Good news and bad news for Dick Grayson fans. As we all wondered what Dick's fate would be once once he was captured by the Crime Syndicate and his secret identity was revealed, word has gotten out what his next phase would be. NIGHTWING may be ending but we'll soon see Dick starring in a new role in GRAYSON, also written by Tim Seeley.
Seeley introduces us to a different section of the New 52 Universe. We see Leslie Thompkins come across a group who's name translates into "The Fist of Cain." (I may be totally reading into it too much but I can't help but think about that name more than maybe I should). We are also introduced to another "new" character (or a new version of a character). Changes in the New 52 are not new so it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I have to admit my curiosity has been aroused a bit. As Dick prepares for the next phase of his career, there's going to be some big repercussions in the long run.
Speaking of the new character's design, of course I'm torn. Not for the reason some will have. I dug the character before. This is clearly a different take on her, which is fine. We've come to accept that now in the New 52. Or at least some of us have. Of course there is the question as to why change a character instead of create a new one. With the minor appearances she makes, you can feel her presence and attitude. Her presence in GRAYSON is something I will be looking forward to. Mikel Janin's pencils are really nice in the final part, which also gives something else to look forward to.
This should not have been the final issue of NIGHTWING. Last issue felt like a more fitting end. This should have been GRAYSON #0. There is a deep contrasting change in the tone in the opening pages set in the Congo. Part of this issue feel all over the place. There is a lot to juggle with ending one direction and setting up the next while including the aftermath of FOREVER EVIL. The members of the Fist of Cain felt a little over the top. That's not necessarily a bad thing but you have to wonder if this is the sort of villains Dick will face and the tone of GRAYSON.
During Bruce and Dick's conversation, things got a little out of hand. They basically thrashed the place. Bruce manages to kick a motorcycle in half. All this while having a conversation. The reason for Dick's change is interesting. There definitely is potential here. The execution in how it has to happen leaves a slightly sour taste. Hopefully we'll see the rest of the Bat-Family's reaction to this and their eventual discovery of the truth. From the way FOREVER EVIL #7 played out, Catwoman, Lex, Cyborg, and members of the Justice League and Justice League of America should know Dick's still alive. But the rest of the Bat-Family won't? Perhaps something more happened off panel? (That isn't a direct critique for this issue).
The change in art was a little distracting. The 'conversation' scene between Bruce and Dick felt a little muddy at times. Shifting artists is always a distraction for me.
Change is in the air. It's not a secret that I'm not super-crazy about the changes coming for Dick Grayson. The idea of Dick joining Spyral is definitely intriguing. Tim Seeley introduces us to aspects of the new direction we can expect when the new series, GRAYSON, debuts. There is definitely potential in what's coming up along with the new interpretation of a character that appears here. Unfortunately this issue was a little all over the place in closing out the previous volume and setting up the new one. It didn't feel like a NIGHTWING issue and that might not have been the intention. This isn't the final issue of NIGHTWING I wanted but I will be checking out what's next for sure.