Comic Vine Review

22 Comments

Nightwing #25 - Zero Year: One Dark City Night Review

4

Before he was Nightwing, Dick Grayson was an acrobat, stuck in Gotham City during a blackout.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

22 Comments
Edited by AllStarSuperman

sounds good

Posted by Bull_iod

this does look interesting and I will be getting it. However, I would really like to see Nightwing get a solid run for a while without being tied into anything. Kyle Higgins has repeatedly stated that he wants to establish a Nightwing that is more than a former Robin. I can't see how that can happen if the title keeps getting tied into Batman strory's. I really enjoyed the prankster arc but had a heavy heart when I saw that Nightwing was pulled into Forever evil.

Posted by Wilbertus

I like Nightwing and I like Zero Year. I like this issue :)

Posted by DEGRAAF

@bull_iod said:

this does look interesting and I will be getting it. However, I would really like to see Nightwing get a solid run for a while without being tied into anything. Kyle Higgins has repeatedly stated that he wants to establish a Nightwing that is more than a former Robin. I can't see how that can happen if the title keeps getting tied into Batman strory's. I really enjoyed the prankster arc but had a heavy heart when I saw that Nightwing was pulled into Forever evil.

Agree with all of this except the heavy heart bc of Forever Evil. That made me excited bc when the Justice League is away Nightwing should be the very next person ppl look up too for guidance. I know its not the same as pre New 52 but i would like to see that aspect return

Posted by Mrgreenlantern

best part about this book was the fact batman was nowhere in sight

Posted by LordoftheNorth

dosnt this mean dicks 0 issue is non canon

Posted by JayAaerow

best part about this book was the fact batman was nowhere in sight

IKR?!

Posted by 2cool4fun

@bull_iod said:

this does look interesting and I will be getting it. However, I would really like to see Nightwing get a solid run for a while without being tied into anything. Kyle Higgins has repeatedly stated that he wants to establish a Nightwing that is more than a former Robin. I can't see how that can happen if the title keeps getting tied into Batman strory's. I really enjoyed the prankster arc but had a heavy heart when I saw that Nightwing was pulled into Forever evil.

Well now that he is moving away to Chicago ( just like he moved away to some city in pre-52 ) he will probably have his own run, well i hope so, i mean red hood is no where near batman yet he gets tied in :\

Edited by Godlike130

For those who don't know Amygdala was Dick's neighbor back in Bludhaven, Pre-new52. So that why him and not just a roaming gang of thugs. Theres a connection there.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

With the cancellation of Venom I am definitely going to start reading Nightwing again. He's one of my top DC characters next to Batman, even though I never liked Grayson as Robin (to be fair I'm not a fan of sidekicks in general). This sounds like a perfect issue to jump back in on.

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Posted by ccj77

@lordofthenorth: Why do you say that? This story takes place before his 0 issue. Or am I missing something?

Edited by LordoftheNorth

@ccj77:

becuase here dick looks like hes between 15-17 years old if you look at his 0 issue he looks like he's about 9 or 10 years old thus makeing the 0 issue non canon

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@godlike130: could be but still seems like a way to powerful foe for Dick to meet even before he becomes robin

Posted by Alak

Despite having some initial doubts, I actually liked this issue a lot. I felt it flowed a lot better than the annual did, and the ending was a pretty nice feel good moment. While predictable, I really liked the touch at the end with C.J.'s dad.

Posted by SmoothJammin

@degraaf: except for the part where Grayson is mostly a hostage in FE and Lex Luthor is the actual protagonist of the story :l

At this point it's a running gag writers take liberties with when using Nightwing. Snatch him up for some bat-related event, abuse the hell out of him, endanger his life(Infinite Crisis) or outright kill him(like Crisis On Infiinite Earths). I can't even count how many times his character's identity has been outed.

Posted by JayAaerow

@lordofthenorth said:

@ccj77:

becuase here dick looks like hes between 15-17 years old if you look at his 0 issue he looks like he's about 9 or 10 years old thus makeing the 0 issue non canon

Dick was 16 in the Zero Issue, He's 15 in this issue, as this takes place a year before. Doesn't matter what he looks like. You take that up with the artist. He was stated to be 16 in that issue somewhere or Kyle Higgins said so himself.

@godlike130: could be but still seems like a way to powerful foe for Dick to meet even before he becomes robin

Batman takes on beings a hella lot more powerful people then him...and yet, still wins with Standard Equipment. This is almost nothing in comparison

@degraaf: except for the part where Grayson is mostly a hostage in FE and Lex Luthor is the actual protagonist of the story :l

At this point it's a running gag writers take liberties with when using Nightwing. Snatch him up for some bat-related event, abuse the hell out of him, endanger his life(Infinite Crisis) or outright kill him(like Crisis On Infiinite Earths). I can't even count how many times his character's identity has been outed.

I agree. I love the fact that it still shows he's has some type of importance to the DCU but this way? He's just another victim..again. They should really either give him a better role or avoid crossovers totally(Or at least Bat-rrelated). Crossovers tend to always have him look like canon fodder and end up screwed or a victim.

The identity thing always get me. Pre-Reboot, people have been able to always find out with some looking into and determination. Good and Bad people. But select people can figure out Batman and Superman's identity? Even though they're really not that hard to piece together? The character thing where they act totally different...If someone was trying to hide their identity, you would think that they would already do that.....At least in this reboot, Catwoman and Lex Luthor didn't even know who he was....and those are surprises.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@jayaaerow: ya he does take on more powerful foes BUT he hasnt been trained by batman yet so him meeting up with a meta and suriveing is alittle off putting

Posted by JayAaerow

@lordofthenorth said:

@jayaaerow: ya he does take on more powerful foes BUT he hasnt been trained by batman yet so him meeting up with a meta and surviving is a little off putting

He has Acrobat Training at this point. And it's already been said it's a Step one into being a Talon in the Court of Owls, and he was the Best Acrobat in Haly's Circus when he was in it. In short, he's already an athlete at that point. That's how he beat Amygdala, by outmaneuvering him. He didn't go manhandle him and fight him with h2h. In comic books, being a meta-human doesn't change much If you're not skilled enough to use your metahuman prowess with skill. You can still be beaten.

My Batman point in the last comment to you was(I'm not sure you got this so yeah :P) Batman has survived many, many, many ridiculous things in comics book. Even with the uber skill training, there's some things he just cannot survive logically...yet somehow does. But when he does it, we acknowledge that. But when Dick Grayson did something that had no Batman influence, all of sudden, it's a bit too much? Dick Grayson was always portrayed to be a prodigy in the aspect of fighting and detective ability in the past(Before the Reboot). Batman's training would only further make him more vastly skilled. Nightwing #0 showed his competency in fighting thugs. In the past, Batman has remarked that when he taught Dick things that made him struggle, he would make it seem easy.

My overall point is that just because he did something completely on his own without the Bat-Influence(This case being Batman training) doesn't mean we should look at it hard and think "Oh, that's too much" when people in comics have done a hella lot more ridiculous things. This issue was to show that he already had great potential as a hero before being with Batman. And that's why I liked the issue. He showed he had the skills, intellect, and knowledge to defeat the enemy at hand in the situation and help the friends he made along the way. And ALL ON HIS OWN. Reading a Nightwing book, the main thing about Dick Grayson is proving that he doesn't need Batman's influence in every aspect of his life to be of use. He's Nightwing. He brings things to the table just like Spider-Man does, Batman does, Superman does, and every hero. He's not "Batman-lite" or constantly need some Bat-factor to get him a win.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@jayaaerow: Actually its not the first step talons all start off with different traits knife skills , escape artistery, and so on and so forth,but he has never faced a metahuman before so he has no idea what to expect so he didnt out maneuver Amygdala he just got lucky

Becuase Batman has the training besides for inate detective skills when have we seen batman before his training do some thing unbelieveable. Sorry dick has never been in considered a fighting or a detective prodigy those belong to Jason and Tim respictivly. His skills have always been as a leader and an airealist. even than a prodigy dosnt mean skill it means ability and apatude Batman is the one who gave him his skills turned him into the man he is and do you know why dick didnt struggle as much becuase Bruce didnt have a single person with the knowlegde he was looking for or a mentor that understood his pain Bruce was alone throughtout his journey to become Batman; Dick was not

Well the problem dick will alway be connect to bruce becuase it was bruce who was the key part of turn Dick into the hero he is and until they give dick his own origin that has nothing to do with Batman sorry the hard fact is the Bat influance will always be their

i guess you really like the new 52 beucase dick and bruces realtionship is pretty shallow now

Posted by JayAaerow

@lordofthenorth:

Actually, he is a prodigy at fighting and detective skills(In regard he learned things faster then normal). This has been said various times througout his history pre-reboot and even some of it in New 52. It's not just Tim and Jason. Tim was a prodigy too in Detective skills. More so he was at that age. But still, he was skilled enough to be ranked(DC themselves stated this) 2nd to Batman in Detective Skills by the time he was Nightwing. Jason wasn't really ever regarded as a Prodigy in fighting or detective skills to my knowledge. He worked his way up to what he has. I can get scans If you need proof. Even Batman stated that he made things look easy. He's not just flips and Leadership. Various stories of him being Robin expressed this(Especially Mark Wolfman's Teen Titan series). And his time as Batman showed him to be a Detective that got compliment.

You could be right when he got lucky with a metahuman....but regardless, I really don't see that as a problem. I just saw it as a cool thing he did as a kid. It's comic books so stuff that is hard to believe happens and it didn't really surprise me.

Dick himself has always struggled. Just as much as Batman. He might be lucky he has someone like Batman who can help and understand him, but, it also opened up new problems. He's constantly compared to Batman. Dick strives to be his own hero and prove to Bruce he has what it takes. Bruce has always been overprotective(pre-reboot at least) of Dick in some way. It's explained that because Bruce realizes he himself is flawed, he doesn't want Dick to become just like him. However, Dick just doesn't realize this. He's seen it most of the time as Batman holding him back or not trusting him. There's a lot more about it but the point is: His struggles just as much as Bruce struggles. His problems also are different then Bruce's own.

The Bat influence may always be there(That's a cold hard truth Dick sometimes have to realize), but, it will not always be the key factor. He also has his own set of skills and his own take on things. This is a reoccurring theme in Nightwing's solo.

Being in the Haly's Circus, period, was Step one to being a Talon. Whether it's escape artistry, acrobatics, knife throwing, etc. I think I should of said that instead. For him, he would have been a Talon based on Acrobatics.

Lastly, do not guess that I like the New 52 Books because the Bruce/Dick Dynamic isn't as strong as it was before. Because that's ridiculous and ludicrous! I loved their dynamic! Heck, I could somewhat relate, too! I enjoyed them working together and their angst after Jason Todd died was, IMHO, one of the most intense moments I've seen that was captured great! I love just about all of the Batfamily memebers. Even ones that are considered to be the outliers of them. I actually dislike how their relationship has been taken down a few notches! HOWEVER, I'm glad it's wasn't a point like Tim and Bruce. It's still salvageable. It's not THAT bad. I have A LOT of gripes about New 52. Dick/Bruce Dynamic is one of them, actually. But because to me, it's salvageable, I can swallow it for now and hope it gets better.

My whole entire debate was not about the Bruce/Dick Dynamic. My point was that by the manner he did it, it was understandable how he beaten the metahuman in that situation(He didn't get down and dirty and fought him in a H2H combat fight). Whether it was luck or skill could be up to the reader. But he did it without the bat-factor. And i'm not letting the lack of the bat-factor have me gripe the story because he beat a metahuman before having Batman's training. It fits the theme of the Nightwing books in regard that Batman's training has further him as a person, not define him. He's not Batman-lite or "Batboy" or "Robin Prime". Nightwing is Nightwing. Just like Batman is Batman and Superman is Superman. That's it. Take it as you like. An opinion is an opinion. I will like this story because it presented that theme in a cool way IMO. ^_^

By the way, I did not mean anything in disrespect throughout this debate.

Posted by LordoftheNorth

@jayaaerow: sorry in your last comment you kind of come off as a person that didnt care about the bruce/dick relationship and thought that dick was better off cutting all ties with bruce.

I would like to argue thou that is how dick defines himself next to bruce becuase bruce is the catalist for dick's change not only through training but through their relationship as partners and as father and son (well before the new 52 atleast) becuase the reality is Dick couldnt be nightwing with out Bruce unlike Bruce who forged himself into who he is. Thats why Dick is really more like Superman in the way that both being orphans who were luckly taking in by people who would set them their paths that they follow today both needed that guiding hand or they would have been completly diferent people

when bruce took him in he shaped dick sense of justice and morality but Dick also knows form being around Bruce what he doesnt want to become ie alone and forever locked in the battle which will be the death of him. Thus while Bruce does define who dick has become and will become Dick hasnt allowed it to become ALL that he is

Edited by JayAaerow

@lordofthenorth:

I was getting that vibe after your reply. XD I understand how you felt like that. And with this reply, I understand(and now) agree with your point about him.

I don't want Bruce and Dick to have zero to do with each other. That's a no-no. I love their father/son relationship. I like how they're so alike that they just can't admit it. However, there's a difference between them in various ways. I like that dynamic. We always(from Dick's side) get reminded that give him a bad day(Like Donna Troy's death and when Blockbuster destroyed his apartment) and he's not very far from being just like Batman. At the same time, he shows he's more like Superman If he was human. In short, he's a blend of them both into one.

However, I wouldn't want him written where he needs Bruce in every aspect of his heroics just to be able to do anything. :/ He gets enough insulting names as it is.