Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nightwing #20


Accessory to murder!

The Review!
Lately, it's like Tim Seeley is reading my mind. This story — hell, the basic story of Dick Grayson since time began, I suppose — refuses to take part in the typical DC Narrative where pain and loss and Daddy Issues are the things that create heroes.


I was surprised to find that Dick Grayson quickly became my favorite hero of The New 52 and beyond. It took me awhile to realize why I shouldn't have been surprised at all.

I can be completely and utterly cynical in nearly every aspect of my life. I don't have an earnest bone in my body (hee hee! I said "a bone in my body"!). But comic books seem to be the one place where I don't want to see cynicism. I don't want to read postmodern takes on the genre. I don't want to see hot takes on of how superheroes fit into our modern world. I just want to read stories about good and noble people doing the right thing no matter how hard that thing is. I want to see Superman deescalating violent situations because what does he have to fear physically? I want Batman to care about the lives of the people of Gotham more than he obsesses over the identity of The Joker. I want to see Nightwing...well, you know what? I'm seeing Nightwing do what I want to see Nightwing do. It's why he quickly became my favorite character. Because he's not a hero born of tragedy (even if he literally was!). His origin story wasn't that his parents were murdered by some criminal. His origin story was that there was hope and love and kindness ready to catch him in its safety net after the tragedy happened. He wasn't formed out of vengeance or justice or revenge. He was formed when Bruce Wayne took him under his wing and told him everything would be okay. Dick Grayson was born of optimism and kindness and hope and joy. I might be a cynical bastard but that is the character I want to read about in my comic books.

The reason I was so surprised that Dick Grayson became my favorite character though is that I couldn't fucking stand him for years. Anybody who read nearly a decade of his characterization by Marv Wolfman can absolutely understand why. He had some really insecure moments with his relationship with Batman in those years. What a fucking tool.

One of the things I loved seeing in The New 52 was how Batman treated Nightwing with respect and as an equal peer. He doesn't even treat Superman that way! I missed the years that Dick served as Batman with Damian as his Robin so I've only seen how their relationship formed through The New 52. This issue reminds me of the other side of Nightwing. He has both the respect and love of the older generation as well as the future generation. He is the hero previous heroes wanted to inspire. And he is the hero future heroes will try to emulate. Without Dick Grayson in his life, there's no telling how much of a horrible bastard Damian would be. I mean horribler bastard.

Anyway, Doctor Hurt dies again at the end of this story, killed by Deathwing as he himself kills Deathwing. But before he dies (killed by the blade that shows people multiverses, so maybe not totally dead but multiversed?), he explains to Nightwing that he, the embodiment of evil, saw something that scared him so much that the only thing he could think of doing was to make Nightwing, the most heroic of DC's heroes, as strong as he possibly could. Because only Nightwing can face The Watchmen, I suppose.

The Ranking!
+1!

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