Nightwing No. 57 review: Can Ric reconcile his past with his present?


After Ric Grayson helped the Nightwings defeat Scarecrow, he has a fresh perspective on his life. Even though Ric isn’t Nightwing any more, he’s taking his first steps to becoming a hero again.

Nightwing No. 57

Writer: Scott Lobdell, Zack Kaplan

Artist: Travis Moore

Nightwing No. 57 full cover (Credit: DC Comics)

Ric Grayson is on a high. He helped save his city alongside the team of Nightwings in the previous issue of Nightwing, now he is ready to step up and be a hero of a different sort. Not all fights can be won with punching, so Ric agrees to support his girlfriend Bea while she petitions for keeping the local shelter open in Nightwing No. 57.

It helps that Ric has fallen hook, line and sinker in love with Bea, yet he remains coy about confessing his true feelings for her. But unknown to the young hero, there’s a greater threat to Blüdhaven, one that’s about to rear its ugly head.

Getting an Insight into the New Heroes in Town

By now, it is well established that the Nightwings aren’t going anywhere. On the contrary, they seem to have made a name for themselves in Blüdhaven. In Nightwing No. 57, the entire team of heroes aren’t in action, but we see Sap attempting to recruit some help, and his argument is quite persuasive. It’s a good piece of writing in an issue that is thankfully light on the exposition front.

Elsewhere, another of the Nightwings unleashes hell on a two-bit criminal, and for the first time in a long time, the series captures the authentic Nightwing feeling with a hero who refuses to stand by in the wake of injustice. The scene takes place over two pages, but it is a highlight in this installment. Not to mention, it portends the appearance of more such incidents over the course of the series.

The Dichotomy Between the Haves and Have-Nots

So far in the Nightwing series, the threats to Blüdhaven have been of a personal nature – from Blockbuster, Rapture, the Dark Web, and even the Scarecrow, the main target for these villains has been Dick Grayson’s Nightwing. Now, Nightwing No. 57 suggests the series villain has more on their mind, one that could have readers and the heroes questioning who is in the right.

Ric and the Nightwings in Nightwing No. 57 (Credit: DC Comics)

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This may, of course, simply be an assumption, and the villain will probably devolve into another power-hungry Nightwing-hater. But from the hints in this issue, the promise of a villain who is really fighting for the little guy is what this series needs as an infusion of fresh ideas. So far, the story arcs have been quite singular in their mission – teach Nightwing a lesson or make him grow as a hero. Now, there is potential to do so much more.

The highlight of this installment is Travis Moore’s art and Tamra Bonvillain’s colors. The past several issues of Nightwing have not felt right because of the art. One wishes the DC editors would stick to one artist for the series, because it’s a disorienting experience seeing the erratic art from issue to issue.

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From the solicitations it appears that Ric Grayson is sticking around at least until Nightwing No. 60, but a new writer will be taking over in two months’ time. What will Dan Jurgens do differently with the character and the series? Jurgens is a veteran of DC Comics, currently working on Batman Beyond and Action Comics, which suggests he might be the right person to rejuvenate this series and hopefully ease Ric back to his Dick Grayson personality. But the question remains, is DC intent on keeping Ric this way? And, if so, for how long?