Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nightwing #1 - A Review

Nightwing was one of the first titles I read when I was just getting into comics. With a memorable supporting cast and energetic artwork it remains a favorite of mine to this day. As such, you can imagine my joy when I heard that Dick Grayson would be getting his own book again as part of The New 52 revamp and my eagerness to see if this new title lived up to the original.

We start in the thick of the action, watching Dick Grayson – back to his old codename of Nightwing but with a slightly modified costume – as he acrobatically dispenses some street justice. Noticing that Haly’s Circus – the one he was a part of before his parents’ deaths – is in town, he drops in to touch base with his old circus friends and reacquaints himself with Raya – an attractive redhead acrobat. He is on his way home, thinking happy thoughts, when he is suddenly attacked by a masked man.who is after Dick Grayson – not Nightwing – for completely unbelievable reasons…

Given my opinions on Deathstroke #1, you can imagine my dread when I realized that the author of this new Nightwing book is Kyle Higgins, who I was less than kind towards last week. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that I enjoyed most of what I saw here. True, a part of me is disappointed that Dick has apparently not been keeping tabs on his former home, it having been said in the previous Nightwing book that Dick thought of the people he grew up with in the circus as family. But Higgins perfectly captures Dick’s cheerful personality and sly humor. The action scenes are well-blocked and the mystery brought up in the final pages - which seems to match up with the same mystery revealed on the last page of Batman #1 – is an engaging one.

Artist Eddy Barrows proves every bit the equal of Scott McDaniel. The early part of the issue is filled with a series of two-page spreads, which show the full range of Nightwing’s acrobatic motion. The action flows well from panel to panel and the character design is good, with every character having a distinct look.

All in all, I was pleased with this issue. I’m not yet ready to declare Higgins and Barrows the Dixon and McDaniel of the Modern Age but this is a good title with a solid story and amazing artwork. Give it a try.

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