We finally got Dick Grayson back from his departure as Ric, but after Death Metal we are in a whole new ball game for the DC Universe and its characters. Not to mention DC’s current reality-altering event, Future State. Of course, Nightwing fans get to cheat because we know what’s coming for Nightwing, as the book is continuing its current numbering and new creative team after Future State. With that in mind, it gives me the feeling that this two-issue mini will be like a Ghost of Christmas Future for these characters if certain things come to pass. So, what does this potential future hold for Nightwing?
SPOILERS AHEAD for Future State: Nightwing #1!
This future shows a “grimdarker” Nightwing after a major disaster called “A-Day”. It appears that Nightwing is the go-to leader of the Mask Resistance. I’m sure by this point some of you might have experienced the new Gotham City via The Next Batman or Future State: Harley Quinn and just discovered how very “police state” it is, but for the uninitiated, it’s not the GCPD administering this police state — instead, it’s Magistrate and the Peacekeepers. How do we know the depths to which they’ll sink to capture masked heroes? Well, the opener of this book shows Nightwing on patrol followed by a couple being harassed by Cybers, which Nightwing quickly disposes of. Only then do we find out the “couple” is also undercover. Their skirmish leads to Nightwing being shot in the back.
Nightwing goes to find his shooter and has a true Batman moment where he sneaks up on the guy. They have it out and this is where the “grimdarker” phrase is called out and even the lack of the original Batman is called attention to. From that, we have our setup for the end part of this book. The Next Batman comes along to talk with Nightwing, which is an interesting role reversal on the usual Batman/Nightwing dynamic, as Dick is the one with experience here. The Next Batman must really be freaked out as Nightwing’s hideout is a crazy place to be and he is even inviting the Magistrate to come challenge him on that turf…remember that bullet earlier? Tracker.
Andrew Constant pens a great story here that plays very nicely with the rest of the Bat-books while also offering a different characteristic of how Nightwing is acting. I know we have seen many different versions of Dick in the form of Spyral Agent Grayson, Ric, and even as a Batman himself, but this darker, back-to-the-wall, angry knight was refreshing. Nightwing carries guilt, which makes his burden that much heavier as he feels he wasn’t there for Bruce.
Of course, this all sets up a mystery: how could he have been there, and what is A-Day? I like that he is still a hub in the hero community, but it was realistic to see that leadership weighing on him too. Nicola Scott does a bang-up job keeping the fluid motion of Nightwing very much alive. There are great action sequences all throughout the book that keep it energetic and I also dig the wing chest piece design, as it feels like a throwback but not too retro. I am very excited to see the Next Batman and Nightwing’s possible “last stand” against the Magistrate in issue #2.
Future State: Nightwing #1 is a great adventure showing Dick’s possible future. It’s a fast-paced story that plants seeds for a mystery and also a team-up with the Next Batman in issue #2.
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