cover image Nightwing: Year One

Nightwing: Year One

Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, . . DC Comics, $14.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-0435-8

Robin moves from boy to man wonder as he takes the guise of grown-up crime fighter Nightwing in this origin story. Nightwing's fans will enjoy the exploration of what made him who he is. The story starts with the break between Batman and his sidekick, a result of Robin's conflicting responsibilities: to college; his supergroup, the Teen Titans; and Batman himself. The rest of the story follows Dick Grayson's journey to becoming Nightwing. The narration laid on top of the story, coming from an older and wiser Grayson, adds emotional resonance to the events. The tensions between Batman and his young protégé are nicely portrayed, as are Grayson's feelings of regret and bitterness following the break. Finally, Nightwing confronts the new Robin, Jason Todd, revealing a good deal about the character and his changing self-image. The tale's episodic quality occasionally drains its energy as Grayson's encounters with a circus lion, the Joker and Batgirl aren't always intimately involved with his changing character, but the story pulls through, arriving at satisfying confrontations between Nightwing and the most important characters in his life. (Aug.)