Rise of the Gray Ghost (Nightwing #50 Comic Review)

Nightwing #50 Review

Writer: Benjamin Percy

Artist(s): Travis Moore, Chris Mooneyham and Klaus Janson

Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual

Cover Artists: Chris Mooneyham and Nick Filardi

Variant Cover Artist: Jonboy Meyers

Note: This issues continues from Batman #55, to better understand context make sure you read that first.

Summary

Dick Grayson’s been shot in the head! He got better. However is this Richard Grayson the same as before? Does he even know he was Nightwing, protector of Bludhaven? This issue reveals just how much changed with the first Boy Wonder.

Thoughts

As a long time fan of the character of Dick Grayson and the Batfamily in general, this issue is honestly heartbreaking. The decision to have both a present story dealing with how Dick’s life has changed and a flashback story detailing Batman and Robin taking down the Scarecrow was a smart choice, and maybe we’ll see Dr.Crane as the villain of this next arc possibly?

The Good

Percy does an amazing job showing just how different Dick is, but the same in some aspects, such as showing him stopping an attempted robbery of a diner, but at the same time minor details, like where he’s been and what he’s drinking seem completely separate from the Dick Grayson we know and love. Percy uses two moments to show just how much the status quo has changed. First we see that Barbara Gordon is in Bludhaven attempting to jog her former teammate’s (and in this writer’s opinion Soulmate) memory, Dick, brushes her off saying that the person she came to see essentially no longer exists. The second and seemingly final nail in the coffin for Nightwing is when Dick is working as a cab driver and goes past a crime scene remarking to his passenger “No sense worrying about somebody else’s problems” The creative team of this issue does a fantastic job of showcasing that this is no longer a book about Nightwing, this is a book about Richard Grayson, whoever that is now.

The Bad

However, I do have one negative to touch upon. As good as this story is, we as fans know it can’t stick. Dick Grayson is one of fandom’s most beloved character’s and it is unlikely, thought not impossible that DC would make the decision to fundamentally change him in the long run. Realistically speaking, within 6 issues Dick Grayson will be back in the tights, flipping across rooftops. Maybe the next writer will pick up what Benjamin Percy put down and surprise us all.

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Will Sweval

Will Sweval

On Comic Ground's #1 Robin fan coming at you with such hot takes as the 2003 Daredevil movie wasn't that bad and Cyclops was right since 1997.
Summary
This issue is strange to form a final opinion on as it acts as a sort of jumping on point, while simultaneously requiring at least a passing knowledge of the character's arc of the last 30-odd years, something it touches upon in multiple places in the issue. It's a very well told story, accomplishing what it's trying to get across and getting me anxious to read the next issue.
Good
  • Clear Upheaval of Status Quo
  • "Re-Design" for Dick Grayson fit's characters new personality
  • Acknowledgement of Nightwing's long history and overall arc
  • Presence of Barbara Gordon adds to sense of permanence for this change
Bad
  • We know this won't be permanent, so upon further review story feels empty
8.25
Great
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On Comic Ground's #1 Robin fan coming at you with such hot takes as the 2003 Daredevil movie wasn't that bad and Cyclops was right since 1997.

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