Nightwing’s Blockbuster confession

It’ll be anti-climatic, but you’ll have a sense of closure that’ll enable you to finally sleep soundly at night once again.  Well mainly me, because I’ve been procrastinating and writing these at midnight. Anyway, as Nightwing’s guilt slowly destroys him, he begins to take bigger risks, jump deeper into danger, and put himself in situations where radiation poisoning’ll boil his insides.  Especially the third one in Nightwing #116-117, written by Devin Grayson and drawn by Wellington Alves, Marcos Marz, & Brad Walker.

In Infinite Crisis #4, Blüdhaven blows up.  That’s the city Nightwing spent 116 issues attempting to protect and reform.

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Millions of people and a piece of Nightwing’s heart die in that radioactive blast.  With Nightwing trying to kill-himself-by-danger to ease that guilty conscience, a glowing wasteland of a city seems like the perfect place.  Look, I know I haven’t been as terribly kind to Nightwing these past few weeks.  But I do adore Nightwing.  It’s the idea of one acrobat valiantly struggling to save one city from eating itself alive from crime and corruption.  We know it’s impossible.  Hell, Batman and his entire team of gymnasts in capes can’t possibly rid all evil from Gotham City (though I believe Batman likes it that way).

Still, as Nightwing, with his batons and grappling hook, fights his unending battle against forces always stronger than him, he’s the closest we have to a “normal” guy parading as a superhero. Batman can’t qualify for that role.  People believe the Dark Knight could win against Superman. Comics have been written about his victory (or at least tie).  Superman — the superhero who could split the moon in two with a single karate chop.  The superhero who can circumnavigate the world in the time it takes Batman to throw his first punch.  But Nightwing?  No one thinks he would win.  We all agree Superman would squish the former Robin into a pellet small enough to feed to an actual Robin.  It’s because he’s seen as a normal guy (at least to me), despite that Nightwing has the same skill, talent, speed, training, and intelligence as Batman.  Readers love normals, which is probably one reason Hawkeye is selling so well.  My 1 AM Nightwing theory aside, I don’t think I’m talking entirely out my butt.

But back to Blüdhaven and a few pages I selected.

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Delirious hospital bed confession time coming up.  A nuclear blast and building wall combo attack can be more effective than any truth serum.  And Nightwing’s final line before he passes out?  Beautifully written — Nightwing’s gushing about hope, especially his lack thereof that cost Blockbuster his life.

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Discussion over.  Batman only deals in tough love.  The Dark Knight’s advice summed up?  I’ll get over your moral failing, but not if you use it as an excuse to drown in self-loathing.  Grow up, learn from the experience, move on, punch bad guys.  Something like that.  So Nightwing takes his advice, as any son would when your father dressed as a giant bat screams in your face.  The first step for recovery? He should start with repairing some mistakes that can be fixed.

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They break up next issue, but at least the Boy Wonder takes the first step in becoming the Man Wonder.

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3 Comments on “Nightwing’s Blockbuster confession”

  1. Jeff Sugaski says:

    interesting how only a little while after this Dick becomes the next batman but i do have to disagree with you on something Dick dosnt have the same skill training and intelligence and as Batman consdiering Batman is Dicks teacher and there is no way Batman would teach anyone everything he knows

    i also find it insulting that you think Batman likes the fact he cant rid Gotham of crime that would make him insane and not heroic in any way

    • Jason Levine says:

      You bring up an interesting point on Batman training Nightwing, but I’m totally right with Batman’s desire to fight crime until the day his elderly self perishes in battle. Part of what Batman so interesting is that he’s genuinely damaged, stemming from the death of his parents (and thus any chance of a normal life). He can’t hold down a normal relationship. He wears Batman as his “real” face and Bruce Wayne as his “disguise.” His personality and drive focuses only on his war against crime and he needs it in his life. What would he do once crime is eradicated? Would he ever be happy settling down in a peaceful utopia? I really doubt it. I’m not saying he’s not heroic — I’m just saying that a degree of his heroism (and his happiness) depends on him jump kicking bad guys until he keels over after his walker breaks apart on Riddler’s skull.

      • Jeff Sugaski says:

        While I agree that Batman would never be able to find a happy ending after crime ended in Gotham but its not beucase of the lack of skulls to smash in but that he can never do enough to help. See one of the main pillers of Batman’s personality is sacrific and if he isnt giving ever bit of his self to the mission he isnt doing enough.

        What we must look at is simply his oath and every one knows the basic principle of it is “no one will suffer the like i did” now if we look at that the main point is on suffering which mean his focus is on helping victims of tragity not fighting criminals. Than if you look at the relationship he has with his rogues it becomes even clearer becuase he dosnt see people like the Riddler, Freeze, or even the Joker as just criminals but victims aswell.

        Which brings up another important part of Batman which is choice. He believes that every one of the people of Gotham can make a choice to change for the better even his rogues beucase if they cant change the fight for Gotham could be hopless. Nothing brings this to light more than Batman’s relationship to Catwoman.

        Catwoman if you look at her character pretty much repersents Gotham as a whole. Dark, twisted, and seemily unsavable on the surface but if you look deeper you see people who are kind but are forced into a life of crime becuase the unforgiving kind of place Gotham is. This is why Batman becomes so infatuated with Catwoman becuase like he sees the good under the dark surface of Gotham he sees the same in her and if only given the chance she can change for the better and thats what Batman’s mission is about the chance it could be better.


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