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DC FUTURE STATE: NIGHTWING #1 Review

“One of the most exciting titles to come from Future State to date.” Neil reviews DC Comics new NIGHTWING #1, available in stores now.

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Future State: Nightwing #1 (DC Comics)

Published by DC Comics, Future State: Nightwing #1 is written by Andrew Constant with pencils and inks by Nicola Scott. Colours are by Ivan Plascencia and cover art is by Yasmine Putri. Available now in print and on digital where all good comic books are sold.

Synopsis

Batman is gone! Now, Nightwing has taken on the mission of keeping the citizens of Gotham City safe from the Magistrate. But to do that, he’ll have stay one step ahead of the Magistrate! And you know things have gotten bad in Gotham when the safest place for Dick to hide out is the abandoned Arkham Asylum! When Nightwing gets a visit from a mask claiming to be the new Batman…does he fight like one? Pick up this dark peek into the future by writer Andrew Constant and artist Nicola Scott to find out!

Review

It’s week three of DC Comics Future State and events in Gotham are beginning to coalesce. The Bat-Family books are successfully telling individual stories alongside coalescing elements in the wider world. In Nightwing that means a heavy focus on the supposed killing of Batman and the outlawing of masked vigilantes.

Compared to The Next Batman and Dark Detective the stakes have never felt higher. Whilst the new Batman remains in the shadows and Bruce presumed dead, it’s Dick who is public enemy number one. His leadership of the masked resistance proves as something as a point of hope to the reader. But is a bone of contention for The Magistrate.

Where other books in Future State has used their first issue to set the scene, Nightwing is able to get straight down to the action. Writer Andrew Constant opens the book with a familiar looking crime. A young couple. A dark Gotham alleyway. It feels familiar and comfortable to the reader. But there’s more going on here. It succinctly upends the reader’s understanding of the status quo in Gotham.

I also couldn’t take for granted that after the length Ric Grayson arc this was Dick back to his old self. Whilst the situation is rather grim more of his classic personality shines through in this book. Always more talkative than Bruce, there’s a level of narration and dialogue which feels undeniably Nightwing throughout.

It feels right that Constant has chosen to put Dick in charge of the Magistrate resistance. In Bruce’s absence Dick has always stepped up to take the lead. There’s not a huge amount of time to explore that aspect of this future Gotham but, if he survives in to issue #2, I hope we get to see more of this.

It also makes sense for Nighting to come across the brand new Batman. There’s a particularly poignant scene between them as they discuss secret identities. I had expected Dick to unmask the new Batman but instead this scene feels much more like a recognition of each other’s efforts to maintain peace in Gotham.

DC couldn’t have chosen a better artist for this book than Nicola Scott. This is top-notch stuff and the character never looked better. The newly redesigned costume feels perfectly in keeping with the future world. It’s visual exciting but still feels like classic Nightwing. As is customary with Dick these days there’s also a shower scene thirst trap. Scott also does a brilliant job of rendering the new Batsuit. Having glimpsed at new designs for a number of other classic characters I’d love to see what more Scott has to show from this world.

Verdict

Future State: Nighwing #1 is a-list work from DC. One of the most exciting titles to come from Future State to-date.


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