Warning: SPOILERS for Nightwing Annual #1
Nightwing has a new home, and it isn’t Bludhaven OR Gotham City. The change may not be a permanent one for Dick Grayson, but for the foreseeable future… Nightwing is going on the road.
The shift in Nightwing’s living situation has occurred due to the demands of a brand-new villain named Wyrm. A sentient A.I. with domination on its mind, Wyrm nearly took over Bludhaven before Nightwing (and Batgirl) stopped him. So when Wyrm sets its sights on Gotham in Nightwing Annual #1, the former Boy Wonder rushes to the aid of the city that raised him. But to take Wyrm down for good, Nightwing needs an upgrade.
Nightwing Annual #1 begins with Nightwing facing off against several of Wyrm’s cybernetic minions, who are more numerous than anyone realized. It’s during a confrontation with one of Wyrm’s underlyings that Batgirl arrives to save Nightwing, and introduces her latest gift for Dick – a mobile batcave.
Nightwing’s new “cave” has been outfitted with ultra high-tech computers, an automated driver, a secret compartment to hide his motorcycle, and a number of more amusing additions. Barbara Gordon has stocked the semi with tons of unhealthy cereal, a vinyl turn table and a Glute-Master (a not-so-subtle reference to Nightwing’s famous posterior).
For plenty of fans, Nightwing has become synonymous with his city of Bludhaven, and as such has earned a special place in fans’ hearts. The city has always been Gotham-lite, with the same corruption and seedy look – but still uniquely Nightwing’s city. That being said, Nightwing choosing a more nomadic approach to his heroics will hearken back to Dick’s days in the circus, and potentially even underline Nightwing’s important spot in the DC Universe – if the crime-fighting road trip causes him to work with other heroes.
Interestingly, writer Benjamin Percy used a similar approach when starting fresh for his acclaimed run on Green Arrow: Rebirth. At the tail end of Benjamin Percy’s arc, Oliver went national to prevent the secret organization of the Ninth Circle taking over the government. Throughout the course of his adventures Ollie teamed up with nearly every member of the Justice League. The Green Arrow arc was both entertaining and a showcase for Oliver’s character development. But in many ways, may work even more effectively for Nightwing.
It’s possible that Nightwing ‘on the road’ will last only as long as he has Wyrm to face as a central villain. But if the concept of a “mobile Batcave” is received well by the readers, who knows? Maybe Barbara’s gift to Dick could become an integrated part of his character going forward.
Nightwing Annual #1 is available now from DC Comics.