Thursday, July 21, 2016


Inspired by a recent episode of Trentus Magnus Punches Reality, I have dug out my old Nightwing comics and have started a reread. While I by no means have a complete run, I have a rather large chunk, especially of the Dixon/McDaniel/Story team. Doing this has reminded me just why Nightwing is my favorite member of the Bat-Family.

That's right. Not Batman. Not Robin. Not even Dick Grayson as Robin. No, my favorite member of the Bat-Family is Nightwing. Specifically the Nighwing as written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Scott McDaniel & Karl Story.

That I like the character under the pen of Dixon is a no-brainer. He's one of the writers that "gets" these characters and it's a joy to read any of his work. Having Dick go to another city, where he doesn't have the Gotham support systems, is wonderful. Not only that, we get some great supporting characters and Dick is able to finally find his own way.

What doesn't jive is that I like the art so much. Those that know me understand that I don't like impressionistic or "wonky" art. Not suprising when my first ever comic was drawn by Sal Buscema, a master. Even Walt Simonson's art, which is a bit more stylized, still is workable.

McDaniel's art, however, with it's odd sight lines and movable anatomy, doesn't fit into my normal box. However, it just WORKS for Nightwing. It kind of works for Robin, and I don't think it works for Batman or Superman at all, but it's just a perfect fit for Nightwing. The Flash/Spider-Man multiple images is terrific (see the image on this post) and allows you to see the grace at which Dick moves through his city. It's just some great stuff.

So the writing and art on this series is great, but why Nightwing? Well, that's pretty simple. Here you have one of the 2nd generation heroes who has grown into his own man. Unlike Wally West, who is my favorite Flash, Dick didn't take over for his mentor. He stopped being Robin and, after a bit of a search, found his own path. He's obviously inspired by Batman still, but also by all the other heroes who he's worked with. Nightwing isn't Batman 2.0, and he isn't Robin in long pants, he's his own hero who's grown into this role. That, and his ability to still smile & joke, is why I like Nightwing the best.

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  1. Could it also be in part that Nightwing was DC allowing characters to evolve, and grow as compared to returning to the status quo after a story or short arc? Or worse, getting to a point* and then pressing the RESET button.

    * - Or going beyond that and presenting a large scale and heavily hyped major change to a character knowing in advance that the RESET button was going to come along within a year or two.

    1. That does have something to do with it. They did that with Wally West as well, but he was still "The Flash", so it wasn't quite as much growth as Nightwing had.