Posted November 18, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Nightwing #25

Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Will Conrad and Cliff Richards
Colors: Peter Pantazi

Before he became the superheroic Dick we all know and love, he was just an ordinary Dick.

Nightwing #25 tells a flashback story that explains why the titular hero seems to have learned the value of teamwork much earlier in his life than his mentor Batman did. Taking place during the events of the Dark Knight’s very own Zero Year story, Dark City, this tale doesn’t show Dick Grayson taking up the mantle of Nightwing or dealing with the Riddler personally. Heck, he hasn’t even become Robin here yet, and his parents are still alive at this point. He just happened to be at the right (wrong?) place and time – smack-dab in the middle of Gotham City on the night the Riddler pulled the plug and plunged it into darkness.

Kyle Higgins’s story makes it apparent that young Dick Grayson had a lot in common with the Dark Knight. They’re both high-tier acrobats who are perfectly competent enough to work on their own. A key difference between the two lies in this life-changing adventure, though, where Dick learns the hard way that working alone isn’t always the best option, and that a little teamwork goes a long way.

The story isn’t a terribly crucial or relevant one in terms of current events. However, it’s a nice look at the kind of man Dick was, even way before he became a super-hero. The spirit of heroism had been in him right from the start, it seems, as well as a flair for masks. The story also paints a picture of Dick as a capable, level-headed leader, and shows that while he may be a little self-absorbed and a little too confident in his own abilities, he has always been unselfish and ready to put the welfare of others before his own.

One thing worth noting about the art is that they really took the time to make sure that the Dick Grayson here unmistakably looks like a younger version of himself. There’s visual continuity between this issue and the rest of the Nightwing run; you can tell that the Dick featured here is younger, fresher, a bit more reckless, and capable despite his inexperience. A few background characters get introduced as well, and the circus is a bit more fleshed out. You could kind of see why events unfolded as they did in the first arc of the New 52 Nightwing run.

Perhaps the weakest point of this issue is the villain – Amygdala, some kind of walking mass of irrational hatred or something. He’s terribly boring, both in terms of appearance and character – if I didn’t know what I was looking at, I probably would have thought it was some kind of cross between Solomon Grundy and Clayface – and an uninspired choice of opponent, brought in solely as a plot device to move the story along. He does fulfill his purpose adequately, though.

Overall, it’s an entertaining read – a good distraction before major events start to unfold the title, specifically regarding Nightwing fate in Forever Evil. If you’re enjoying Zero Year as a whole, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up this book.



This review was sponsored by Druid’s Keep (third floor, Fort Strip Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig). Join the group on Facebook (here) and pay the shop a visit – it’s an awesome place to hang out and play games.

Mikael Angelo Francisco