First off is changes to the book. Come October, Will Conrad takes over art duties for the title but Higgins remains the writer for the foreseeable future. Most importantly is that Nightwing’s little trip to Chicago is about to become permanent as Dick tries to set down roots in Gotham, partly because Dick needs a new city to protect that isn’t Gotham,and partly because Kyle Higgins, a Chicago native, can use the city in a better way to tell Nightwing stories.
The idea to move cities came out of necessity for me, as a writer looking at the character that I’ve been working with for the last year and a half (and that’s I’ve been a huge fan of for the last 15 years). I feel like we got to a place where, when we were done with the “Owl” crossovers and the “Joker” crossover, I had an opportunity to take Nightwing in his own direction again.
And one of the things that I became very aware of while doing the crossovers is that, as much fun as it is to play with the dynamic between Dick and Bruce, you have to be very careful that you’re not defining the character by that dynamic. If I were to ask you to explain to me who Nightwing is, as if I know nothing, the first thing you’re going to open with is, he used to be Robin. And that dynamic is further perpetuated the more that he is in Batman’s shadow, the more that he’s working with Batman, the more that his character arc is built on what his relationship with Bruce Wayne is each month.
So I was trying to figure out a way to give him his own world again that had the potential to build a supporting cast and a rogues gallery that is inherent to him.
The circus was inherent to him, obviously. So keeping that in mind, it led me down the path of Tony Zucco, which is the ultimate villain for Dick Grayson, in that he’s the man who created him, you know?
From there, that became the reason to move him to a new city, the search for the man who kind of created him.
This doesn’t mean that Dick won’t be interacting a lot with the rest of the Bat-family, as this is meant to move Dick into his own world, and to not define him by his relationship with Batman. Higgins assures fans that Dick is still very much a part of those books and those stories. The current arc in Nightwing will come to an end in issue #24, this October, but what’s really interesting is the annual that’s coming up. It’s about Nightwing and Batgirl. Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, old flames, and occasional partners.
It’s Nightwing and Batgirl. It will take place in… well, I don’t want to say where it will take place. I love Barbara and Dick together.
Like I said, the dynamic of the relationships Dick has with the other Bat-characters are still there. They’re not going away, even though we’re changing cities.
It’s a story about them working together again, even in the midst of all this crazy stuff happening in both of their lives.
It’s going to touch on their relationship. It’s fun to be able to write another story with Batgirl. We had her in issue #4 in a cool story down in Florida. And I had a lot of fun doing it. And when DC asked me to do an annual that focused on them, it sounded like it could be fun.
Apparently this will lead to a head of both the revelations found in the current Batgirl arc, and the current Nightwing arc. Speaking of the current arc, while Dick is on the hunt for the previously thought dead Tony Zucco, there’s also a tie-in to the Batman: Zero Year arc, which will be about Dick Grayson’s past. This issue takes place one year before his parents die and he ‘s taken in by Bruce Wayne, as seen in Nightwing #0.
It’s a fun story that I pitched that actually follows a night that Dick and his parents are out at the movies. Because of the timing of Zero Year, it takes place a year before Dick’s parents died. So I wanted to do something with the Flying Graysons in Gotham City, and something that would be a lot of fun.
Obviously, things go wrong. A normal night out turns into a very abnormal night out. And it’s just a fun adventure story.
Dick Grayson’s future seems secure even though he’ll be at the crux of Forever Evil. We’ll see more about it later this year.