Damian Wayne. You either love him or really hate him. He was created by writer Grant Morrison and became the next Robin after Bruce Wayne had “died.” This is when Dick Grayson donned the cape and cowl, with Damian as his boy wonder. Their Batman & Robin run is some of Grant’s best work. Nightwing #16 reunites the dynamic duo for a Grant Morrison reunion of sorts.
In the last issue of Nightwing, Dick’s romance was explored in great detail. As he’s still settling in as the protector of Bludhaven, he already finds himself in a compromising relationship. A mysterious enemy emerges and exploits this weakness. “Nightwing Must Die!” Part I reveals some even more compromising details about Grayson’s new love interest. Throw in a Nightwing/Robin team-up, with callbacks to their previous partnership, and we’re off!
Writer Tim Seeley has completely revitalized the characterization of Dick Grayson. This series has been a return to form, reigniting the passion that fans have always had with the character. Nightwing is very important to Batman and DC faithful alike. The success of this series is a crucial sign of DC Rebirth’s appeal.
Nightwing does his super hero duties like no other. Always with a smile and light commentary, he legitimately has fun being the acrobatic bad ass that he is. That translates into readers having just as much fun seeing Dick dismantle even the lowest level of criminal force. Regardless of your personal feelings towards him, Damian Wayne is almost the complete opposite.
Personally, I adore Damian Wayne. He may not be my favorite Robin, but I care deeply about him like a pesky little brother. Which is pretty much what he is to Dick as well. Their relationship is the most human feeling exchange in all of the Bat-Family.
Grant Morrison’s Batman & Robin was a really special run, having Robin be the brood and Batman carry a smile. His examination of their dynamic, and the Batman & Robin dynamic in general, is highly compelling. Seeing Tim Seeley dip into that and revisit these elements is an absolute joy. Dick and Damian’s relationship has come full circle, they even use their old Batmobile!
Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor combine their efforts to deliver another visually stunning comic book. Every flip and acrobatic action by Nightwing lands and flows so lightly and precisely. There are some major emotional themes throughout this issue and they scream at readers through the art. The design of this new mysterious villain, repurposing the Nightwing look from New 52, is a creative effort I really appreciate. As if the Grant Morrison reunion wasn’t nostalgic enough for fans, we’re also revisiting the previous red and black era.
All together, this is a really solid experience. Although the pace of Dick’s new romance seems to be faster than Barry Allen, it’s not completely underwhelming. I’m not heavily invested in Shawn Tsang as Dick’s love interest, but that gets completely overshadowed by how entertaining he and Damian are. Nightwing and Robin collaborations will always keep me invested in a story.