Publisher: DC Comics
Released: June 20th 2017
Issues: Nightwing (Rebirth) 9-15
Nightwing’s latest round of adventures continues into a second volume (as of right now there are actually five volumes in total, with no dated end for publication). Nightwing has always been an interesting character to me, and while I’ve seen him along the sidelines of many other series I read (just think about all the cameos and appearances he’s made over the years – in the Batman spinoff series alone it gets pretty crazy) I’ve never actually done a read through of any of the series dedicated just to him. It’s nice to get a fuller picture of the character, though at times I wish the plot had more…oomph to it.
Nightwing volume two is pretty much all about Nightwing settling into and establishing his own territory. This isn’t a new concept, not to me and certainly not to the many Bat characters that run through the streets at night. Grayson decided to settle in a city called Bludhaven, and there’s even a list of reasons why he picked this area. For the record, I actually think this city has a lot of potential for a background here, and I’m totally not just saying that because of the name (though it is fun to say: Bludhaven).
I really loved it when Batgirl moved and claimed her own space, so I was expecting the Nightwing equivalent of that. Which I guess is sort of true? It just felt a lot more emotional and less impactful than I anticipated. I want to like Bludhaven, and I see its potential, but the things they’re choosing to focus on in the city are…odd. I get that they’re trying to make parallels with Grayson’s character here, but I think they’re trying too hard.
That being said, there’s still quite a bit that’s good to this city and plot. I like the introduction of a group of (very) small time ex-villains who are just trying to find their way through life. They want more than redemption, they want to be left alone to live their lives in peace (which holds up – look at how hard ex-criminals have it, can you imagine how much more difficult it’d be if they were of the mask wearing variety?). They meet up weekly (I think) as sort of a group counseling deal, which is an interesting idea (it also reminded me of Venture Brothers and the sidekicks support group). As far as establishing a larger cast of side characters goes, this was actually pretty good.
Granted, the messed it up a little bit when they decided to have Grayson start dating the leader, but that’s a whole different story. I swear Grayson dates around more than She-Hulk, and I feel like that is saying something. I also don’t understand why they felt the need to show so many established characters caring about the budding relationship (I sincerely don’t see Red Hood caring one bit about that)…but maybe that’s just me. I also haven’t read any previous Nightwing series, so there may be precedent for this. I don’t know, but it was a bit off-putting for me.
I still think Bludhaven has potential – I would just like to see more of its criminal underbelly before I made a final decision on that matter (I would love a Penguin like mob being run somewhere here – it feels like the perfect fit). Hopefully the next Nightwing plot has a bit more meat to it.