By: Matthew Rapier
Dick Grayson’s life has been full of one huge revealing moment after another in this first arc of the New 52. He has inherited Haley’s Circus, found a cryptic book with a list of names in it including his own, been followed around by a new killer-for-hire known as Saiko, and also been accused of murder. If that wasn’t enough Saiko finally re-appeared after a short stint of being untraceable to attack Dick at the huge memorial show in honor of his parents, John and Mary.
As all hell breaks loose, Nightwing discovers that Saiko is his long time friend of the circus, Raymond. To make matters worse the girl he seems to have the most feelings for at the moment, Raya, has been the right hand of Raymond’s plan. Dick prevails though and in the end it’s revealed that he was to be the next in line as the newest Talon for the Court of Owls, but once Bruce stepped in the court went after Raymond. Now, Nightwing has to prove his innocence as it seems evidence of his belongings were found at the scene of the crime.
I think this arc will go down as one of the defining moments for the character of Dick Grayson. Some of the other titles from the New 52 began with a shaky start and never found good footing, but with Nightwing the book started a little slow and ramped up into quite a pleasant and meaningful ending here. Dick ends up being thrown into a situation where people he thought he could trust betrayed him and came to the realization of a major difference his life could be right now had his parents not died all those years ago.
Kyle Higgins has steadily gained my attention with his work on this series. I have to be honest that I am not familiar with much of his work other than this. I will certainly check out whatever title he finds himself working on when his work is done with Nightwing. At this point, I will always point people towards this story when talking about great stories with the former sidekick of Batman.
The art has been nothing short of superior with each issue. I remember not liking Eddy Barrows that much during the “Superman: Grounded” story line and that could be because nothing about that story was good in any way. He has crafted the world of Nightwing and placed it with the familiarity of Gotham. There’s just the right amount of grit mixed with grace that makes this one of the standout books of the new 52. He can get really creative with his panel layouts at times too which is a plus.
The Court of Owls event has thrust the Batman books into the forefront as of late and rightfully so. I’m glad to see Dick Grayson get the care and attention to detail that he so deserves in being probably the top “sidekick” of all time.
Overall Grade: 9/10