Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Nightwing: Year One

Chuck Dixon has been writing comics for a long time, and apparently he's now blacklisted at DC or something. That kind of sucks for a guy who's been pretty dependable for putting out at least readable comics (which is more than I can say for a lot of DC's current output). Though maybe he's homophobic or something, so karma, maybe. Oh humans.

Of course, probably everyone has one really good comic in them. Unfortunately for Dixon, that comic is not Nightwing: Year One.*

However, his other "year one" comics haven't been nearly as good. I barely remember anything about Robin: Year One (the Mad Hatter was in it?), while I think this may have actually been the second time I read this comic. It all seemed so familiar.

Of course that could just be because I've read a lot of Nightwing comics (and more specifically, a lot of Chuck Dixon written Nightwing comics). So maybe he's just collecting a bunch of stuff that's been mentioned before and putting it into one arc.

There's also the fact that Nightwing's story is so well known. I certainly known more about him than I know about, say, Aquaman. Even ignoring the comics entirely, I own all of Batman: The Animated Series, and not enough of Teen Titans, but just watching those two gives you a pretty good idea of who Nightwing/Dick Grayson is and who he was before.

For a "year one" comic I felt there was an oddly large amount of backstory here, he doesn't even become Nightwing until the end of the third issue! I guess it's understandable, as it's hard to tell the first year of Nightwing's existence without just retelling old New Teen Titans comics. However, I feel this goes too far in the other direction, with the Titans barely showing up at all. In contrast we've got Superman (yeah, required for the story), Batgirl and the Jason Todd Robin showing up. Plus lots of Batman. It seems that doing this comic without showing more of the alternate life that Dick Grayson had set up for himself isn't really showing how the character had grown. It's like basing a story about your life on when you went home for Christmas and hung out with the people you used to know, instead of the life you spend most of the year living.

Additionally, to me Nightwing is connnected to Bludhaven (he was there for over 150 issues! Well, maybe, he was probably in Gotham a lot, and I don't have any idea what was going on for the last few years of that title) that I for some reason assumed that it was going to be a story set in his early days there. Of course, if I want that I can just go and reread trades of the early issues, so there's no reason to make that comic.

All Nightwing: Year One makes me want to do is read more comics with Jason Todd in them, as he's a character I have pretty limited exposure to. A "year one" comic for him would be worth doing I think. Maybe if he becomes Batman or something after that big crossover that's happening currently.

*It's Batgirl: Year One, which shocked me by being really good. Like seriously, go and read it.


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