Gotham City changes you. The city where Batman preys on crime certainly had an effect on the caped crusader. Batman’s former partner Robin now known as Nightwing knows that Gotham is a place that takes the things you love and twists them. In DC Comics’ Nightwing #7 by Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and Geraldo Borges the hero discovers just how twisted things in his life have become.
Nightwing aka Dick Grayson was recently reunited with his childhood friends Raymond and Raya. Together they grew up at Haly’s Circus. When Dick left to live with Bruce Wayne he left behind his close friends who were victimized by the strange past of Haly’s Circus. Now Raymond and Raya are taking their anger out on Grayson and the circus.
Writer Kyle Higgins shows how twisted Gotham makes people not only in Nightwing’s former friends but also in his brief interaction with Batman. Nightwing cannot comprehend why his former friends are attacking him but the villain Saiko reinforces the harm Gotham can do.
In this issue, Higgins quietly introduces subtle hints to a bigger mystery involving the Court of Owls, by weaving the ongoing plot points of the Batman series by Scott Snyder into his Nightwing series. The clues are so faint that you need to reread the issue just to pick them all up. It adds a clever subtext to an already compelling story.
Higgins has left Nightwing in the dark about a lot of the goings on in his title but you can see them as they unfold and be more aware than the titular hero. Giving you a better vantage point than the main character adds to the drama.
Eddy Barrows’ art shows the highflying Nightwing and the equally capable Saiko on a scoreboard dangling high above the fire set by the villain in the middle of a stadium. Barrow’s art adds to the heat of the battle. The page design and layout conveys a chaotic feel to the action as horror rips through the potential victims. Nightwing is shown evading the villain trying to keep his cool and struggling to find a way to save the innocent spectators.
Geraldo Borges depicts the flashback scenes of where Raymond was the victim of a sinister group that built him into a monster. It is here that many of the visual clues to the ongoing Court of Owls story are dropped. The flashback sequences have a restrained, hazy feel to them that makes you realize this portion of the story happened at a different time and is colored by a tortured memory. Borges’ art conveys the nightmare that Raymond suffered that makes him into a villain.
The decision: Kyle Higgins has shown that Nightwing is a hero that has managed to overcome the trauma of his past. In the villain Saiko he shows someone that was not as fortunate as Dick Grayson. Two sides of a tragic coin. Nightwing #7 syncs the Nightwing story up with the Batman story as Gotham City is infested with the menace of the Court of Owls. The issue is powerful with stunning artwork by Barrows and Borges with a climax to one chapter in Nightwing’s heroic career and the beginning of a much greater struggle.
The Nightwing series can be found at Collector’s Paradise in Pasadena and Winnetka. Collector’s Paradise offers you the chance to earn 20% off on all of your graphic novel purchases. Both stores also host events frequently making the comic experience that much more exciting.
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