Commentary Track – Kyle Higgins Discusses Nightwing 29


When I asked Kyle Higgins which of his issues he’d like to discuss, he instantly said “the last issue of Nightwing.” To which I, like an asshole, responded “you mean, your last issue of Nightwing?” It’s been an incredibly personal journey for Higgins, with its fair share of trails and tribulations, and his final issue effectively reflects on the entirety of his run. Patrick sat down with Kyle and went through the issue page by page, so get your copy handy and join us on the Commentary Track.

Retcon Punch: Let’s talk about the last issue! First of all, I love Russell Dautherman’s art in this thing. It’s warmer — the whole thing feels more naked to me.

Kyle Higgins: Yeah, it’s a more stripped down story. It’s a structure I haven’t done before — an intercutting structure. I had the idea pretty early on when I was writing the final issue to do flashbacks to all the villains that he’s fought. Continue reading

Nightwing 29

nightwing 29Today, Spencer and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 29, originally released March 12th, 2014.

Spencer: It’s hard to talk about Nightwing 29 without talking about the circumstances surrounding it. Forever Evil revealed Nightwing’s identity to the world and may possibly be killing him off; even if Dick survives, his life is going to be drastically different, as indicated by the cancellation of his title and the premature end of writer Kyle Higgins’ run. I admit that I’m a little bitter; Nightwing’s move to Chicago had rejuvenated the title, and I’m disappointed not to see the story of the Chicago Mask Killer resolved. I certainly can’t claim to know how Higgins feels about the decision, but if he’s upset, he’s not letting it show. Instead, he uses his final issue to create a highlight reel of his run, show us how it’s changed Nightwing, and ultimately, remind us why Dick Grayson is such an important, beloved character in the first place. Continue reading

Nightwing Annual 1

nightwing annual

Today, Spencer and Scott are discussing Nightwing Annual 1, originally released October 30th, 2013.

Spencer: Will they or won’t they? Television romances love to milk the idea of two characters who are obviously into each other, but for whatever reason, simply can’t spit it out, or if they can, will be kept apart by circumstances beyond their control. Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are one of DC’s ultimate “will they or won’t they?” couples, and in the Nightwing annual, writer Kyle Higgins decides to further explore their relationship. If these two are so perfect for each other, why can’t they be together? It takes a superpowered arsonist for them to discover the answer. Continue reading

Nightwing 23

nightwing 23

Today, Mikyzptlk and Scott are discussing Nightwing 23, originally released August 14th, 2013.

Mikyzptlk: Do you remember The Transformers? No, I’m not referring to the Michael Bay “film” franchise. I’m talking about the cheesy goodness that was the 1980’s cartoon series. It had a tagline that I’m sure most of you remember: “More than meets the eye.” If you don’t have the theme song stuck in your head like I do, then let me help you with that. I couldn’t help but be reminded of that tagline while reading this issue. This issue is full of characters not being exactly what they seem. While I’m not sure what it’s all adding up to, it certainly seems like it’s going to make Nightwing’s life that much more complicated.  Continue reading

Nightwing 22

nightwing 22

Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 22, originally released July 10th, 2013.

Scott: Some things just feel right. Like Dick Grayson, I once moved to Chicago seeking answers. For me, it was during college, and after growing restless at school in my home state of Michigan, I transferred to Northwestern University in northern Chicago. Knowing no one, I was able to shed a lot of the inhibitions that followed through my life and grow in ways I probably couldn’t have if I’d stayed closer to home. It’s a common story- a change of scenery leads to a rejuvenation- and it’s impressive that something so simple could inject such new life into Nightwing. In Nightwing 22, the title feels less restrained than ever. As Dick’s involvement in Chicago expands and the characters around him grow more complex, Kyle Higgins may have to find excuses to keep Dick in Chicago longer. Nightwing feels right at home.
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Nightwing 21

nightwing 21

Today, Scott and Spencer are discussing Nightwing 21, originally released June 12th, 2013.

Scott: Obsession can be a very dangerous thing. For Superheroes, letting emotions dictate the decisions they make often muddles the line between justice and personal satisfaction. Dick Grayson is obsessed with Tony Zucco, a man he rightly feels deserves punishment for murdering Dick’s parents. But Dick has shown that he will go to any lengths to get to Tony, even if it means compromising many of the things Nightwing stands for. Nightwing 21 finds Dick Grayson venturing further into the realm of moral ambiguity, with implications as fascinating as they are frightening.
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Nightwing 19-20

nightwing 19-20

Today, Scott and Shelby are discussing Nightwing 19-20, originally released April 17th and May 15th, 2013, respectively.

Scott: Moving to a new city is hard. Finding the right place to live, learning your way around town, making friends, it all takes time. Unfortunately, Dick Grayson doesn’t have much chance to settle into his newfound home in Chicago. He’s in the Windy City with a purpose- to find the man who killed his parents- and he’s hardly welcomed with open arms. Nightwing 19 and 20 serve as a beginning to a new chapter for Dick, away from the torpedo of death and depression that Gotham has come to represent for him. New life is breathed into Nightwing, courtesy of a gust of wind off of Lake Michigan, and it is something to behold.
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Nightwing 18

nightwing 18

Today, Scott and Mikyzptlk are discussing Nightwing 18, originally released March 20th 2013.

Scott: It’s a bad time to be Dick Grayson. He perhaps lost more than anyone in the Death of the Family, with Joker destroying Amusement Mile and undoing all of the hard work Dick put into Haly’s Circus. At the end of Nightwing 17, he finally found some comfort in the words of Damian Wayne, who was promptly killed in Batman Incorporated 8, leaving Dick with even greater grief. Even a man as level-headed and generally unfazed as Dick might start to question the fairness of these events- why he keeps getting punished when he hasn’t done anything wrong. But of course, when it rains, it pours, and Nightwing 18 only manages to torture Dick further with more terrible news. Continue reading

Nightwing 17

Alternating Currents: Nightwing 17, Drew and ScottToday, Drew and Scott are discussing Nightwing 17, originally released February 20th 2013.

Drew: Our discussions of Nightwing often find us exploring Dick’s identity. As a former-sidekick turned full-fledged superhero turned replacement-for-hero-he-sidekicked-for turned his own superhero again, it’s understandable that he might have some identity issues to work out, but what is identity in the first place? Is it fixed or dynamic? Does it stem from the person in question, or is it a series of expectations held in the world around them? In Nightwing 17, Kyle Higgins takes up these questions, yielding some rather unexpected results. Continue reading

Nightwing 16

nightwing 16 DoF

Today, Mikyzptlk and Scott are discussing Nightwing 16 originally released January 23rd, 2013. This issue is part of the Death of the Family crossover event. Click here for complete DotF coverage.

Mikyzptlk: “BOOOM” “KAKOOOM” “BOOOOOM” That is the “sound” of the Joker blowing up this series to smithereens. I’m sorry, have I gotten ahead of myself? Let me explain. A good fictional narrative will take one or more characters from point A, to B, and eventually to, you guessed it, point C. If we, the audience, are lucky, we’ll get a few good themes tossed in along the way as we watch our characters grow and progress throughout the story. A big theme behind Nightwing of late, has been “you can never go home again.” In Dick Grayson’s case, “home” was Haly’s Circus, and his recent life has been consumed with rebuilding it. It’s too bad then, that in the course of two issues, The Joker has not only destroyed Haly’s Circus, but made the series practically pointless and completely lacking of any payoff.

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