Dick Grayson, the first of the Robins. The gifted acrobat orphan and one time ward of Bruce Wayne. Raised in the Circus, grew up in riches, secret identities and fighting crime. When you look at the history of Nightwing no other sidekick has grown into his own.
Wally West did… but they fucked that up. (Read my post on the Flash)
The Super Jr’s (Boy and Girl) both have been rebooted so often they are all buggered up with no real identity outside of the ‘Super’ noun. Kinda lame if you think about it. Arsenal has been solo long enough but has never been given a chance to branch out and do his own thing. Bucky is an exception but he also skipped out on years and years and just came into play in the mid 2000’s, he fails to count he never grew up in the comic world. New Mutant’s grew up, became X-Force, some graduated into X-Men but they are back at being New Mutants again… Cannonball has been put through the refresh ringer so often it's like a ebay bidder in the last few seconds with the F5 key.
Find me a former sidekick who’s still around today and running his own awesome series over decades of comic continuity.
Here’s a hint: It’s Nightwing.
A few years back they made Dick into a cop as his ‘day’ job. I liked the idea. He got his own city and did the Batman thing, his own way. To bad DC didn’t know how to use that. After Bruce died, Dick too up the roll of Batman. He did a good job, but it seemed like he was filling a role out of some sort of responsibility rather then because he wanted to.
Nightwing has a slew of experience and development. He is truly one of the characters that have grown up over the years (as much as that can happen) and become semi evolving character.
So he’s back and spending time with the Bat family. He’s the older brother, the wise guy who is no longer a Robin but someone who’s advice come from someone who survived Bruce's regimen and teaching. He knows what the other Robins go through, he’s more human then Bruce.
I think we should leave this world in a better state then we got it. Bruce has done that because of Nightwing. When Batman leaves, Nightwing is the evidence that doing the same thing but slighting better... it's not bad, but instead good. Nighwing is Bruce's best enfluence, the single most successful legacy he's been party to and get to witness it in his lifetime.
So Nightwing Issues 1 through 7…
You want to see someone move, get Eddy Barrows to draw that someone. Nightwing has always been the more mobile of the two when he was a Robin. That flare and style of movement in his fighting and crossing the city has always been hard to point out and showcase. Barrows nails it right on the first try. Look at page 7 in the first issue and see what he does there. Enjoy the rest of the book (and series) as he keeps bring back that style of motion to Nightwing. Batman is a gargoyle, the scary thing in the corner coming out and making you wish you were on the good side of society before he smashes your face in. He’s got some moves, but Dick has Bruce beat on moving.
With the ‘new 52’ lots of revamps to the suits have this armoured look to them. Nightwing is no different but you can see that he wears less protection in order to take advantage of his acrobatics. No cape, or whatever that thing, the doyley, he had on back when he first started as Nightwing. Instead the suit looks like it’s designed for the wearer to move freely with no hindrance. It fits Dick like a glove, it fits in the ‘new 52’ and it fits with the book. Bravo
Kyle Higgins has a hard job. Nightwing is always compared to Batman and his time as Robin. Hell I’ve been doing it all post so far. With that issue in mind I can see that it would be hard to write a solo book about a character while trying to impart to the reader that this guy is important enough to warrant his own book. ‘Nightwing is awesome’ and it’s hard to say that without ‘Batman’s old sidekick, Nightwing, is awesome.’
Instead Higgins bring back Dick’s unique past and shows Dick off as his own man and his own hero. I’ve never been so interested in this character until the ‘new 52’ came along. DC won with Nightwing. I care about the guy and he seems more normal then Bruce and Damien. He's got all this experience but he's grounded and likeable.
Another solid 4 from DC comics.
When they started the ‘new 52’ the industry was worried. Now that they are into the ten’s they have proven that they decided to revamp the quality and efforts in order to keep them going. It was a gamble. It’s paying off at least with me so far.
Nightwing is awesome, don't worry the Night of Owls run and the future of the book with the new team in issue ten are keeping the standard high and meeting that standard. That will get more detail in a later reviews. Take a look, find it on sale and enjoy the Nightwing up until now.
Finally I can say I like Dick… Holy Double Meaning.
Next Week: Red Hood (and a pair of outlaws)