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Nightwing #1 - Welcome to Gotham Review

4

After enjoying Dick Grayson as Batman for a while, Kyle Higgins makes us realize why Dick really is Nightwing. A great first issue for the character that makes you realize you actually missed Nightwing.

After so many issues with Dick Grayson as Batman, the idea of him returning to his Nightwing guise felt like it would be a step back. After reading Kyle Higgins and Eddy Barrows' first issue, it's clear why being Nightwing makes sense.

The Good

It's no secret that I enjoyed Dick Grayson as Batman. It was especially made clear in Detective Comics. We got to see Dick evolve as a character and grow into a better hero. While I was excited for the return of the Nightwing persona, I wasn't sure how the execution would turn out. Seeing Nightwing leaping off rooftops in the very beginning, with a blazing red symbol on his chest, makes it clear that Dick should be Nightwing. It's definitely more fitting for who he is. He had mentioned in the past about difficulties with his acrobatic ways and the Batman costume, specifically the cape. Seeing him in action just amps up the level of excitement. Nightwing is back.

The inner monologue Dick shares about his time as Batman and what it's taught him reassures us that those stories haven't disappeared with 'The New 52.' He mentions how things in the city have changed and even how the city started to change him, a theme common to Scott Snyder's Batman #1. After surviving everything the city could throw at him as Batman, Dick should be able to take on anything, right? But what happens when Haley's Circus comes to town?

I've read a lot of Batman and Nightwing comics over the years but I honestly can't recall seeing Dick revisit his time in the circus. It's possible I'm simply forgetting any issues. We've seen mention and flashbacks but I don't remember him actually visiting anyone he knows. Besides his parents, the circus was his family. The re-introduction of them is brilliant. Now comes the dilemma, Dick has finally established himself in Gotham after refusing to fully set down roots but with the circus in town (and if you've seen the solicits for the next couple issues), you know the circus will be a factor in his life decisions.

Eddy Barrows' art and Rod Reis' colors add to the comics bold feel. The action has a hard feel to it and there is a great mixture of darkness from the city along with enough lighting from buildings and street lamps to give a little brightness associated with Nightwing. There is plenty of action that often has to get pushed aside for a first issue.

With a deadly new mystery in town, this issue will make you want to ensure it's on your pull list. Next issue looks to be just as full of action, excitement and blood as this one.

The Bad

With the 'New 52,' it's understandable that the focus has to be on Dick Grayson as a character and being Nightwing. I can't help but wonder what happened in between this issue and Gates of Gotham #5. There is a great inner monologue referring to being Batman and being Nightwing does make more sense. You just can't help but wonder what went on between Dick and Bruce. Was it Dick's decision to go back to Nightwing as hinted in Justice League of America #60 or did Bruce have something to say about as hinted in Gates?

Also with the 'New 52' books, there seems to be an added level of violence across many books. If you want blood, you're going to find it in this book. The fight scenes can get a bit violent. It's a good thing to add a little realism. When people exchange blows, there's going to be some blood. Also some foes may have a more deadly nature. That will make sure it's not just a walk in the park for Nightwing.

It's great seeing the circus but I will be giving this possible direction close scrutiny.

The Verdict

Dick Grayson is back as Nightwing and he gets plenty of action testing out his new costume. A great first issue for new readers with mention of his past and time as Batman. Dick has finally settled into who he is and where he belongs. Unfortunately the return of Haley's Circus will add turmoil to his life and give us an interesting story as he now has to decide what he wants. Higgins and Barrows do a great job capturing the action with Nightwing and making it stand apart from Dick's adventures as Batman. The city scenes are full of light and dark that truly describe where Dick is right now. This isn't just a story full of Nightwing beating up street thugs. He will be facing a deadly foe that raises the stakes. Hopefully he'll survive long enough to keep his Nightwing identity. Nightwing was enjoyable and will be at the top of my reading list each month.

33 Comments
Posted by kennybaese

Glad to hear. I love me some Dick Grayson.

Posted by ltbrd

Dick never meeting up with the circus? He owned it for awhile in the last Nightwing series. Don't remember why he gave up control but he was definitely the owner for awhile. They have an issue (might have been in Birds of Prey) where he invites Barbara to see a show and then takes her up on the high wire to relive the experience of zip lining around the city.
Posted by Eyz

I wish this series while last as long as his previous on-going' :P

We're off to a good start!

Posted by vidmouse

I think Dick also revisits the circus in "A Lonely Place of Dying" and/or Batman Year 3

Posted by longbowhunter

I actually sat this out in favor of Wonder Woman. We'll see how that goes.
Posted by doordoor123

Ive liked all of DCs comics this week. Some had weaker endings but I can see them getting better.

Posted by spaceboy

Dick visited the circus in "A Lonely Place Of Dying" and in "Nightwing Year One " (in which he even worked as trapeze artist again).

Edited by redwingx

He went from Batman to some hero who has deals with circus villains. This is just bs. HE WAS THE BATMAN! Wtf, he needs a greater challenge and not this bs.

Posted by ravisher

i love dick

missed dick so much , hes my fav

:)

Posted by Gambit1969

Like the character, not a fan of the new costume or Barrows art, he draws torso's too long in my opinion.

Posted by inferiorego

I loved this issue!

Staff
Posted by G-Man

Okay, clearly I'm blocking out his time with the circus. I do like how it's handled here.

Posted by JonesDeini

@longbowhunter said:

I actually sat this out in favor of Wonder Woman. We'll see how that goes.

Complete reversal from me.

Posted by batman_begins

definitely missed Dick as Nightwing. This should be a great series. IMO, he should be considered in the upper echelon of superheroes in comicdom. And again, being Batman and reverting back to Nighwting is by no means a demotion, please people, get that into your thick head. As Bruce Wayne has created Batman, Dick has created Nightwing, and it is his alone. Nightwing is in a league of his own in a lot of areas as well. The action will pick up as the series progress for sure.

Posted by MartinNL

Super excited for this book. Kyle Higgins really got Dick's voice right in Gates of Gotham, so I'm very curious to see what he's planned for Dick in this book!!

Posted by ChernobylCow

I think Tony gets a little hung up on continuity stuff (see the latest podcast). I haven't read much comics in recent years (mostly walking dead and ex machina) but I picked up Gates of Gotham after hearing the podcast with the Snyder interview. Gates was a great read. But like Sterling Gates said in the previous podcast: this is the new 52. Read the story that's actually there. Nightwing doesn't say why Bruce Wayne was gone and honestly if we need to know, hopefully we'll be given that information.

I've never read Nightwing before and honestly I'm pretty excited about this series after reading the first issue. He's a bad ass, he revisits his old life, and he seems like his own character (when you put all of the robins together in the same book see: Gates or Batman #1, it can get a little damn confusing).

My only quibble is that the "plot" doesn't really get rolling enough. Violence, yawn. Continuity, yawn. I'm happy to be excited about reading comics.

Posted by danhimself

Loved It!!!!! I really missed Dick being Nightwing. Him being Batman never felt right to me and I'm glad he's back to being his own person again. After all the stuff Higgins had said about his identity as Nightwing it got me to the point where this was the relaunch book that I was most excited about and I'm really glad that it was as good as it was.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

After I heard they where giving Bruce back the cowl and Dick was going back to Nightwing I was kinda pissed, I thought Dick had come to far and had matured and was able to hold the Batman mantel but after reading this what I realised was that none of that has to go away, now Dick gets back to Knightwing and thats who he is, he can continue to grow in to his own hero as long as these great writers continue to treat him right. 

Posted by B'Town

I fell in love with Dick in Batman & Robin and Detective Comics. I pulled this not knowing if I was going to like it but not wanting to miss out on one of my latest favorite heroes so I had to pull this, so glad to hear it rocks. I can't wait to get my book in hand. :D

Thanks for the review.

Posted by Icarusflies
Moderator
Posted by entropy_aegis

This was BADASS.Nuff said.

Posted by TheGoldenOne
I really liked this issue. One of my best so far from the new 52.
Posted by PScully

Something is a bit off-kilter regarding the timeline as it relates to Nightwing's size/height. In Batman #1, he is pictured at roughly 10 inches shorter than Batman. If Batman is 6'2", that would make Nightwing 5'4" and cascading downward from there are Red Robin and Robin. If Dick indeed took over for Batman at one point in this continuity, he would most likely have to wear Bat-stilts. Are there going to be drastic differences like this between appearances in Batman as compared to his own book?

Posted by DEGRAAF

I picked up 15 comics this week. Dick Grayson is one of my favorite characters so im hold his till last but i cant wait to read it. My favorite character is Superman but Nightwing is the only solo character i pick up trades for.

Posted by DEGRAAF

@PScully: I liked the picture of the Batman and the robins standing there together but i agree there was a bit to drastic of a difference. I pictured Dick about 1-3 inches shorter than Bruce and thinner.

Posted by buttersdaman000

Looks like he finally has a decent villain.....hopefully....

Posted by RiddlingGambit

Great first issue. Nightwing #1 made me realize I have missed Nightwing. I also like this new villain whoever he is.

Posted by ReVamp

@Icarusflies said:

Loved the issue…one thing especially.

Could the guy in the sunglasses possibly be…

Hitman? He's the only character I know who has eyes like that…and he WAS based out of Gotham...

OMG. Icarus! I had subconsciously thought about that, but I dismissed it... Though I just assumed it was the villain. I love the idea.

Posted by CATPANEXE

This wasn't on my must get list, but ended up getting gotten by being a Gotham book. Yet again I've been surprised by how what books enticed me against my interests and expectations. In this I found a 120% tightly knit book in all fields, and an example of exactly how a comic should be done. In fact this could have just as easily have been the first episode of an animated series and it have pitched it without obstacle. Congrats on the excellent job Higgins, I'll be keeping my eye on you.

Posted by Daveyo520

I really enjoyed it.

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

Sounds good

Posted by fodigg

I thought it was solid, and it felt more like a triumphant return than a step down, mostly because the entire time he was Batman he still fought and acted like Nightwing. I think he proved he was effective as Batman and is bringing that momentum back here to Nightwing, legitimizing the mantle.

Posted by ReVamp

@fodigg said:

I thought it was solid, and it felt more like a triumphant return than a step down, mostly because the entire time he was Batman he still fought and acted like Nightwing. I think he proved he was effective as Batman and is bringing that momentum back here to Nightwing, legitimizing the mantle.

Yeah, I definitely think so too. Though... Oh, Nevermind...