Review: Nightwing #16

This might be a controversial way to start a review, but Damian Wayne is my favorite Robin. That’s not to say that I don’t love Dick Grayson (the star of Nightwing #16), I love all the Robins, but Damian is my favorite. Damian is just such a strong, opinionated character and he has great chemistry with a lot of other characters. In fact, one of the characters he has the most chemistry with is Dick Grayson himself

Dick and Damian have a great dynamic. During their stint as Batman and Robin, Damian played the skeptical student. It’s not that he didn’t like Dick, it’s that he didn’t always trust that Dick was the best man for the job. He was competitive with Dick. He looked up to him, but he knew his father was better at being Batman than Dick would ever be. And for Dick’s part, he knew it too. He accepted it, but he still went out there and did the best he could. He knew he would never be Bruce and he was OK with that. And I think it was the fact that Dick accepted his own shortcomings that really drove Damian crazy.

Basically, Dick and Damian have a very complicated (yet very fun) dynamic. It’s a dynamic that is captured perfectly by Tim Seeley in Nightwing #16. The legendary Grant Morrison once lamented (I believe, in an interview with Kevin Smith) that Dick and Damian didn’t get more time as Batman and Robin because their dynamic was so great. He thought these two could go on for years, having adventures and that Bruce’s resurrection cut that short. He wanted to see more Dick and Damian stories.

Well folks, this is the story that Morrison wanted to see.

The story itself revolves around Dick experiencing a massive personal issue just as Damian comes to town to confront Dick over Dick’s unquestioned status the heir to Batman’s cowl. It’s fun to see Dick try to ditch the relentless Damian as the story creates a natural tension between these two heroes. Dick doesn’t mind giving Damian the slip because Damian is being selfish, but it is Dick’s disinterest in validating Damian’s feelings that drives the young Robin crazy.

The art is, of course, amazing. Javier Fernandez shows off why he got that exclusive DC contract with his impressive work in these action scenes. Both Dick and Damian’s faces are incredibly expressive as they face off and it really adds to the heart of these scenes. Fernandez also gets to stretch his legs a little and draw the entire teen titans. It’s a good showcase for a talented artist.

Nightwing #16: 8 out of 10