The entire Bat-family is dealing with the loss of Damian Wayne, each in their own way. In “Batman and Robin” # 18, Bruce dealt with his loss silently, expressing his pain and rage without a single spoken word or thought in the issue. We are reminded of the differences between Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson in “Nightwing” #18, where the first Robin deals with the loss of the latest Robin, one he counted as a brother.
The relationship between Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne was a major part of storyline pre-New52, where their pairing as Batman and Robin was a fan and critical favorite, endearing Damian even more to a legion of Bat-fans. It is fitting that we spend this time watching Nightwing deal with this tragedy in his own way, talking and thinking his way through the tragedy. Dick has always been more in touch with his own emotions than Bruce – but this tragedy pushes Dick so close to the edge that he comes close to emotionally shutting down. We see a lot of fond memories between Dick and Damian, and we see Bruce reaching out in the only way he can…by bringing Nightwing with him on a case that would have particular meaning to the last of the Flying Graysons.
It is obvious that there is still a lot to be worked out between Bruce and Dick…for that matter between Batman and the rest of the entire Bat-family. But more shocking is the conclusion, after Dick reaches out to Sonia, the daughter of the man who killed his parents. I won’t spoil that surprise for you…but it is definitely a big reveal that will have major implications for future issues.
Kyle Higgins wrote the script, which captured the essence of Dick Grayson perfectly as he deals with such a tragic loss. Juan Jose Ryp handled the pencils, with Roger Bonet & Juan Albarran on inks and Brett Smith on colors. Honestly, their interpretation of Nightwing is not my favorite, as they have him more the overly muscled type rather than the look of an acrobat – but they effectively bring the emotion of the moment to life, and the overall artwork is excellent. In both the script and the art, there was a sense of authenticity to the emotion, and it is definitely a must buy for any Bat-family fan. If this is not already on your pull list, talk to your LCS and get ready to add Nightwing to the list!