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Nightwing #0 Review

Writer: Kyle Higgins and Tom Defalco

Art: Eddie Barrows

Reviewed by David Short

Oh man. This book put me in one troublesome funk last night. I sat down, read the book, was dumbfounded, read it again, had no change of heart, tried to write a review, and was at a complete loss of words as to how to describe my feelings to you. So, I came back with a vengeance today and read the book a few more times. Luckily (if that is what you wish to call it), I now have a firm grasp of my feelings toward this particular origin story.

Dick Grayson’s history is not something that was ever in question. He’s a character that is too entrenched in DC’s lore to change things up too much. And, to be honest, I didn’t expect anything groundbreaking in that regard. I did expect a solid issue from Kyle Higgins—a person who truly loves Dick and his writing has shown it to this point. What we end up with is an issue that has truly great points, and the rest is pretty underwhelming.

On one hand, this is the perfect issue for brand new readers to Dick Grayson. On the other, it would be unfortunate if this is the first exposure to a truly great character for new readers. While Higgins is able to give us some really touching moments in this book, most of the dialogue and inner monologue are extremely heavy handed. Things are repeated innumerous times. It gets really old, really quick. People are either stating the blatantly obvious, or magically taking the words right out of our hero’s head. It really breaks my suspension of disbelief, and it’s something that Higgins usually doesn’t struggle with.

It isn’t all bad though. What Higgins is able to do so well here is show the readers how similar, yet completely different Bruce and his first protégé are. It really gets nailed home in a scene between Dick and Alfred. These few panels are the best moment the Nightwing series has had in its thirteen issues. It makes you wonder why Higgins didn’t handle more of the book in this fashion. Of course, all the blame may not fall on Kyle’s shoulders, as Tom Defalco co-wrote this issue. I don’t know who came up with what here, but either way, it is something that falls short of my expectations in most facets.

Nightwing has had a good thing going in the art department. Pages are laid out in innovative ways, Dick is graceful in his movements, and emotions aren’t lost in the mix. Eddie Barrows handles action very well in this book. That is about it. We still have a similar look to the book, but things don’t hold up well. It’s extremely busy. Sometimes less is more, and I think this book could have used quite a bit less going on in each panel. Also, the faces are just off. In the scenes where the Boy Wonder isn’t kicking people in the face things just look stiff. More so, the facial expressions seem unnatural. It really brings you out of the experience.

Verdict

Pass. This book has a few redeeming qualities, but not enough to make it worth your money. This is what I came into DC’s zero month expecting, but haven’t gotten too much of. Having read Batwoman before this, and seeing just how this kind of thing should be handled, this book wasn’t able to evoke too much other than disappointment.

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