Dick Grayson has been called many things. Acrobat. Boy Wonder. Batman. But deep down, Dick prefers one moniker over all others – Nightwing.
With Bruce Wayne back in the picture, Dick has relinquished the cape and cowl, handed over Damian’s leash, and returned to his solo crime fighting career as Nightwing. However, instead of taking up his old beat in Blüdhaven, Dick remains in Gotham. Immediately, writer Kyle Higgins gets us inside Dick Grayson’s head, exploring how thrilled he is to be himself again, now that he is not filling in for Batman. Dick does, however, acknowledge that the experience made him stronger, brought his technique to “flawless” levels, and granted him a new perspective. As Dick delivers this soliloquy, artist Eddy Barrows depicts him leaping, bounding, and swinging his way across the rooftops of Gotham, artistically capturing the character’s exhilaration. At key action points in the issue, Barrows also chooses to illustrate within diagonal panels, emphasizing the constant, dynamic motion and combat.
Echoing Bruce Wayne’s desire to make peace with his past and move on in Batman & Robin #1 and Batman #1, Nightwing #1 finds our hero facing a specter from his own past, struggling with how to confront it. Haly’s Circus, the troupe with which The Flying Graysons toured, has returned to Gotham City for the first time since Dick’s parents were killed. Drawing upon his newfound personal strength and choosing to face his fear, Dick visits the circus, even taking to the trapeze for old time’s sake. It is the perfect parallel to Bruce’s decision to tear down and redevelop Crime Alley, the scene of the Waynes’ murder. Both men have chosen to acknowledge their respective pain, and to stop running from it. Kyle Higgins allows Dick to sum it up brilliantly – “…my past isn’t my biggest weakness, it’s my biggest strength – it’s what makes me who I am.”
Things look to be on the up and up for ol’ Dick Grayson! That is, until a masked assassin attacks him in the streets of Gotham. Confronting him as Nightwing, Dick dukes it out with the mystery man, only to learn that this particular villain is out for blood. Why? You’ll just have to read Nightwing #1 and Batman #1 to see how this particular crossover gets off the ground, and why Dick earns yet another label – “The fiercest killer in all of Gotham.”