New 52 Review – “Nightwing #1”

Dick Grayson, the original Robin, is back as Nightwing with a new colour scheme.

General Information

Title: Nightwing #1

Author: Kyle Higgins

Illustrator(s): Eddy Barrows (pencils), J.P. Mayer (inks) and Rod Reis (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Dick Grayson, the sidekick who grew up to be his own hero, is back in his own identity. He made a good Batman, but this is where he belongs; he’s earned a name as Nightwing. Now the old Haley Circus has returned to Gotham, and he’s going to revisit his past.

High Point

Dick Grayson: “And how about you, Jimmy? How ya been?”
Jimmy: “How do you think I’ve been Grayson? I’m a clown doin’ a show in Gotham. Terrible.”
This is after Jimmy has already refused to wear the green wig with the purple shirt.

Low Point

“He’s fast, whoever he is. Even faster than me.” This exact line was used by the same character just over a year ago, and it doesn’t feel like an intentional homage.

The Scores

This feels original, especially compared to the Bat-family of titles. We’ve got a light-hearted lead, but he’s still in the dark heart of the city, and he’s fighting the good fight without hedonism or ghosts of the past. Yes, his early life had tragedy, but as he says, “…at the end of the day, my past isn’t my biggest weakness, it’s my biggest strength.” He witnessed the murder of his parents, and yet he’s moved on to the point he can think about them and smile. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is strong. Colour tones shift with the mood and to illustrate time lapses very effectively. The line work is clear and emotive, with detail that doesn’t overpower. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is off to a strong start. I’ve been more interested Dick Grayson than Bruce Wayne since I first heard of his graduation into Nightwing, and this title serves as a great starting point. Yes, there’s a history, but nothing that hasn’t been well covered here in a natural manner, while still setting up a great story arc for the future. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization is great. We’ve got a lighthearted monologue that lets us know who Dick is, and even highlights key differences between Dick and Bruce without dwelling on them. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is much better than expected. The two strongest Bat family titles to date do not star Batman. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is very smooth. We get the starting action sequence before the origin recap and the new action sequence, as with the story structure of many of the new 52, but it all ties together much more smoothly than most. 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a stronger title than I expected it to be, and my hopes were high going in. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Nightwing #1 receives 40 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman