Dick Grayson tries to enjoy a film at a local movie theater, while the circus is in town, only to find Gotham is going through a blackout. Dick proceeds to help out someone who is hurt and a few others, but finds Amygdala is on a rampage.
What this Zero Year tie-in does extremely well is give us a bit more insight into Dick Grayson as a future vigilante. This just wasn't something he decided to do overnight. This is something that has been inside him, even before his parents were murdered at Haley's circus. We get to watch a character grow before our eyes as he stands up to the enemy he's facing, instead of running, which most people would do.
This is actually a fantastic issue for new readers. It doesn't matter if you're not reading BATMAN and don't know what Zero Year is. Writer Kyle Higgins really spends time building this character and presenting the reader with glimpses of who Dick Grayson truly is. At times, he's a bit cocky and shows off, but all-in-all, he wants to help those around him who need it.
On the art side of things, both Will Conrad and Cliff Richards worked on the art in this issue. One thing that really stood out was that Dick Grayson looks younger. The other Zero Year issues are a bit hit or miss on this, and I loved the fact that they really emphasized his age through the art.
Most importantly, NIGHTWING #25 is a fun issue. Sure, it may be a one-shot story, but Higgins, Conrad, and Richards provide an entertaining read that shows what was going on with Dick during this larger event.
I'm back and forth with the villain Grayson battles in this issue. This issue is also a bit of an origin story for Amygdala, who previous to this has only appeared in an issue of RESURRECTION MAN. I've never been the biggest fan of the character, but the back and forth problem I have is that Amygdala seems like something too powerful for Dick to take on for his first time. Why couldn't it just be a roaming gang of thugs? However, he needs to stand up to something greater than himself in order to prove to himself he has what it takes as a potential hero. See? Back and forth. I enjoyed Amygdala but also wasn't the biggest fan.
The coloring on Amygdala changes pretty drastically halfway through the issue. It goes from peach to red in the span of three panels.
For the most part, these Zero Year tie-ins have been great. This particular issue of NIGHTWING is a great insight into the early makings of one of DC's coolest characters. Higgins does a phenomenal job at showing the reader that Dick had what it takes, early on, to become the hero he is today. The story of Dick helping out this group of kids, while running from one of his future villains is a really cool one and a great place for new readers to jump in. If anything, that should be the main focus for Zero Year, as a whole. Overall, I highly recommend this issue.