By: Matthew Rapier
Dick Grayson abandoned his Nightwing moniker for a year to wear the cape and cowl of his mentor, Bruce Wayne. As Bruce was lost somewhere in time, Dick stood in as Gotham’s savior in the night with a smile on his face. He brought a different tone to the man inside the Batman suit which was a lot of fun to read while it lasted. DC has decided to bring the acrobatic hero back to his roots as the high-flying Nightwing and I think it’s a wise move.
For a majority of the issue Dick swings around Gotham talking to himself on how certain areas of Gotham have gotten worse and how his skills were great before, but have reached a flawlessness at this point in his career. He takes a moment from beating up a slasher on a train to admire his old hang out that’s found it’s way back into town, Haly’s Circus.
Elsewhere in the city, a man wearing his sunglasses at night steps off a bus with a small travel bag over his shoulder. Two thugs hassle him as he walks by, demanding he give up his sunglasses as a toll for arriving to Gotham. He quickly snaps the neck of one man and smashes in the face of another, noting his fondness for the city. The next day Dick decides to visit the circus during warm up hours and catch up with old friends. His main person of interest is a red head named Raya and it seems like there may be a past with the two that will come up in later issues.
On his way home that night, Dick encounters a green and black costumed assailant which can be assumed to be the sunglasses man from earlier. As he wastes time changing into his Nightwing wear, the enemy slices the throats of two cops and Dick rightfully places the blame on himself. During the altercation it’s revealed that the enemy has been hired to kill Dick Grayson, who is claimed to be Gotham’s fiercest killer. The issue ends with Dick on his back, feeling the pain of two broken ribs, as the unknown mercenary stands over him.
Out of all the characters in the Bat-family, Dick Grayson is at the top of the list for me. It could be argued that he was the greatest character to wear the red, yellow, and green costume of Robin, though I’ve always fancied him in the blue and black as Nightwing. This book had a lot to live up to with such a die-hard following for the character and I’m left feeling like it’s not quite what I wanted. It seems like Kyle Higgins has been limited here in having to give a set up issue for new readers. His writing is solid, it just sometimes seems a little off for what I expect for a Nightwing story. Eddy Barrows on art is the strongest area of this comic. His work on Superman: Grounded did absolutely nothing for me, but he shines here with taking on the dark corners of Gotham and the fast paced action that Dick finds himself in.
Overall this isn’t a bad issue; I certainly recommend picking it up. This is only #1 after all, so there is plenty of time for this book to find it’s footing and start running along nicely. I will be welcoming issue #2 and probably a few more after that to give Nightwing a chance to win me over. If they would only have kept his previous attire instead of changing it with a bigger red logo then extra points would be added to the grade.
Overall Grade: 7/10