Tag Archives: nightwing

Preview: Nightwing #46

Nightwing #46

(W) Ben Percy (A) Chris Mooneyham (CA) Mike Perkins
In Shops: Jul 04, 2018
SRP: $3.99

A new high-tech corporation setting up shop in Blüdhaven claims to be the cure for what ails the crumbling city. But Night-wing learns it’s a very hostile takeover when he runs afoul of their metahuman operative, a digital phantom impervious to physical attack. Luckily, Nightwing has his very own I.T. backup: Batgirl! But can the two work together after their meeting in BATGIRL #25, also in stores this month?

DC Collectibles in February 2019

DC Collectibles announced today four new statues hitting stores in February 2019 featuring fan-favorite characters Harley Quinn, Nightwing and Batgirl. See below for more details and attached for imagery.

Harley Quinn Pink, White & Black: Valentine’s Variant by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau Statue

This limited-edition, mad-lovely Valentine’s Day variant is based on the HARLEY QUINN #1 Rebirth variant cover by renowned artist Stanley ”Artgerm“ Lau.

  • Based on the art by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
  • Sculpted by Alejandro Pereira
  • Limited to 5,000 pieces and individually numbered
  • Size: 7.5’’ tall
  • MSRP: $80.00

DC Designer Series: Nightwing & Batgirl by Ryan Sook Statue

Workplace romance is never easy and doing it behind a mask while protecting the streets of Gotham City takes the difficulty to new heights. But being able to embrace your beloved while hanging upside down via grapnel-gun cable makes it all worthwhile. This statue is inspired by the art of Ryan Sook and is designed to stand upright or be mounted on a wall so the characters can hang inverted in their embrace. This polyresin statue is limited to 5,000 pieces.

  • Designed by Ryan Sook
  • Sculpted by Paul Harding
  • Limited to 5,000 pieces and individually numbered
  • Size: 13.7’’ tall
  • MSRP: $250.00

Harley Quinn Red, White & Black: Harley Quinn by Mingjue Helen Chen Statue

It’s time for deadly baseball! Harley Quinn is a formidable foe with a baseball bat, but when you swap out balls for live bombs, her game turns lethal.

  • Designed by Mingjue Helen Chen
  • Sculpted by Alejandro Pereira
  • Limited to 5,000 pieces and individually numbered
  • Size: 7’’ tall
  • MSRP: $80.00

DC Bombshells: Harley Quinn Sepia Tone Variant Statue

  • Based on art by Ant Lucia
  • Sculpted by Alejandro Pereira
  • Limited to 5,000 pieces and individually numbered
  • Size: 10.75’’ tall
  • MSRP: $125.00

Preview: Nightwing #45

Nightwing #45

(W) Ben Percy (A) Chris Mooneyham (CA) Declan Shalvey
In Shops: Jun 06, 2018
SRP: $3.99

Nightwing investigates a string of murders that at first seem disconnected… but when signs start to point to the digital underworld, the mean streets of Blüdhaven begin to transform. So how does a hero like Dick Grayson – used to using his fists to solve problems – stop a villain he can’t get his hands on? Especially when Blüdhaven isn’t the only thing compromised by a tech implant in this new “smart city” initiative… so is Nightwing’s mind.

DC Rebirth Roundup: Comics From The 25th of April and 2nd of May

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth Roundup where we take a look at most of the comics released by DC and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in assuming we’ve read said series.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up with only a basic familiarity with the characters.  You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, so you’ll have an idea if the comic is any good or not (remember quality and accessibility don’t always go together).

Typically only select comics released in the featured weeks will be covered.


 

GA_Cv40Batman #46 Booster Gold decided to show Batman what life would be like if his parents lived, and Bruce Wayne decided he liked it and destroyed the time machine. Dick Grayson is a one word Batman with a penchant for murder, and the world doesn’t get better beyond that. Nor does the comic. An unfriendly 6/10

Green Arrow #40 A solid conclusion to an arc that found Green Arrow in the middle of a war torn country being taken over by a supervillain who just shot our hero in the gut. This isn’t terribly Friendly, but it is still accessible. 7/10

Hal Joran And The Green Lantern Corps #44 There’s a war coming (you’ll sense a theme with that), and the Green Lanterns are consolidating power. A Friendly 8/10

Nightwing #44 Part one of a new arc, so the question is can you pick it up with out any prior knowledge? Kinda. I mean, it’s Friendly enough, but it’s not the best read out there. 5/10

The Flash #46 ….. yeah, it’s not bad. But it’s honestly just a set up issue for the upcoming Flash War, so it is technically Friendly. 5/10

Wonder Woman #46 A relatively easy jumping on point, providing you know who Wonder Woman is. You may not know about her brother, Jason, but that’s not a huge deal. Friendly, and not half bad. 7/10

The Flash, Nightwing, and Batgirl Join DC Collectible’s Artists Alley

With just a month away from the hotly-anticipated debut of DC Artists Alley, DC Collectibles today announced three new iconic DC Super Heroes – The Flash, Nightwing, and Batgirl – will join the cutting-edge designer vinyl line in December 2018. Each character will be designed by a different 2018 DC Artists Alley designer including Connecticut-based painter and illustrator, Chris Uminga; comic creator and graphic designer, HaiNaNu “Nooligan” Saulque; and San Francisco-based artist, Sho Murase.

DC Artists Alley is an artist-focused designer vinyl line and is inspired by the popular “Artist Alley” convention experience. The new figures announced today include Uminga’s signature “creepy and cute” design of the fastest man alive, The Flash; Nooligan’s “streetwear” makeover of DC’s popular Nightwing character; and Murase’s exaggerated take on Batgirl in a striking palette of red, white and black. DC Collectibles will offer black and white variant editions of The Flash and Nightwing figures, and a vibrant green holiday variant for Murase’s Batgirl design.

Prior to the new figures’ debut in December, the DC Artist Alley line will launch in June with Uminga’s designs of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman; followed by Nooligan’s unique interpretations of The Joker, Batman and Harley Quinn in September; and Murase’s transformations of Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in November.

All June, September and November waves are available for pre-order now and the newly announced The Flash, Nightwing and Batgirl figures will be available for pre-order beginning May 22, 2018.

For more details, see below!

DC ARTISTS ALLEY: THE FLASH BY CHRIS UMINGA

  • Sculpted by Joe Menna
  • Size: Figures measure 6.4’’ tall
  • MSRP: $40.00 – Each sold separately
  • Individually numbered
  • On Sale December 2018
  • Standard Figure limited to 3,000 pieces
  • Black and White Variant Figure limited to 500 pieces

DC ARTISTS ALLEY: NIGHTWING BY HAINANU “NOOLIGAN” SAULQUE

  • Sculpted by Paul Harding
  • Size: Figures measure 7.15’’ tall
  • MSRP: $40.00 – Each sold separately
  • Individually numbered
  • On Sale December 2018
  • Standard Figure limited to 3,000 pieces
  • Black and White Variant Figure limited to 500 pieces

DC ARTISTS ALLEY: BATGIRL BY SHO MURASE

  • Sculpted by Sam Greenwell
  • Size: Figures measure 7’’ tall
  • MSRP: $40.00 – Each sold separately
  • Individually numbered
  • On Sale December 2018
  • Standard Figure limited to 3,000 pieces
  • Holiday Variant Figure limited to 500 pieces

Preview: Nightwing #44

Nightwing #44

(W) Ben Percy (A) Chris Mooneyham (CA) Declan Shalvey
In Shops: May 02, 2018
SRP: $3.99

“THE BLEEDING EDGE” part one! Change is on the horizon when a new technologist sets his sights on Blüdhaven, creating a holographic, interconnected city where everyone is an individual and also part of a larger network. It’s the Internet made physical! Gentrification on gigabyte-laced steroids. But when this new utopia encroaches on his turf, Nightwing starts to uncover a sinister plot based not on revenge…but on a reckoning. “The Bleeding Edge” begins here, setting Dick Grayson on a path to clarify the ideals at his very core: his sense of home and identity.

Review: Nightwing #44: Working out on Chest and (throw) Back Day

*Mild spoiler whited out at the end*

I came to read this really interesting comic — Nightwing #44 “The Bleeding Edge” part one because everyone’s favorite comics PR guy Clark Bull tweeted:

Now, I tend to choose which superhero comics to read based on the writer and artist working on them rather than because of the particular characters in it. A great creative team can make anything work, yes even Deathstroke. I was previously unfamiliar with Christopher Mooneyham (pencils) and Benjamin Percy (writer), Nick Filardi (colors) and Carlos M. Mangual (letters). But as a critic who analyzes art through a feminist and queer lens I’ve developed an academic interest in Dick Grayson.

Grayson is one of the only male characters that straight male creative teams have frequently offered up to the androphilic gaze. In layperson’s terms– Nightwing is a rare character that even straight men deliberately depict with the intent to make readers find him sexy and that many readers who are attracted to men see as sexy, even before the creators came around to the idea. Meanwhile, almost every female character is drawn to appeal to the male gaze, even lesbian characters. I, as a queer person, might find some of those female characters hot too– but that is a side effect, they were not depicted with my gaze in mind.

Nightwing exists in a critically interesting space for these reasons. And if Clark tells me to watch for Discowing worthy visual tributes in Nightwing #44, sure I’ll check it out.

What I found was a comic full of early 80s visual cues– everything from John Romita Jr-esque squared-off lips and Klaus Jansen/Frank Miller gritty but pretty action filled pencils to subways with 1980’s level graphitti. Even Dick’s haircut is early 80’s compliant, and flattering (see 50% of Duran Duran).

And what is this utterly Bronze Age Nightwing doing? He’s complaining about our modern relationship with the portable internet. Which is seems in-character. He’s also using his newly modified escrima sticks exactly like Daredevil uses his batton, ricocheting it around the subway car. It even has a break in the center for grappling hook use, like Murdock’s primary mode of transportation.

Was there a rift in the multiverse through which a dimension-hopping Dick got to replicate Matt Murdock’s batton? Were Grayson’s escrima sticks always like that and I just never noticed before because the art wasn’t so similar to what I associate with my favorite old Daredevil comics? I’d never connected Daredevil and Nightwing till now despite their shared acrobatic skills and handsome figures. But maybe the brooding and emotionally damaged Matt Murdock– the Worst Boyfriend in Comics™– isn’t so different after all from the joyful and emotionally intelligent Dick Grayson — the Best Ex-Boyfriend in Comics.

Halfway into the issue we are greeted with a shirtless and unshorn Dick Grayson stretched out on the coach. I appreciate the unshorn which is especially realistic if we’re doing an 80s throwback aesthetic. His body language is open as we look down on him from above.

You know what? We deserve artist Chris Mooneyham’s Dick Grayson lying shirtless on a couch. The recognition that men can be the subject of our sexual desires and that people might want to look at them being sexy is still a pretty radical proposition in superhero comics. It was part of the recent Grayson series’ success and it is actually part of the story here.

Unlike many of the random semi nude women in comics it makes sense for Dick to be shirtless. He’s at home relaxing in a bright window while flirting with his on again off again. Grayson’s anatomy while rare, is within the range of things a body can be.  And that’s good. Physically impossible figures are honestly not sexy to me. He doesn’t have the dead-eyed objectivized look we often see on shirtless women when drawn by men. He’s clearly in thought here. Look, I like semi clothed women as much as the next person who’s sexualy attracted to women. But it shouldn’t always be women. That’s not a balanced diet and its hurting storytelling.

This art is a helpful reminder that sexy art is best served by being character driven, by having a torso that accommodates lungs and a gastrointestinal system, non-fictional muscles, and even has body hair (women have body hair too, I know this may be shocking to some men who’ve never been naked with a woman IRL). I’m not suggesting that a character needs to look like Dick does here in order to be sexy. I want to see all sorts of bodies and genders represented on the page, especially the acknowledgement that bodies that deviate from Hollywood norms are desirable too. Why are no characters drawn like Katie King or Ximena Santos from Raven the Pirate Princess in the DCU or Marvel?

Anyway….

Dick’s legendary chemistry with Barbara Gordon is in full display here — the juxtaposed panels of their phone conversation establish a visual flirtation between the two characters. They may be in different apartments talking on the phone but their eye lines across the gutters keep them flirting even more than their dialog does.

One thing I could do without is the heavy deli owner being drawn as a slob. It’s an anti-fat stereotype and below this comic’s intelligence.

Mild spoiler (highlight the text)

In the end, as with many great things of the 1980s, this story ends in body horror. I won’t say how. As a huge fan of the works of David Cronenberg I say hooray!

In conclusion Nightwing #44’s virtues include:

  • Early 1980s Daredevil aesthetics
  • Shirtless Dick Grayson drawn just for you and me
  • A villain who uses technology in creative ways
  • Light social commentary
  • An easy jumping on point for new readers of the series, like me

That’s good promise from just a single issue of a new character arc in an existing series. Sure, I’ll keep checking out Nightwing– literally and figuratively. You should too! We deserve it.PS: For an extremely thoughtful and historically centered look at the way Dick Grayson has been depicted in comics read the essential Meg Downey’s essay In Defense of Dick Grayson: Objectification, Sexuality, and Subtext.

DC Rebirth Roundup: Comics From The 11th and 18th of April

Welcome to Graphic Policy’s DC Rebirth Roundup where we take a look at most of the comics released by DC and try to work out just how accessible they are for new readers – we’ll also be providing  recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in assuming we’ve read said series.

Each comic will receive a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly based on how easy it was for new readers to pick them up with only a basic familiarity with the characters.  You’ll also notice that each comic will get a rating that falls on Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, so you’ll have an idea if the comic is any good or not (remember quality and accessibility don’t always go together).

Not every comic is covered released will be covered, and that’s because I  sometimes forget to read them  (although that doesn’t happen often), or I really can’t bring myself to pick up the issue (which is more likely).  Typically comics released prior to the weeks covered won’t be featured.


 

Action Comics #1000 So here it is. A thousand issues of Action Comics. The first AC_Cv1000_var1980superhero comic to crack four digits; because of the historical significance you’re probably going to buy this anyway, aren’t you?

Aquaman #35 Aquaman lost his throne and is now part of a civil war aimed at removing his successor. An Unfriendly comic, but one well worth reading if you’ve gotten this far in the series. 7.2/10

Batman #45 Effectively a new jumping on point, this Friendly comic won’t feel that way at first, but bear with it, as Tom King stays above he mediocrity that has been plaguing his run and delivers an interesting take on the world if Bruce Wayne never became Batman. 7/10

Detective Comics #978 Uh… you know what I have no idea where to start. 6.5/10

The Flash #44 There’s a negative speed force storm destroying Central City, the Flash is fighting Gorilla Grodd and the other Flashes are evacuating the city. This isn’t too bad an issue, indeed it’s a step above the last few, and it’s oddly Friendly for a finale. 7/10

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #42 The start of a new arc that will see space cops (Green Lanters) verses space vigilantes. Friendly and fun. 7/10

Justice League #43 The finale of an incredible arc isn’t typically the best place to start. This Unfriendly issue is no exception. 7.9/10

NTW_Cv43Nightwing #43 Friendly team up issue with Arsenal and Robin. Get your popcorn out and enjoy! 8/10

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21 Bizarro has become addicted to liquid Kryptonite in order to preserve his incredible intellect that has allowed the Outlaws to radically depreciate crime in Gotham. The issue is Friendly enough, and worth a look. 7.3/10

Super Sons #15 Not an unFriendly issue as far as things go, but it will be tough to muscle past the sudden introduction of a character from early in the series. You get only a little back story, and it’s just enough. 7/10

 

Preview: Nightwing #43

Nightwing #43

(W) Michael Moreci (A) Minkyu Jung (CA) Jorge Jimenez
In Shops: Apr 18, 2018
SRP: $2.99

“THE BRAVE, THE OBNOXIOUS AND THE INEPT”! All Dick Grayson wants is a night to himself. But when Robin and Arsenal come calling in need of his help, Dick has to throw on his Nightwing costume and get to work. Before he knows it, he’s neck-deep in League of Assassin ninjas and trying to stop Arsenal’s sometime-girlfriend from killing them all-assuming Robin and Arsenal don’t kill each other first!

C2E2: Interview with Nightwing Writer Benjamin Percy

Benjamin Percy is a multitalented writer, who excels in a variety of mediums. He has written four novels, a book about creative writing called Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, was a contributing editor for Esquire and taught at the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Along with screenplays and short stories, Percy has written quite a few comic books since 2014, including DC Rebirth’s Green Arrow and Teen Titans. His next project is a run on Nightwing, beginning with issue 44, and I had the opportunity to chat with him about Dick Grayson’s role in the DC Universe and Bludhaven, collaborating with artist Chris Mooneyham, and of course, Dick’s most famous asset…

Graphic Policy: I first saw your name in print in a review of Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue (2012) for Esquire. I was wondering how your work as a critic and arts writer influenced your work as a writer of superhero comics.

Benjamin Percy: I write novels. I write for magazines. I write comics. I write screenplays. I write essays. And let’s not forget the erotica too, which I’m celebrated for. What I love about writing in different mediums is I’m always challenging myself aesthetically. So, I’m writing comics and learning things from the medium that make me a better novelist. I’m serving as a book critic or a film critic and as a result, I’m looking more sharply at my own work and holding myself to the same standards as these artists I’m putting on the chopping block.

In every single case as I leap from genre to genre, I’m not only keeping myself excited at the keyboard because it’s always fresh. I’m also hopefully becoming a better storyteller.

GP: One thing I enjoyed about your Green Arrow run was that you returned the character to his Bronze Age roots as a “social justice warrior”. What social issues do you plan to explore in Nightwing?

BP: I was part of the Rebirth era of Green Arrow and that meant looking to his legacy and recognizing that in the O’Neil/Adams era, he was a hotheaded liberal. That’s something that had fallen away from the series. I brought that back, and I channeled the zeitgeist. I was making direct reference to the headlines on the page. There were storylines that resembled what was going on at Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline. There were stories that bore some resemblance to what was going on with Black Lives Matter.

This is Nightwing. I’m not taking the same approach. But I am thinking about what makes us anxious right now. I think that’s something that comics do very well. They channel cultural unease. They give you a cracked mirror version of reality. There’s a lot of things we should fear right now. Cybercrime is chief among them.

If you look at what’s happened with Cambridge Analytica. If you looked at what happened with the election results and the possibility of Russian meddling. If you think about how many times a day you turn your face towards a screen, maybe you think about how every time you tap a mouse or swipe your hand across a tablet or click a link that’s feeding into an algorithm that’s following you and profiling you. If you think about how every time your computer makes that carpenter ant sound, or every time your phone glitches, you’re wondering, “Has it already begun? Is a Trojan worming its way through the guts of my hard drive?”

I want to realize those fears on the page. I think it’s especially apt for Nightwing to be taking on these threats.

GP: Why is he the perfect fit?

BP: For a few different reasons. One, I wouldn’t say that Nightwing is a Luddite, but unlike Batman and Batgirl, he doesn’t surround himself with a lot of gadgets. He’s got his batons, and he’s got his acrobatics. I love an antagonist that really challenges a hero. Nightwing is facing a villain he can’t punch.

Nightwing is also interestingly situated in this storyline because he’s incredibly vital to the whole DCU and adaptable. He knows everyone. He’s served as a follower, and he’s served as a leader. He has connections to the Teen Titans and the Titans and the Justice League and the Bat-group. If you think about vulnerable data as being one of the greatest weapons of this time, he is a vault of vulnerable data. If he’s compromised, everyone’s compromised.

So, he’s facing the the dark web, but he’s at the center of his own web, which makes him the perfect person to take on this challenge and the most worrisome person to fail.

GP: Yeah, he’s definitely the heart of the DC Universe. So, one thing I liked about Tim Seeley and Sam Humphries’ runs on Nightwing were that they brought Bludhaven back with its own personality and history. How do you plan to build off this in your own run?

BP: I want to give props to Tim and Sam who did a kick ass job. I also love what Tom [King] was doing with Spyral in his Grayson run. Right now, Bill Gates is funneling 80 million dollars into a plot of land in Arizona to create a smart city. Right now, off the shore of China, they’re building islands. They’re expanding their country and building these “smart islands”.

I’m taking this real world situation and putting it in Bludhaven, a city that has always been in need of rehab. So, a tech mogul has moved there and is trying to rehabilitate the place. Something else might be going on beneath the surface of his intentions. Not only are buildings being demolished and neighborhoods rebuilt within a 5G network, but every address in Bludhaven has a package arrive on their doorstep. Inside that package is a device known as the “Phantasm”. This Phantasm device is a VR unit that bears some resemblance to Alexa, and Alexa, as you know, is always listening.

GP: She’s so scary. I’m never getting one.

BP: I’m taking Bludhaven, and how it’s been established as a city of ruins, a city of scandal, a city that has seen better times. I’m applying to it the same sort of thing you’re seeing on the East Coast with gentrification, except this is sort of tech-laced gentrification.

GP: So, one thing I love about reading Nightwing comics is that he has this exuberant, acrobatic type of fighting style. How do you choreograph his fights differently in the scripting process versus Damian Wayne’s in Teen Titans or Oliver Queen in Green Arrow?

BP: There’s a lot less yelling since Damian isn’t involved. Far fewer insults being hurled. I’m thinking carefully about every action setpiece and trying to create staging that takes advantage of his particular skill set. If you look at the first scene in Nightwing #44, there’s a subway sequence that involves his batons and also involves, I won’t exactly say what happens yet, a kind of high wire act.

Right away, in a really dramatic fashion, I’m trying to say, “This is Nightwing” with an exclamation mark.

GP: Kind of like a Bond cold open. Speaking of James Bond, which you wrote a little bit for Dynamite, are you bringing any kind of spy elements to Nightwing?

BP: We’re starting off in Bludhaven, but the story is not staying there. Arc after arc, it’s getting bigger and bigger.

GP: That’s what I like to hear. Chris Mooneyham (Five Ghosts) is the artist on your first storyline. Why was he the perfect choice for Nightwing?

BP: He’s the second coming of David Mazzucchelli. If you look at the first few pages [of Nightwing #44], which have been released, you will see parallels in Batman Year One and Daredevil Born Again in what we’re doing. It’s shadow soaked, neo noir, intricately detailed, and he takes advantage of every centimeter of the panel. There’s a beautiful grit at work, classic staging, and a more mature sensibility.

GP: I have one last question. Dick Grayson is perceived both in the DC Universe and by fans as a sex symbol. How will you portray that in your run on Nightwing?

BP: I make a crack about it right away. On page 2, panel 6, if you look at the top right corner of the subway station, there’s some graffiti that says “Butthaven”. I’m winking right there at how Dick has been portrayed. There will be romance to come, and I’ll also say that Batgirl plays an essential role in this story. He needs someone who is tech savvy. I’ve always loved their relationship.

Nightwing #44 will be released on May 2, 2018.

Follow Benjamin Percy on Twitter.

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