Nightwing 56

The Nightwings need some help from the original to take down Scarecrow.

Dick Grayson may not be Nightwing anymore, but he may soon be one of the new Nightwings protecting Blüdhaven.

Nightwing 56
Written by Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza
Pencils and Inks by Davide Gianfelice
Colors by Nick Filardi

Maybe I’ve been a little too harsh on this run of NIGHTWING, since I basically said I should drop it earlier this week. The latest issue out this week was, dare I say it, a good read that has me looking forward to the next issue in a way I haven’t in a while.

After getting shot in the head by KGBeast in an issue of Batman, Grayson has a bout of amnesia and eschews his former life as Nightwing. A team of cops who discovered one of Grayson’s old bunkers have picked up the mantle to better protect Blüdhaven now that its hero has moved on. The build-up has been less than enthralling, and it’s left me with several questions about the logic of the story. My biggest gripe has been the motivation for Grayson’s pushing away his friends and family – and those friends and family accepting Grayson throwing away his former life to become a cab driver.

At least, I suppose, Bruce Wayne didn’t have his former sidekick shipped off to SANCTUARY to work his issues out…

What the story has lacked in logic has been made worse by the lack of action to move the story forward. This, however, is a problem that has been rectified in the latest issue, with the new Nightwing Corps battling a mob incited by the Scarecrow, who came to Blüdhaven to exact revenge on the former Robin that frustrated him earlier in his career. Dr. Jonathan Crane managed to figure out that the first Robin had graduated to Nightwing, but he couldn’t figure out that the same guy, in the same city, was knocking him out and foiling his plot – without a mask!

OK, so I had some logic problems with this issue, too… but it didn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of the issue. The battle with Scarecrow’s mob seemed to have real stakes, and even had me believing that one of the Nightwing Corps members was going to be killed. Making Scarecrow a legit threat through the people he controlled grounded the story and gave everyone’s actions some weight.

Sure, the cop managed to survive in the end – those Nightwing costumes must have some pretty good kevlar armor – but the threat served its purpose in expressing the level of danger these cops have put themselves in.

Now that Grayson seems to be actively working with the Nightwing Corps (I guess we’ll have to wait til next issue to see if that sticks), I imagine it’s the first step toward his full return as Nightwing. The question is how far do they drag it out? Issue 75? Surely they won’t wait til the 100th issue to bring back the status quo… Or maybe they wait until Dick Grayson’s 80th anniversary in 2020.

I probably shouldn’t give them any ideas.