New 52 – Nightwing #1 review

It’s okay. It’s not a great book. It’s not a terrible book. It’s…it’s okay. I mean, if you have three bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you love Dick Grayson then pick it up! You’re not going to regret the decision, but you’re definitely not going to look back on this story with some kind of fondness.

Dick isn’t Batman anymore. Which may be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s nice to see some kind of progression in this mythology and seeing a nicer Batman fighting alongside a dark, brooding Robin for a year was fun, but Bruce Wayne is Batman. We all knew he would be Batman again and we know that having more than one Batman kinda lessens the character’s impact. It’s just a forgone conclusion that one day all of these poor Batman Inc representatives are going to get picked off one by one so we can get a story about how Bruce Wayne is the only true Batman and it’s his burden to bear. We just have to hope that that story is good. Much like how when Gordon was shot and then retired. It shook things up for a bit, but we all knew Gordon would be back. After all, you wouldn’t want your children or your children’s children growing up not knowing who Jim Gordon is.

So things are back to normal…sort of. DC’s new 52 seems to have been a complete reboot for everyone except for Green Lantern and Batman and in both of those cases the good folks at DC decided to pick and choose what stayed and what didn’t. Catwoman doesn’t know Bruce is Batman, Barbara Gordon can walk again (“The Killing Joke” was an elseworld’s tale! She should’ve been fine anyway!), Tim Drake must’ve had a run-in with Benjamin Button’s disease because he’s a couple years younger these days, and Dick Grayson, who won the battle for the cowl has gone back to being Nightwing. Only it seems like he’s sticking in Gotham and not going back to Bludhaven.

While they’re regressing, they might as well have Dick go back to being a cop. Only this time have him join Gotham’s police department, maybe serving under Jim Gordon or getting partnered with Harvey Bullock. Just a little food for thought. Anyway, this is a review so I digress… It’s okay.

One change that I really don’t like, and I can’t be alone on this, is the new Nightwing color scheme. Why does he have a red symbol like Robin from Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin”? Did DC not get the memo that fans aren’t too fond of being reminded of that flick? Did they think that there were parts of that abomination that were salvageable? (Yes, Michael Gough did a good job. That’s not the point!) They need to go back to black and blue ASAP. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

As for actual content: the book is all about Dick walking around Gotham, thinking to himself. The whole thing is him self-narrating his way around town and ultimately to the circus he used to be a part of. He says hi to a few people from his past and then (spoilerish) a new villain shows up with a mysterious agenda that won’t be explained until future issues. This clearly could lead to a pretty good opening story for Dick, but it doesn’t exactly kick off with a bang.

There are 3 kinds of comics in this world: the kind that are cherished, the kind that are flipped through at the comic shop and then put back on the rack, and the kind that should be avoided entirely. If you’re not a collector or a hard-core Dick Grayson fan then just skim this one next time you’re in the shop and buy a better book instead. Aquaman is particularly good. As is Animal Man.

SCORE: 6/10