Since the 80s, one of the defining features of Batman has been his family. Since then, the Bat-family has grown and expanded practically exponentially, and in 1998, two of them got a spotlight that dives deep into how Batman is defined by those around him.
Nightwing/ Huntress came at an interesting time for both characters. Dick Grayson, despite his existence as one of DC’s longest lived characters, had really come into his own for the first time in his first solo series. Meanwhile, Helena Bernatelli had gotten the biggest spotlight she’d had since her introduction as a member of Grant Morrison’s JLA. It was the perfect time for the duo to team up.
The series came from Devin Grayson, Greg Land, Bill Sienkiewicz, Noelle Giddings, and John Costanza.
While Batman is preoccupied outside of Gotham, Nightwing and Huntress are drawn into a mob murder. As the duo clash over their style, they’re drawn deeper together. However, the investigation is much more complicated than they could have imagined, and it could cost them everything…
Grayson makes many smart choices in this story. It could have been a conventional superhero team-up with the misunderstanding, fight, team-up structure so many have. It even generally avoids standard superheroics, with the title characters being the only costumed characters in the entire length of the series. However, she makes sure to center this story on two deeply human people.
Dick Grayson might be the best character in the DC Universe, largely due to his growth, especially since The New Teen Titans. This series is a great example of why, showing how flawed he is. However despite that he still does his best to be heroic and live up to Batman’s ideals. Meanwhile, Helena gets the spotlight she needs as well, building her up as a hero who is completely different than any other we’d encountered before.
Land and Sienkiewicz are a fantastic team. Land has rightfully gained a reputation for his modern work, which is heavily photo referenced at best and outright traced at worst. However this series was at an era that he was working in the DC house style, which was extremely solid. However, Sienkiewicz elevates the pencils, and compliments the realistic edge of Grayson’s script.
I was unaware of this series until a couple weeks ago, however, it’s enough to reignite my love for the characters in it. Nightwing is a character that I’d lost interest in since the last couple years of stories had broken down the character so severely. I’m excited to go back to more.
This story is available in physical single issues at many local comic stores, and via digital platforms. It’s also available in Nightwing Volume 3: False Starts which is available in bookstores, comic stores and your favorite digital platforms.
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