Nightwing is back on the streets! Kind of… Well, not really. 

Nightwing 53
Written by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicienza
Pencils and Inks by Travis Moore and Patch Zirchner 
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain

This new arc – with Dick Grayson recovering from the gunshot he received from KGBeast in BATMAN 55 – just has me completely annoyed for a variety of reasons. It could be because of a bias against Scott Lobdell dating back to his work on comics during the New 52 era. It could also be because the story he’s crafted so far is filled with logic flaws that defy my suspension of disbelief. 

Grayson has been shot. When he wakes up from the bullet he took to the side of the head, he has significant trauma, including amnesia, and immediately rejects everything about his old life. He pushes all of his old friends away, wants nothing to do with billionaire Bruce Wayne and his butler Alfred or Barbara Gordon or any of the Titans. Instead, he starts driving a cab in Blüdhaven and burns all of his old gear. Or so he thinks. 

His costumes and his equipment survive, at least enough for police officer Alphonse Sapienza to find a bunker. And the cop decides HE should be the new Nightwing, and tries to convince some of his buddies on the force to team up in the various costumes to fight crime because the rest of the Blüdhaven police force are corrupt and terrible at their jobs. 

Sapienza coincidentally goes after a gang who has a taxi driver friend of the newly-christened Ric Grayson, and Nightwings past and present confront each other, with the cop telling Grayson to go away and Grayson ignoring him and helping anyway. And all Grayson is concerned with is whether he looked as cool in the costume as Sapienza does. Because he has amnesia and can’t remember. 

And when the new Nightwing gets the gang, it gets him some significant press coverage from Vicki Vale, who tells the world that the city’s hero has returned after missing for 4 months. 

I know Bruce Wayne is going through a lot, but if the next issue doesn’t include several pages of Batman in Blüdhaven, angrily asking Sapienza where he got the costume, this whole arc is completely flawed, because I can’t imagine any incarnation of Batman that wouldn’t be on a Batplane to confront someone who basically stole his adopted son’s identity. 

Meanwhile, Ric is also going on dates with the bartender at the watering hole he frequents and using every other inner monologue to say how glad he is that he isn’t wearing a costume any more while he’s either living out of his car or squatting in homes of people who are on vacation. Oh, and Scarecrow is in town now attacking recovering addicts at a meeting, including another regular of Grayson’s favorite bar. So that should be fun when he keeps running into the new Nightwing, who should rightly get completely murdered by Dr. Jonathon Crane.

I’m really not sure why I’m still picking this book up, outside of the morbid curiosity about how they get themselves out of this stupidity.