Nightwing #30 “Setting Son” comes to us with a certain… trepidation. We don’t have Kyle Higgins writing for us. Instead, we are given a prelude to the upcoming (out as of July 9, 2014) series Grayson, co-written by Tim Seeley and Tom King. Nightwing fans everywhere are decrying/celebrating/worrying about this move by DC. Of course I don’t have to tell you that, you’re feeling it too.

This issue is divided into three separate but equal sections. Part One begins two months ago with the appearance and narration of one Dr. Leslie Thompkins. She is working in the Democratic Republic of Congo at a refugee camp. Ah, good ‘ole Leslie. The role fits her, not just telling us she is a truly kind and giving person, but showing us. My only complaint about Leslie is her age. I know this is a new incarnation, but how I wish she were old and gray and near-grandmotherly status.

Part One pits Leslie in a threat made by The Fist of Cain. As they ravage the camp quite violently, Leslie and her poor patient escape near magically from camp and are rescued by an agent of Spyral.

Spoiler
Leslie fears that she’s spilled the beans about Batman’s secret identity. It’s here we realize the narration is actually her telling Batman this story. This is Bruce’s motivation for what is to come.
I’m not a big fan of the cell-shaded looking art by Javier Garron. It looks great on its own, but the heavy inks detract from following the story in my opinion.

Fast forward to “Now” at the Batcave. Two very sad and well-drawn pages of Alfred set the tone for Part Two. It’s an interesting way of tackling exposition. It’s effective if not a tad pushed. But I’ll accept it. Dick has been “killed” during Forever Evil, and Bruce wants to talk to him. The panels are laid out in a very traditional manner. Each page is easy to follow and the subject matter holds your attention. It’s extremely violent, emotional, and meaningful.

Spoiler
Bruce wants Dick to go undercover in Spyral since he is “dead” now. They pound it out, beating the pulp out of each other. Bruce’s harshness is shown in comparison to Dick’s sentimentality throughout their “conversation”. Sure it’s a little over the top, but I’m cool with it. Bruce’s trust in Dick is shown in all this, elevating Dick’s position above all others. It’s a nice moment to finally see with Bruce’s arm around his former partner.

Part Three finally gives us a peak at the full creative team to come in Grayson. I love hearing Dick’s inner monologue. He tells a story of who he was, what he did, and why. The creative team does a good job wrapping all three parts together in this part three. We see Dick in a variety of locations fighting several Fist of Cain members. It’s exciting and primes us for Grayson.

Recommended if…

  • You are a fan of Dick Grayson
  • You want to read Grayson
  • You are hopeful for the future just as Nightwing would be

Overall:

It’s an exciting and emotional issue. I’m sorry not to see Kyle Higgin’s run continue, but this happens to be a great prelude to Grayson. If you are looking forward to the former Boy Wonder’s change of roles, this will encourage you. If you are saying, “No, no, no!” just give it a try. You might like it.

SCORE: 8/10