Monday, October 03, 2011

DCnU - Nightwing #1 from DC's New 52

Nightwing is written by Kyle Higgins, with pencils by Eddy Barrows and inks by JP Mayer.

So, here we are: My favorite member of the Batman family. In many ways, I do like Dick Grayson even more than Batman himself. In the first three pages, we get the info dump: He has been living in Gotham for a year, filling in for Batman, who was "...away." And that he is thrilled to be himself again - Dick Grayson. Nightwing.

I feel like Higgins has a good grasp for the Nightwing character. He is an optimist in a dark world. But not naively so. He understands how serious what he does is. He knows lives depend on him. But if he can have a little fun while saving lives, that seems like a good deal to him.

In this issue, Dick Grayson reunites with the circus he grew up in. His upbringing in that circus has always been part of the emotional core of the character, so it is good to have it figure prominently in his first story arc. Given the prominence of the circus in the character's background, it is also appropriate that this is where we see Flashpoint's Mysterious Lady in Red observing Dick.

Then, on his way home from the circus, Dick Grayson is attacked by a costumed type, who kills two cops to get at him. He quickly changes to Nightwing and confronts him, to find that he would-be assassin is after him because "Dick Grayson is the fiercest killer in all of Gotham. And he doesn't even know it." This revelation, and the fact that the killer is even faster than Nightwing allow the mysterious figure to get the upper hand at the end of the book.

So, we have a body over in Batman #1 that has Dick Grayson's skin under it's fingernails, and here, we have a costumed assassin accusing Dick Grayson of being a killer. The plot thickens. I like the idea, but do hope this doesn't become a cross-over where you have to buy both comics.

Overall, the story was well-told and moved at a quick pace. The characters were interesting and multi-dimensional. I'm interested in who this killer is, and why he wants Nightwing dead.

I like the art, and feel it suits Nightwing very well. Much of Barrows' work is very kinetic, showing off how quick and agile Nightwing is.

Barrows also uses some unusual panel shapes - particularly diagonals to good effect. Whether it is to show the confined nature of a subway train, or to show that when you spend as much time leaping around as Nighwing, perspective is somewhat skewed, it really works well. Within the panels, he uses alot of up-looking angels as well, which again, helps to communicate Nightwing's high-flying nature.

I see from the solicits for Demeber that issue #4 has a different artist. I am not sure if that is a permanent change or not.

Overall, this book is definitely a keeper for me. I got drawn in to the mystery, and enjoyed everything around it as well.

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