Nightwing #55 is written by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza. Artwork is by Garry Brown and Christopher Mooneyham with colours by Hi-Fi. The cover is by Nick Filardi and Christopher Mooneyham.
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The repercussions of the cataclysmic events of BATMAN #55 continue as a scarred Dick Grayson has given up his vigilante persona in favor a normal existence. A new job, new friends, new life—all are compromised when a safehouse full of old Nightwing gear falls into the wrong hands. Confronted with a past he’s worked so desperately to escape, will Dick Grayson answer the challenge by becoming Nightwing…or something else? The newest chapter in the evolution of Dick Grayson reaches its next level!
Nightwing has become a very interesting creature. The series has taken itself off the map and in to uncharted territory following the shooting of Dick Grayson.
In issue #55 we find the newly christened Ric Grayson still, pretty much, at peace which who he is now. The ‘twist’ in this tale is clearly that the former Robin is happy with who he is now. Having no memory of all the terrible things which happened to him in the past ha seen good for him.
The problem is that we have seen this all before. When Bruce Wayne ‘died’ and Jim Gordon became Batman we were confronted with a happy Bruce. A Bruce who grabbed life by the balls and refused to go back to who he was. At least until the city truly needed him.
The problem with these stories is we know that in the end the lead character will go back to who they were before. Albeit with a slightly renewed vigour and attitude. But regardless, at some stage in the future we will go back to square one.
To keep stories like this interesting the writers have to find a hook of some kind. For Batman comics it was seeing Jim Gordon in the mecha-Batman suit. For Nightwing it’s the group of cops who have raided Dick’s wardrobe and set themselves up as The Nightwings.
Could one of these characters become the new Nightwing? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting to watch in the interim.
Ric’s journey back to Nightwing isn’t wholly unwatchable either. This issue in particular see’s him caught up in the action. The fact he can switch back to Dick mode (sorry that sounds wrong) so easily is a clear sign to me we’re nearing the end of this journey.
The problem is that as an audience member I feel conflicted. It’s hard not to root for Ric to live happily ever after. But then things would never be the same again.
The alternative, to revert him back to being Nightwing and who he was before, is also attractive. But to do so makes this entire current arc unnecessary.
This is the inherent issue with this type of story. Though brave they come with a whole new set of problems which can easily alienate readers who feel their time is being wasted. Nightwing is by no means alienating here. It’s just not spectacular either.
DC Comics could learn a lot by looking inwards at stories like The Killing Joke and the consequences that story had for years on Barbara Gordon.
Nightwing #55 is an interesting conundrum. Whilst it’s interesting to see
Dick Ric struggling with his identity the book feels like it’s lacking enough drive to push the story forwards.
There’s plenty of intrigue from The Nightwings to keep the reader interested but for how long? It’s a middle of the road story elevated by some great action set pieces.