Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SPOILERS: Nightwing #0

Haley's Circus is in Gotham, and two young acrobats are playing by the rail station. Both Dick Grayson and a soon to be abducted by the Court of Owls, Raymond, are jumping from train car to train car. When a security guard finds them, and starts to give chase, he gets caught in a situation of being int he way of a moving train, but Dick Grayson being who he is, saves the man, instead of running away. Sucks for him, because the security guard turns him in anyways.

That night (birthday night for Dick's mother), Dick is scolded by his parents, grounding him indefinitely, for having to pick him up at a police station earlier. Before the Flying Graysons go out to practice, Dick gives his mother a gold bracelet, with two robins on it. Mary loves it, but nevertheless... Dick is still grounded.

As Dick steps outside, he see's Tony Zucco arguing with C.C. Haly about something, and well... we all know the rest.

With Dick holding his mother's bracelet, a young Bruce Wayne approaches him, asking about it. Dick notices some physical ticks Bruce has, obviously triggered by some bad memories. Bruce goes on to talk to James Gordon about the boy, saying he might be able to help.

Dick gets moved to the Wayne Care Center, where he's being watched over, but not well enough... because during most of his days, Dick spends his time looking up Zucco, and his nights going out and searching for him... but he soon finds someone else is searching for him too, the Batman.

Dick watches as Batman beats up some thugs, but notices that one grabs a civilian and puts a gun to their head. Not thinking, and possibly acting on pure adrenaline, Dick jumps down to the alley, and lends his help. Once everything is over, he's confronted by Batman briefly, as he notices some similar physical ticks in Batman.

Back at the Wayne Care Center, Bruce speaks to Alfred in private about the boy's talents, while Dick looks up Bruce Wayne and is pretty taken back by what he finds.

Dick doesn't stop his search for zucco, as he's observed by Batman in doing so. After one night where he easily takes down a group of thugs, he's finally brought in by Batman, and begins his path to become the first Robin.

Though Alfred didn't agree with bringing someone as young as Dick into the war on crime, Dick nevertheless spent the next few months training under Bruce's watchful eye, and Alfred would offer his support to the young hero whenever he needed it.

Sometime later, Dick still hasn't been activated for field duty, and is running some computers while in the Batcave, turns out a assassin by the name of Lady Shiva is in town, and on cue, she's found, and poisoned Batman with a trowing star/dart/whatever. Dick see's Batman's vitals are crashing, rushes to get his costume on, and goes out to save him, without any permission.

When Dick reaches the scene, he gets a surprise kick in on Lady Shiva, but not much else. In the following fight, Shiva lands a few good strikes in, but is impressed with how the boy moves and fights. With Dick beaten, Shiva leaves, telling him once he's ready to step out from Batman's shadow, to come find her.

Dick helps Bruce up, who can only say "shouldn't be wearing that." Dick tries to tell him he was just attempting to help, but in a classic Bruce fashion, he pulls a "Get in the car. Now."

As the two leave the scene, Dick thinks to himself that Robin would be "anything but permanent" but nevertheless, it was a step to moving forward, and accepting the change to his life that was on the horizon.


Great, great issue. Not too much in Dick Grayson's origin has changed, which is great, but there are enough unique aspects to this version of it to make it feel fun and fresh. On top of that, this is one of those issues where it reminds  you how much it sucks Eddy Barrows hasn't been able to stay on art duties consistently, because the art is fan-fucking-tastic. Probably the best he's done so far.

The one thing that worked against this issue was Lady Shiva... completely out of nowhere, with little to no context. I'll pin that one on Tom DeFalco, who co-plotted this issue, seeing that he's the one telling the Lady Shiva story in the next two issues. It just... felt so out of place. It was obviously there to move into the next few issues, but it was done so heavy handedly, and abruptly, that it just felt awkward. Shiva's new costume sucks too... just saying.

Nevertheless, the Shiva bit didn't lessen my enjoyment too much. It was still a great and beautiful issue.


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