Comic Vine Review


Nightwing Annual #1 - Embers Review


Nightwing and Batgirl team up and explore the past, present and future together.

The Good

There are some things in comics that want to see happen. There are certain characters you feel deserve to be together. With Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, it's always been a tricky situation. Given the ambiguity of the New 52, it's been a little difficult to fully grasp where the two stand with each other. As both characters are are at turning points in their lives, this is the perfect time to take a close look at their relationship.

Following the events of Nightwing's adventures in Chicago (going after Tony Zucco) and before FOREVER EVIL, we see Dick tying up loose ends in Gotham and ends up getting pulled into a situation involving Firefly. He convinces Barbara to join him and we get a great team-up.

Kyle Higgins does a great job handling the situation between Dick and Barbara. Even though they're in the midst of hunting down a dangerous killer, they still find time to talk to each other. It's this interaction that gives the story a more realistic and warm feeling, rather than two cold two-dimensional characters trying to solve a crime. We may not be fully invested in Firefly's motives or actions but having Dick and Barbara on the case makes it an interesting read which also contains some interesting twists.

The nice thing about annuals is we get the chance to have an extended but self-contained story. It gives the story more depth without interrupting the flow by having to wait a month for the conclusion. Taking place outside the main series (and the BATGIRL series), there is more room to explore the relationship between Dick and Barbara.

The Bad

We do have some nicely laid out scenes and plenty of action. The problem is having the art split between two separate artists. It's an unfortunate distraction and there were a couple moments the characters looked a little awkward in their face and positions.

We do find out Firefly's full origin but it's never made clear exactly how he was able to design a flying suit that emits flames. Given his background, it made sense why he chose this angle but it's the how that left me scratching my head.

Was there a typo on the list of victims found at Firefly's workshop?

The Verdict

Fans of Dick and Barbara need to check this out. Kyle Higgins does a great job addressing the past, present and future of these two. Having a full-annual-sized adventure gives the perfect way to fully tell this story without interrupting the flow and allowing it all to play out in one sitting. It's stories like this that are needed to explore the situations and backstories of the different characters given the bits of mystery that still exist within the New 52's updated history. There was some distraction having the story's art split between two artists. Seeing Dick and Barbara together and with the conclusion Higgins gives us will leave you wanting more.

Posted by Lena_Dante

Loved loved loved this issue! Hit the dynamic perfectly and was a nice follow up to earlier issues in Nightwing and Batgirl that touched upon it.

Posted by AllStarSuperman

I cant wait to read this

Posted by ComicKing7

will people who don't like nightwing and batgirl together like this?

Edited by 2cool4fun

So pumped for this, can't wait for tomorrow

Posted by darkwingdan

I loved this issue, but I agree with your main points in the "Bad" section. A 4/5 sounds about right.

Edited by Chewblocka

This was confusing in a lot of bits and the art wasnt good at all IMO.

Should have just given Tony Daniel the whole issue and not just the cover! That way it would have been a perfect annual.

Posted by MissJ

There's a typo in the list of names. I think it's getting cleaned up for trade.

Posted by timelord

I thought it was a good jumping on point I might start reading Nightwing now.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

I've always been a Nightwing fan. With Venom's cancellation I have room to add him in again. Pumped to pick this up.

Edited by Munsu

Unless you are really craving for some Dick and Babs interaction then I'd say pass on this. The story is just a tease with no payoff in the end. Nothing new or interesting is added to their dynamic or their characters, as opposed to what the other annuals this week. As Nightwing and any story about him is pretty much handicapped until Forever Evil is over. So I doubt this story will be referenced again, but it ends how it began. With Nightwing all alone as always in the New 52.

Also if you really liked Firefly pre reboot I'd say pass on it as well.

Posted by akbogert

I don't have any idea why I decided to buy this, as I've never read Nightwing and have never really had an interest in him (and I don't know why I haven't had an interest in him either, haha). Only after I bought it did I realize it tied into Batgirl, which I am following, so it proved to be more relevant than I'd expected. So, with that background -- reading Batgirl, knowing nothing of substance about Nightwing -- I quite enjoyed this. And I got the sense that it was a much needed conversation between the two of them, executed in a way which felt satisfyingly reasonable.

Edited by cerial442

So is this "essential" if you read Nightwing? I'm not a fan of Annuals that don't continue the bigger story.

Posted by danhimself

I don't like how some artists draw Nightwing's boots or the lines above in this it looked like he was wearing thigh high boots

Posted by cobra88king8

@cerial442: it's not really essential to the main story, it does reveal and show him moving to Chicago long-term and selling his Gotham apartment. But it is a nice Dick-Babs story that I would say are worth picking up if you like those characters

Posted by Wilbertus

I am very excited to read this. I have really been enjoying New 52 Nightwing and I am a little anxious about what will happen to him during Forever Evil.

Edited by TheLaughingFish

I for one am a huge fan of Nightwing & Barbara having a thing, buuuuuuuuuuuut I really hate what they did to Firefly :(

Posted by Alak

I just finished reading the book, and I was pretty entertained. I'd personally give it roughly 3.5/5 starts myself since there were some confusing parts (hopefully it was a typo on the list). I'm looking forward to seeing how the Dick/Babs relationship develops later on, though.

Posted by JayAaerow

Wasn't that bad.

Isn't something to get and grab like the Chicago Arc. Not much to be told until after Forever Evil so keep that in mind(With that said, it makes me wanna roll my eyes because his book was really picking up....these crossovers are not kind to him and seem to slow down progress IN HIS OWN BOOK)

If you're a DickBabs fan or a Nightwing/Batgirl fan, go for it. But this issue isn't really that important.

I give it a 3/5

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

Enjoyed this issue very much. Love Higgins writing. I wish we saw more of Batgirl and Robin though. I'm really interested in that whole dynamic and their stories from "before".