Let’s Talk About It: Nightwing (2016)

So a Nightwing movie has been slotted for the DCEU, and that’s pretty dope, but we’re not here to talk about the potential movie that hasn’t started casting or writing a narrative yet. I’m here to talk about Nightwing the comic, specifically the 2016 run that’s currently happening. So in May 2016, the DC universe went through a soft-ish reset in order to fix some of the problems fans had with the New 52—which that was started by Flashpoint and effectively reset the previous DC continuity. Overall though, Rebirth is just here to fix New 52 because peeps were not really fans of it. I mean New 52 gave us this:

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And this is not okay. It’ll never be okay. No. Never again.

So I won’t explain DC Rebirth because once again it revolves around the Flash family and all that jazz, but let’s say that a good number of parts of the New 52 are still kinda there, just not as trash. Nightwing 2016 finishes after the titular character’s own Rebirth special, and if you want to get a gist of what’s happened before that, you should probably read Batman & Robin Eternal (I love it). So in Nightwing 2016, our boy Dick Grayson is part of the Parliament of Owls and wants to take it down from the inside. While partaking in missions for the Parliament he’s set up with a guy going by Raptor. In a way Raptor plays the role of mentor and says that Dick hasn’t been taught well by Batman.

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Let’s say it leads to an interesting relationship.

So before I talk about my opinions on this current comic run, I should probably talk about Nightwing/Robin/Dick Grayson and why I love him so much. Like many young adults my age who were kind of nerdy but not full blown comic book reading nerdy, my first encounter with Dick Grayson was when I was was in elementary school watching Teen Titans. Which woo, that was fun. Though it was never really outright stated that the Robin in Teen Titans was Dick Grayson, there were enough hints for people to figure it out, but back then Robin was just cool. He made quips. He had a staff. He was like Batman without all the brooding. Then there was Young Justice which was dope and I always love the scene in the beginning of the series when Dick says that he doesn’t want to become Batman (or should I say The Batman).

That’s what’s always been interesting for about Dick Grayson. He was raised and trained by Batman. He was Batman’s first Robin. If anyone were to pick up the mantle it would be Dick (and for a while in like 2009 Dick was Batman), but when it comes to ideologies and personality, they’re different. And while Batman is confident of every choice made and is The Batman, Dick is still unsure. He’s a bit more relatable than know everything forever steps ahead Batman.

And this 2016 run, seeing it as a chance to re-establish our titular character, goes back with this feeling of uncertainty. This feeling of not living up to the Batman training he had received. It’s fun. It’s fresh. And though it’s at times action oriented, it never places Dick’s character in the back seat. You know what he’s thinking. You understand his desires and his fears and what’s at stake with every choice he makes. It’s a fresh run in which Dick is trying to make it out on his own, and the run gets even better when he goes to Bludhaven (not only because, YAY Bludhaven, but also because before he goes to Bludhaven, he re-establishes a relationship with Superman—but Supes isn’t New 52 Supes, but actually New Earth, so Pre-Flashpoint, Supes). And though quite a few fans may find this new take on Nightwing to be slow, I invite this run because I enjoy focusing on Dick Grayson’s character, because more important than his existence as Nightwing is his existence as Dick Grayson.

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Also, look at this artwork. I’d marry this artwork.

So go read the new Nightwing run. It’s entertaining. It’s relatable. One might say it verges on being literary. You can find it the single issues in bookstores or buy the bundled volumes. Volume one is currently out and volume two (covering Bludhaven), will be out in June. Later days.

 

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