“Nightwing” Sets Up a New Old Villain

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The Nightwing comic is getting a new creative team, who will apparently be setting up a new antagonist for the hero—albeit one apparently connected to his past.

Nightwing is the superhero identity of Dick Grayson, perhaps better known as Batman’s original sidekick, Robin. After growing up, he took on his new name and went to protect the Gotham’s neighboring city of Blüdhaven, while the “Robin” mantle was passed on to several other youngsters.

Starting with issue #35, the book will be written by Sam Humphries (who previously worked on Green Lanterns) and drawn by Bernard Chang.

The two have expressed excitement about the new villain that they will introduce in their first arc, whom the former described as “a devious new creation by me and Bernard—a murderous cold case from Nightwing’s past.” Despite this, the promo describes him as someone whom Nightwing has never actually met, so their exact connection is ambiguous for now.

Preview pages for the issue have been released. The first shows Nightwing swinging through the city, as someone—apparently the new villain—soliloquizes in the narration boxes, saying that the hero is “playing a chump’s game” and that he “can see things you’ll never see.”

Later pages show a fairly normal looking man, with a beard and a suit, talking to an older, obese woman at a casino. The unnamed man claims that he can see into the woman’s depths, and that she secretly wants her friends, whom she describes as being boring, to fear her. He then promises to grant her wish if she performs a certain task that he whispers in her ear; she then attacks the card dealer with a knife, with her eyes glowing red in the last image.

The implication seems to be that this villain, who remains unnamed, has some variant of telepathic and/or mind control abilities. It is also unclear exactly what he is planning, though the pages seem to indicate that the casinos, and the organized crime that they attract to the Blüdhaven, will be important to this story.

We also see Nightwing fighting a group called the League of Limousine Assassins, who run down civilians while happily toasting “To murder!” One wonders how seriously the reader is supposed to take this group.

Issue #35, and its new story arc and villain, will come out on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.