Saturday, September 22, 2012

Nightwing #0

Okay, I'm just going to come right out and say it, I haven't REALLY enjoyed a single #0 issue from DC yet. I mean some of them have been okay, but I don't see why we're getting them...  Why interrupt the flow of what ever story is going on for an origin?  Why not just do an annual?  Wouldn't an annual be the ideal way to handle origins in the New 52 DCU?  Plus you could jack up the price and add a few extra pages...  Well, that's my thoughts on the zero issues thus far, now I get to review one.  Yay...

Nightwing #0

Summary:  So this story takes place a vague, "Few Years Ago..."  So it's not five years ago, in case anybody was wondering.  We meet Dick Grayson fooling around in a train yard with Raymond(who becomes Saiko, I think?), which leads to a security guard almost getting flattened by the train.  Dick saves the guard, but ends up being grounded by his parents for his train yard shenanigans.  After Dick's grounding, we learn that it's his mother's birthday, and Dick gives her a bracelet with robins on it because she loves robins...  Ugh...  Anyway, later on that evening, the Flying Graysons get killed in the trapeze accident, and Dick ends up with Bruce Wayne, who offers to take Dick in since he was a material witness to Tony Zucco threatening old man Haly(which actually works for me).  Dick begins sneaking out of Wayne Manor at night to fight crime(because, why not?) and comes across the Batman, who he immediately recognizes as Bruce...  Now THAT doesn't work for me...  Dick doesn't say anything to Bruce, and while Bruce suspects that Dick knows, he doesn't say anything to Dick.  After meeting up a few more times on the streets, Batman takes Dick to the Batcave and Dick calls him "Mr. Wayne," ending the weird game the two were playing.  From there, Bats allows Dick to train with him and follow his exploits on the computer, but doesn't let him go out to fight crime with him.  At least until Lady Shiva comes to town.  Shiva and Bats fight, and Bats ends up poisoned, so Dick dons the Robin outfit he had secretly cobbled together from Batman's scraps(he's the world's greatest detective, ladies and gentlemen!!!), and rushes out to help.  In actuality, he gets beaten up by Shiva as well, but she decides to spare the two of them since she liked the way Dick fought or something.  After getting up, Bruce isn't pleased with Dick putting himself in harm's way, and the two return to the cave.

Thoughts:  Eh.  This was a bastardized version of Dick's origin as Robin...  What's there to really say here?  Personally, I liked the original telling of Dick's origin more, because Bats looked way more competent.  In this telling, Dick discovers Bruce is Batman, Bruce doesn't tell him.  Dick designs his own costume, and he names himself.  AND he goes out on his first mission when he wants, not when Bruce decides he's ready...  Bats really had little to no role in any of this.  I guess Bats was pretty inexperienced at the whole super-hero thing himself back then, but he didn't come across particularly well here.  However, I did like the way Dick ended up with Bruce Wayne.  So there's that.  Oh yeah, and Dick's Robin outfit was horrible.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.
nightwing #0
Okay, what is up with that costume!?  I mean where do the pants end and the shirt begin?  Or is it just one piece?  And if so, how do you put it on?!  Besides that, what's with those weird little knee pad things and the arrow pointing at Dick's crotch?!?


  1. "Robin outfit he had secretly cobbled together from Batman's scraps(he's the world's greatest detective, ladies and gentlemen!!!)" That line cracked me up. It's funny cause why is Batman just ordering spare parts?! "Oh, I'm not gonna use this R emblem, that must be from the BART-MAN suit I bought from that kid in Springfield." And like you said, it did make Bruce seem VERY incompetent, I get that he's new but it seemed like Dick was just doing whatever he wanted, he didn't even have secret help from Alfred or something.

    And why would Shiva poison Bats and just say, "Ah well, I like the way you immediately failed kid, I'll let you and your apparently crappy trainer live. Later." Also, why was she fighting with her hair like that chick from Mortal Kombat? Is that a new thing? Because I don't remember her doing that when she popped up in Birds of Prey (the original run).

  2. Maybe there was a time when Bruce was considering the name Ratman? When he realized he couldn't think of an awesome logo to put on his chest he went with the bat design and tossed that spare "R" in the back of the Batcave, where it just so happens Dick found it. Which works out great since Dick's mother happened to love robins and all... Yeah, that could work, right?

    RIGHT?! Shiva had them BOTH defeated and was like, "Meh, laters!" and just sauntered off! What was that all about? And I didn't even catch that she was fighting with her hair... Um, I can answer that for the fine folks at DC though. Hey JT! Look behind you!!! *runs*

  3. Hm... sadly that makes just as much sense as everything else DC has been doing for the last year, so yeah. Haha, also, who just has a love of Robins?! That was so... odd. I always liked the Robin Hood thing, that made sense, ya know. Now it's like... Damian is Robin... because Dick's mom... liked Robins. WTF?

    Ah, so you and DC have adopted the classic Simpsons response of running away when my back is turned... well played DC Comic... well played.

  4. When my Ratman theory could possibly make sense, there's something seriously wrong...

    YES! I was thinking the same thing! It's not like there's any deep meaning to the Robin name now, other than Dick's mom liked certain birds. In a way, it makes me wonder why each successive Robin couldn't just pick their own name/costume, since there's really nothing behind the Robin name. Hell, we've already established Bruce has spare costume pieces strewn about the Batcave, why couldn't Jason make up his own name/costume? The Robin name should mean less than nothing to Bruce since he had NO hand in the concept or design of it. In all honesty, since the name meant so much to Dick, why would he abandon it for Nightwing? Why wouldn't he go by Red Robin or something similar since the name holds a special meaning to him?

    Yep, and it worked by gum!

  5. That's an excellent point! Why WOULD Dick have each person subsequently use Robin (except Tim who apparently STARTED as Red Robin...fucking Lobdell) when that name was literally plucked out of the air for all he knows by Dick. Why couldn't Jason be Blackbird or Sparrow or whatever the hell he wanted? And exactly, if the Robin name is SO close to Dick's heart, why even become Nightwing? He could still be an adult Robin....

    It worked AND you want me to buy gum?! You drive a hard bargain...

  6. Pfft, you don't have to tell me that's an excellent point, JT... We all know I ALWAYS make excellent points, so that should just go without saying! :P The fact that Dick isn't still Robin after reading this issue is really kind of perplexing... It's not like this Robin outfit is a kid-looking, short-pants wearing outfit, it looks(besides weird...) like something an adult could wear. Why not alter it a bit when he went out on his own and just keep the name? Did his mother also secretly love Kryptonian mythology, thus the reason Dick changed to Nightwing?

    Yeah, the gum is in the mail...

  7. Sigh, the old X ego... its as legendary as it is annoying.And exactly! That costume was EASILY a costume that an adult could use... also, think about this. Dick became Nightwing right... but never went to Bludhaven according to DC... yet... keep in mind Jason was dead and came back before being Red Hood... Jason comes back and meets with Starfire eventually as we saw a few issues ago in Red Hood, and she has at LEAST five different Nightwing outfits Dick was wearing. How many outfits does that man WEAR?!

    That Kryptonian line was hilarious. She's in the back of the circus tents reading about the planet Krypton like, THIS is my new hobby, screw robins. And if I had a nickel for every time I'd heard that gum line.... ____

  8. Legendary and annoying... That's me!!!! :D

    That's interesting... That would lead you to believe that Dick had been Nightwing for several years, because why else would Starfire have that many Nightwing costumes laying around. Which makes you wonder how long Jason was "dead", as well as how long he was Robin(I'm guessing not long at all). Besides all that, obviously Dick's real passion is designing super-hero costumes... His family had some weird likes. I wonder what his father's weird thing was...

    Dick's mother was obviously a strange woman. And always remember, once there WAS something in the mail! :P

  9. I couldn't agree more, with the latter, not the former.

    Right? Also, if Tim's whole thing was he deducted who Bats was, why diminish that by having Dick figure it out first? Well Dick's was costume design, his Mom's was Birds and random planets, and his dad's was... Strongmen.

    Lmao, thats so ambiguous and odd to anyone else who reads that.

    1. See, I would have gone the other way, but I guess your way works too. As long as legendary remains in there.

      Who knows what's gonna happen with Tim now... I shudder to think how awful Tim's new history is gonna be when Teen Titans drops... Why are they allowing Lobdell to have SO much control over Batman's history by giving him the backgrounds for Robins #2 & 3? Again, this is why I would have preferred an annual where DC got together collectively, picked one writer(say Snyder) and had that writer tell the definitive history of Bruce -> Batman, as well as where each Robin fell... Or at least the first three Robins(Steph doesn't seem to exist, and just leave Damian's alone, since it's the same back story anyway). Or hell, just take Detective and Batman, give THEM annuals and have Detective look at Bruce's transformation to Batman, and then in Batman, pick up Dick's through Tim's. Set the price at $5, give it 48+ pages and done.

      I know I shouldn't ask, but I can't resist... Why strongmen?

      HA! That's the way it SHOULD be! :P

  10. OK, many thoughts:

    First, DeFalco and Higgins are basically ripping off "Dark Victory" here. I don't have it here with me to be totally sure, but a lot of this issue is at least inspired by it. I'm pretty sure that Dick going to live with Bruce b/c the police need to stash him somewhere comes straight from "Dark Victory." Plus, he takes the name "Robin" in "Dark Victory" because his mother said he was always "bobbing around;" DeFalco and Higgins are clearly using that here, since the whole point of this issue is that he's in perpetual motion. The conversation between Alfred and Dick is also reminiscent of "Dark Victory," where Alfred comforts him in a way that he wishes he had done with Bruce. Finally, Dick also spends weeks going on patrol to find Zucco only to be brought to the Batcave by Bruce in a scene very close to the one we see here. So, I think that this issue makes a lot more sense if you go into it knowing that they're basically making "Dark Victory" cannon.

    However, the problems with this issue come from when they deviate from the story. Why the hell did Dick get sent to the orphanage? He lived with Bruce for a few weeks and, then, when the police didn't need him, Bruce sent him to the orphanage? Really? I'm actually not sure if Dick ever winds up living with Bruce, given that his time at Wayne Manor is described as a part-time job. Maybe it changed after he became Robin? Also, I said that the scene in the Batcave was similar to the one in "Dark Victory." However, as X noted, the big difference is that Bruce revealed his identity to Dick in the Cave in "Dark Victory;" Dick didn't guess it, as he does here. X, you're totally right: it's like Bruce had absolutely no agency at ALL in this decision.

    I've decided I have to surrender on the age thing. The bio page says that he's 15 years old here, which means that he's only 20 years old in the present day. But, I'm pretty sure that Barbara is 24 or 25 years old, and it's pretty clear that Dick is supposed to be the same age as her. Maybe Barbara went to college at 14 years old? Who knows? I guess even I don't care anymore, if they're going to keep pulling this crap.

  11. (Also, have you read "Red Hood and the Outlaws" #0? If not, you really, really have to read it. The main story re-imaging his origin is fine, but the back-up story raises, um, interesting questions.)

  12. I only vaguely remember Dark Victory, JW... Which, once again, goes to show that I read way too many comic books!

    You know, I kind of glossed over it in this post, but yeah, what's the deal with Dick only being at Wayne Manor as a "part-time job"? Why doesn't Bruce take him in after the business with Zucco is over? And like you said, DOES he take Dick in? I mean he must, right? I have to assume that he does, and that Dick is an adopted son of Bruce's... Right? He's been shown at various Wayne functions and all, so he must be Bruce's son... Or is he? Ugh... Things were so much easier in the old DCU, which is kind of funny, since DC wanted to make their universe more accessible with the New 52, and have somehow made things more confusing than ever!

    The age thing bugs me SO MUCH... I am such a numbers guy. Stats, heights, ages, all of that stuff I love going over... Back before the New 52, I had Bruce at around 35, Dick at 25-ish, Jason around 21 and Tim at 17, with Damian at 10. Now... I have NO clue! All I know is that Damian is probably 10, and that Bruce is more than likely older than the rest...

  13. I have to assume that Bruce took him into the family once he became Robin. Higgins has Dick mention that he was working monitor duty when he had a part-time job, so I guess that could work. But, once they were patrolling at night, I think it's pretty clear that he'd have to live with Bruce. I mean, one of the things I never believed about Tim Drake's early days as Robin was that he somehow was able to do it without raising his parents' suspicions.

    The age thing is just a total clustersmurf and I honestly have no idea how they could've dropped the ball SO badly. I'm actually OK with Dick and Jason being the same age (even if, back in the day, Bruce knew that Clayface was posing as Jason because he mistakenly assumed Jason would be Dick's age, confirming that Dick was older than Jason). But, you can't make me believe that, within five years, Dick became Robin, served as Robin, became Nightwing, led the Titans, became Batman, and resume becoming Nightwing...and that he's now only 20 years old. I used to have the same ages you have for them and, to be honest, still more or less had them in the DCnU, with just maybe a year or so knocked off each of them. But, know, we're talking about five years knocked off each of them, and it's just a lot harder to believe.

    The thing that surprises me is that their ages were confusing in the DCU because they were weighed under decades of continuity. Here, we're supposed to have a clear start...and we're even more confused!

  14. That's a good point, re: Dick patrolling at night with Bruce. Once that happened Dick would have had to be living with Bruce. I'm still not clear on Dick's status concerning Bruce... I may have missed it or just plain forgot it, but has it been clearly established whether Bruce did or didn't adopt Dick? As for Tim, it never really bugged me much. His mother died early on in his comic book life, leaving his father as a single parent, who was out of town a lot. The only person Tim really had to trick was the live-in maid, and for somebody as smart as Tim, I never really doubted his ability to do that.

    That explanation of Dick's life from Robin onward really says a lot about how messed up DC's timeline is. How could he possibly fit ALL of that in, as well as an apparent romance with the age-unknown Barbara Gordon in FIVE years time! So he was Robin for what, 2 years? Then at 17 became Nightwing, did that for let's say two years, became Batman at 19(I guess?) did that for a few months and was Nightwing again for his twentieth birthday? I'd almost be fine with that if not for the short amount of time he was Robin... I just can't see how he was Robin for such a limited amount of time... How could he possibly learn all he needed to learn to strike out on his own in only 2(or less!) years?! And if Dick WAS Robin for 2 years, where do the other Robins fit in? Jason was Robin for a year, Tim was Robin for a year and a half and Damian was Robin for a half a year? Ugh...

    I could always overlook the decades of continuity by using the Marvel logic of every 1 comic book year = 7 real years. I think that was in a Marvel Handbook or something. Or maybe I made it up... Who knows. But for the most part, if you overlook Stan Lee basically writing in real time for the early Spidey/FF books, that 1:7 ratio works. That ratio pretty much works for DC too, if you use Tim as the example. Idk, maybe it's just me, but everything seemed so much easier to figure out(origins, timelines, histories, etc) pre-New 52...

  15. /begin rant/

    I have that 1:7 ratio in my head, too, X, so it was obviously said somewhere.

    From the sounds of it, they are going to undo Tim's time as Robin. So, let's say he overlapped for a period with Jason and then was the only "Robin" for a while. Maybe it's why he was so nice to Jason in that issue of "Teen Titans," where they had breakfast together, because he actually knew Jason in the DCnU, as opposed to the DCU, where they didn't meet until after he died. (Oh, comics, allowing that sentence to be written.)

    Then, you've got Dick as Robin for, at most, three years, a few months without Robin, Jason as Robin for a few months at most, Tim maybe overlapping with Jason and then being the sole "Robin" for a while, and Damian taking over a few months ago. That gets you five years or so.

    Jason was only Robin for five years in real time (1983-1985), so I'd buy a scenario DC was selling that he was only Robin for a brief stint. But, by that same logic, they still keep underselling the time that Dick and Tim were Robin. Dick was Robin FOR 44 YEARS before he became Nightwing! He was then Nightwing for 25 YEARS before he became Batman! Tim was Robin for 20 YEARS before he became Red Robin!

    People are upset about it for exactly this reason. You can't pretend that you can fit in 44 years of Dick as Robin into three years. The problem isn't that DC has rewritten the ratios: the problem is that everyone has their own ratio! Jason's seems to stick somewhat close to the 1:7, but Dick's is more 1:14! I mean, c'mon, DC, you have to realize that we're going to notice stuff like this.

    I think part of the problem was that we were sold a bill of goods that Batman didn't have that strong of a reboot. Now? I'm not so sure. Dick Grayson as Batman was the most dynamic that "Batman" and "Detective Comics" has been in, like, 30 years. Why are they running from that?

    /end rant/

  16. Oh (yes, even I can't believe I have more to say!), I totally, totally agree with you X that it's ridiculous to think that Dick had enough skills to strike out on his own as a 17- or 18-year -old. I mean, WTF? Sure, Spider-Man and the Human Torch were teenage superheroes, but they had actual super-powers. After all, Bruce went abroad for four years and we still see him in "Batman" #0 struggling to become Batman for at least a year or so. Are we supposed to believe that Dick was able to accomplish all of that in two or three years?

    Good call about Tim. I forgot that it was essentially him and the live-in maid!

  17. Oh, trust me, I can totally understand you having more to say about this, JW! It's something that NEEDS to be talked about!

    Okay, so then I didn't make up that 1:7 ratio... Good. Because that would make me crazier than I thought! :D That's one of the reasons I'm morbidly curious about Teen Titans... I really want to see how they handle the Tim/Robin thing... JT mentioned the same thing to me about DC undoing Tim's time as Robin, but I refuse to believe it until I see it, because that really wouldn't make sense... Especially since we've SEEN Tim and Bruce together, meaning Tim wasn't just a crazy fanboy playing dress up, one who never met and trained with Bruce. He's HAD to been a Robin if he knows Bruce... He's just HAD to! If that gets retconned, then I have officially lost all of my confidence in DC as a company, because that would be the last straw. That means they can't even keep their New 52 continuity together! And it's only a year old!!!

    You know, in the pre-reboot DCU, Jason's time as Robin is a bit confusing too... The problem is the first Crisis undid Jason's original origin, which got rid of his first few Robin years, which I think left him as Robin for something like 20 issues(I think?). You know though, that's the problem with DC in a nutshell... I swear, they are headed by a bunch of people who just flat out hate their history... Why did they feel the need to mess around with their history in 1985, 1995(I think that was around the original Zero Hour), 2005(Infinite Crisis to some extent), 2011(Flashpoint/New 52)... That's why, for me, it's SO much easier to be a Marvel fan... Outside of Spidey, and the Heroes Reborn debacle(which they were smart enough to undo), they've basically stuck with their continuity. There was nothing wrong with DC's continuity, especially now in the age of wikipedia and google! If you want to know about a character, you can google them, or go to any number of fan sites to get caught up! I will always blame Johns and Didio for the Barry Allen thing. I still, to this day, and nothing can sway me on this, believe that the only reason the New 52 took place was to firmly entrench Barry Allen in the DCU and get rid of the specter of Wally West. Huh, now I guess that's the end of my rant...

    I have read that Batman was operating longer than 5 years in the New 52 DCU, which I think is DC's way to try to explain why the Bat-stuff doesn't really fit into that 5 year period. But again, if one character (your biggest character!) has a different ratio than everybody else, the whole house of cards falls apart.

    And good catch with Spidey and Torch. They were both what, 15, when they got their powers? Spidey has the ultimate defensive power with that spider-sense, and the Torch had an entire family watching his back. Dick just went out on his own, with no powers and apparently not that much training, and had no problem... And then became BATMAN!!! ARRGH!!!

    1. Rumor has it, according to Lobdell, Tim was never Robin, he just started under Bruce's wing as Red Robin... he didn't wanna take the Robin name since Jason died as Robin.. or something stupid... Also, why did Jason dress as Robin to go see his mom? He wasn't Robin on the plane...

  18. "Also, why did Jason dress as Robin to go see his mom?" HA!! That's a good point... Why are you trying to bring logic to Scott Lobdell, JT? That's like trying to find ice on the sun...

  19. It's funny, X, I was just thinking the other night that this whole DCnU thing is the first time that I've been a DC reader before and after a continuity-related event. I only really started collecting DC monthly three years ago when I picked up comics again. I can't say that it's been a pleasant experience.

    The only reason I started collecting the Bat-books is because I was so interested in Dick becoming Batman. It's pretty much the whole reason I read DC comics. So, it sucks that that whole era is shrouded in mystery. Although I've seen some editors refer to it, I don't think that we've ever acknowledged Dick as Batman in-world. We also don't treat his relationship with Damian any different than Damian's relationship with Jason or Tim, despite the soaring tribute Damian paid to Dick in the last issue of "Batman" before the DCnU. It's like they're going out of their way to undo the things that made the readers want to read about the Bat-family -- the whole "family" part. It's like you said about Dick, where it's inconceivable that, even if he were Robin for three years, he'd be ready to take on the world at 18 years old as Nightwing. It's like they want to make it look like Bruce is some asshole who occasionally veers towards criminally negligent when it comes to allowing young kids to put their lives on the line to impress him. I mean, what if we learn that Bruce never adopted Dick and just left him in the orphanage, despite him putting his life on the line for Bruce every night? I'm supposed to respect this guy as a "hero?"

  20. Yup, same here. My first big DC event was Final Crisis, I became a DC fan after Infinite Crisis and all the rest. Yeah, it's been brutal. It's annoying, you know. I've spent the past 5 years learning all about DC, buying tons of back issues and immersing myself in their rich history, and for what? To be told, "Surprise! 97.23% of those stories? They never happened... Sucker!"

    I have to agree with everything you said there, JW. Dick as Batman was actually a great move by DC. Especially since they made no bones that it wasn't going to be permanent. Bruce never died, we knew he was in the past right from his "death". Not killing Bruce was the perfect way to do it actually. He's out of the way, and there really wasn't a major fan backlash because it was obvious that he'd come back. On top of that, it gave us a mess of interesting stories and a new Batman/Robin dynamic. I have to say, I don't give Grant Morrison enough credit for that one. Sure, like 90% of his stories sail over my head, but the way he removed Bruce was genius. And now? We don't even know for sure that Final Crisis ever happened, nor that Dick was Bats... If you really think about it, how could Final Crisis HAVE happened? And if FC never occurred, then Bruce couldn't have been shunted in time, meaning Dick couldn't have been Batman... Ugh, again, this whole New 52 garbage just makes my head hurt...

    HA! Tbh, I've always seen Bruce as a bit of a child abusing asshole, so at least that depiction stuck with him in the New 52! :D

  21. I must say guys....I have really enjoyed the rant and rave regarding all the Robins' time displacement within the Batman (supposed) family lineage with the new 52 DC universe mess! This crap is quite entertaining and hilarious! Lol. Never did like that dumb history erase/rewrite move on DC's decisive behalf. To me, it was plain stupid and just a big waste of past creativity...not to mention a truly awesome way to piss off millions of devoted fans. Add to that...a loss in sales. Marvel all the way for me!

  22. The worst about all this stuff is that if werent for this stupid 0 issues we couldn't be talking about this but they tried to explain the new continuity and they just made it the more confusing...

    1. That's a great point. When the reboot first happened, I REALLY wanted to know origins of certain characters. But as the months passed, I kind of let it go. Why did DC decide to revisit this now? Why not do it after issue 6 when most of the first storylines ended? I still say they should have just done annuals for some characters(do we really need a zero issue for Voodoo, which is the last issue?!), and left it at that.

  23. My take on this. Dick Grayson is no longer raised by a single Bruce Wayne from child to adult, and now only worked for him. I cant help but see DC further trying to assert readers and other non comic fans that Dick and Bruce were not fudge packers. Taking away the chainmail underwear also proves the point that DC is trying so hard to prove this angle. Also look back to Tec 1. Bruce beds down a woman in his office just because. It's obvious the new editorial mandate for Batman is "Find ways whenever possible to assert to the readers that Bruce Wayne is indeed straight.". It's sickening if true that DC would care so damn much about a topic like this, that it would scruntinize an entire universe with homophobic ideals.