Review: Nightwing #2

Published on October 27th, 2011

DC’s “NEW 52” seems to have been a ringing success on all fronts. I can’t tell you the amount of people who I have talked to who really feel that they have done some great work on this facelift for the DCU. A great example of that is Nightwing. While we have seen Dick take on the mantle of Batman in the not-so-distant past, he now seems to be Nightwing again. However, do writer Kyle Higgins and artist Eddy Barrows make Nightwing# 2 soar above Gotham with pride or plummet to the ground all twitchy? Read on to find out!

First issues are always fun. It allows us to get a good grip on the new world our character inhabits. Like all the “New 52,” Nightwing was a pretty run-of-the-mill good first issue. In my eyes, though, it isn’t a great first issue that sucks me into a character or the story; it is issue #2 or #23 or #54 that is where the meat of the story really lies. Nightwing seems to understand that, judging by the setup from issue #1. They seem to be going a completely different, and mightnightwing2 I add interesting, route with Nightwing! As I stated, issue one was “ok,” but I felt it was a pretty normal Nightwing story. Issue #2, however, blows expectations out of the water!

Nightwing #2 starts off where issue #1 left off. Nightwing is fighting some mysterious new villain named Saiko across Gotham. Saiko has a similar look to Daken over at Marvel, except he is completely covered from head to toe in a costume. This new killer is out to kill Nightwing’s normal persona Dick Grayson, so that changes things a bit, because usually it is the other way around. The story abruptly changes as Raya, of Haley’s Circus, tells Dick that she needs to take him to see Mr. Haley. Now what comes next is both a welcome surprise and has my brain going for where this story could take us and how it might beef up Nightwing as a stand-alone character. Dick flies Raya down to Haley in Atlantic City, New Jersey, because Haley is dying and needs to give Dick something. That something is the deed to the Haley Circus and, presumably, all its secrets. It is that bit of dialogue that takes this book from being good to it being a “must read” book! It goes without saying really, but up until now Dick’s past and the past of The Haley Circus haven’t really been explored much. The stories we know are all usually linked to Batman and the history surrounding the death of Dick’s parents. This now opens the door to so many possibilities. Was there more to The Haley Circus than previously thought? Will this mean a strong supporting cast of characters who allow Nightwing to grow more on his own and allow him to have his own set of family and support who have nothing to do with Batman?! So many chances for great stories are put into place by Higgins and all are supported amazingly by Barrows’ artwork!

The end of the issue has our hero once again fighting Saiko, who claims that Greyson is a cold blooded killer, and finally with Grayson holding a almost-dead Haley in his arms to hear his final words: that Saiko is trying to kill them both because of the secret of what the Haley Circus really is….That the answer is at the heart of it. WHAT??!! NOW THAT IS A MYSTERY! I can fully say that I cannot wait until next month to read what Higgins is putting into place and what Barrows draws. If this team continues to deliver on this book, then it could easily become the sleeper hit of DC comics!

Final Verdict: Barrows and Higgins are doing for Nightwing what Brubaker and Epting did for Bucky and I cant tell you how cool that is as a reader!Nightwing IS a MUST READ book every month by the great new and improved DC Comics!

Sheldon Lee