team on a mission and then contaminated them with a substance called the Gen Factor. Many on the team died from the exposure and others went crazy. Those that survived had mind powers except for Michael Cray, Deathblow who didn’t show any mental powers. After Craven dropped a nuke on the team to see if they would survive, Team7 went into hiding. Gen13 and DV8 were made up of the children of Team7 who were conceived after their fathers were exposed.

    If John Grayson was a member of Team7, he could have been hiding out at Haley’s Circus with his wife and son. Caitlin Fairchild (daughter of a Team7 member and was on Gen13) has appeared in Superboy and looks as she did before her powers went active. She is around the age of Dick Grayson now. Grifter was a member of Team7 but his comic mentioned he was a former Delta operator and has been working as a con-man for the last ten years. The Gen Factor has not been mentioned in the comic nor Team7.

    The Kherubim storyline is what tied together WildCATs. They fought a Daemonite plot to possess humans and take over the planet.

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