With all the news about the new tweaks and changes happening in September when DC's "New 52" debuts, one question has been focused on Dick Grayson and why he is returning to his Nightwing guise after having a successful run as Batman. Nightwing writer, Kyle Higgins, answers a few questions and lays out what it means for Dick to return to being Nightwing.
Comic Vine: Do you feel it's a step back for Dick to go from Batman to Nightwing?
Kyle Higgins: You know, I've been getting this question a lot lately and I have to admit I don't see it that way. Here's the reality of the situation-- Batman was NEVER Dick's identity. It was Bruce's, and it'll always BE Bruce's. Dick filled in, eventually becoming more and more comfortable in the role, but deep down he knew it was going to end-- it had to. And the question of "is it a demotion" is silly-- is it a demotion to go back to being YOU?
This isn't an ego thing for Dick. WE, as fans, view the situation differently because we want our favorite characters to be "A-listers." We want them to be in more books, we want them to be popular, and to a lot of people, Dick Grayson has never been more popular than he was as Batman-- I mean, he was BATMAN! And everyone around the world knows who Batman is. But think about this within the world of Gotham and the DC Universe-- specifically, without breaking the fourth wall: Batman isn't a job you aspire to within your superhero career. It isn't like being an actor and hoping to one day play James Bond (or play Batman for that matter) in a movie-- Dick isn't sitting there going, "you know, it'd be really great for my career if I got to be Batman someday..." And that, to me, is because what these heroes are all doing is part of a higher calling-- Dick isn't being a hero for personal glory. Dick does what he does because he likes helping people.
Now, where I WOULD say it runs the risk of being a demotion-- if I don't do my job right-- is in the villain area. As Batman, Dick went up against the best of the best-- he went up against a rogues gallery (new and old) that put him to the ultimate test. And a lot of those characters are Bruce's villains-- they're villains of Batman. So my job is to come up with new threats that will test Dick as Nightwing just as thoroughly.== TEASER ==
CV: Will Nightwing focus more on solo Dick adventures or will we see other Bat-family members pop in (Bruce, Barbara, etc)?
KH: It's a little bit of both-- I mean, Dick is a social character with relationships all around the DCnU and the Bat family. I do want to (and plan to) work Bruce, Damian, Barbara and Tim in-- at the same time, we're focusing a lot on Nightwing solo gigs. Like I said above-- I want to build his world back up with a rogues gallery that tests and challenges him... and I want to get him back to being him.
CV: The solicit for #1 mentions Haley's Circus coming to Gotham, does Dick plan on sticking around Gotham or will he try to find a new "Bludhaven"?
KH: Dick will still be "based" in Gotham, but we're getting him out on the road again with Haley's Circus. The way I look at it is this-- Dick just spent a year being someone else, upholding their legacy, as Gotham tried to break him. When Haley's comes back for the first time since the death of Dick's parents, it provides an opportunity for Dick to rediscover and explore HIS legacy (and what his life SHOULD have been)-- which is all part of him being able to grow as both a hero and a person.
Scott [Snyder] has done a brilliant job in Detective Comics of establishing Dick in Gotham-- of getting him back to the one city he's been avoiding. I'm going to play off that still, but in a slightly different way. And again, I want to assure people-- this isn't Dick running away because Bruce is back. To me, he's not narcissistic or vein in the way that he'd turn his back on a place just to spite Bruce (not at this point).
CV: How much of Dick's civillain guise will we see?
KH: A LOT. We've got a ton of supporting characters, a lot of circus members, some love interests...
KH: I'd love to use those two in particular, and certainly I love what Scott's been doing-- like I said, my choice to base Dick in Gotham (when he's not traveling) is because of Scott's run. But there's also a big push for "new," regardless of the Bat books maintaining a lot of their continuity. This IS the DCnU, so we're really looking to the future instead of mining the past.
CV: Why had Dick chosen red for his new costume?
KH: That was actually something that was chosen before I came on the project-- it is part of the new direction though. I mean, Dick's making a lot of changes-- the circus, going back to being Nightwing... to me he just decided to try something different.
CV: Thanks Kyle. Now we at least have an idea why Dick is returning to being Nightwing. It doesn't sound as if there's a falling out between Dick and Bruce. It's simply a logical choice. And we will be seeing Dick both in Gotham and on the road starting in September with Nightwing #1.