The Fanboy’s Closet: Nightwing Crew Socks

***”The Fanboy’s Closet,” I pull a geeky item of clothing from the closet, snap a pic, and then see what subjects it takes us into. Why? Why the hell not?!?***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yeah, I post pictures of socks here now. What can I say? I’m a sock enthusiast.

I picked these suckers up at C2E2 last weekend. From the fine folks at Pretty good quality.

Once in awhile, somebody on Twitter will ask if people prefer Nightwing with the blue V-stripe or the red one. Or as I call them, Blue Nightwing and Red Nightwing. It’s not even a question, really. Blue Nightwing is the only Nightwing.

To me, Red Nightwing (i.e. the New 52 version) evoked Robin too much. Red is so closely identified with that character and that costume. A major part of Nightwing’s story is that he gave up being Robin to break away from Batman and become his own man. That independence is extremely important to the fabric of the character, and putting red on him almost takes part of that away.

Red Nightwing first appeared in 2011’s Nightwing #1, drawn by Eddy Barrows. While I really enjoy his work (he’s currently on Detective Comics), that pose on the cover (shown below) will never look natural to me…

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A Nightwing: Rebirth #1 Review – Better in Blue

Nightwing: Rebirth #1, 2016, coverTITLE: Nightwing: Rebirth #1
AUTHOR: Tim Seeley
PENCILLER: Yanick Paquette. Cover by Javier Fernandez.
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: July 13, 2016

***WARNING: Spoilers lay ahead.***

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

This issue should really be called Nightwing Returns. For yours truly, that’s what it is. Not just in terms of Dick Grayson putting the costume on again. It’s as simple as him wearing blue.

I can’t even tell you how hung up I was on that New 52 costume. I’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating: Nightwing should never wear red on a permanent basis. Red is a Robin color. In switching from Robin to Nightwing, the change from red to blue was more important than many people realize. The shift to the opposite end of the color spectrum was a visual representation of his shift toward independence. To put him in red moves him back toward Batman, intentional or not. Plus, when you realize Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Damian Wayne all wear red and have dark hair, the whole legacy of Robin starts to look like a creepy cult. All in all, everything is better when Dick is in blue.

With his secret identity now restored, Dick stops and smells the proverbial roses with his Spyral cohorts and surrogate family members before moving on to the next phase of his life. The Parliament of Owls (a larger version of the Court of Owls) continues to target Dick. The time has now come for Dick to infiltrate the group using the identity they tried to corrupt and make their own: Nightwing!

Nightwing: Rebirth #1, Yanick PaquetteThis issue tells us Dick’s identity is now a secret again.  To the best of my knowledge, this happened off page somewhere. As I recall, Helena Bertinelli told Dick that Spyral could use its tech to make the world forget what they saw in Forever Evil. This kind of trick isn’t new. You’ve got to get the genie back in the bottle somehow, of course. I just wish we’d actually seen it happen. We don’t even know for sure it was Spiral that restored Dick’s secret. Let’s hope he didn’t make a deal with Mephisto…

The whole stopping by to talk thing is a very Dick Grayson thing to do. We’ve seen it a bunch over the years. His talks with Tiger King and Midnighter feel like a transition out of the Grayson era. Though I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him team with the latter again soon. He briefly speaks with Helena through a door, leaving us longing for a sense of closure between the two. Though Yanick Paquette treats us to a splash page of her in the Huntress costume, practically guaranteeing they’ll meet again down the line. Paquette is also on cover duty for Helena’s adventures in Batgirl & The Birds of Prey, which is a nice connection between the books. Oddly enough, the variant cover by Babs Tarr gives us another Nightwing/Batgirl connection. That can’t be accidental, can it?

So…does Lincoln March die in this book? He takes an arrow through the eyeball, so that’s definitely the implication. If this is the end for him, that’s a disappointment. His big quarrel was with his alleged brother Bruce Wayne. There was unfinished business there. Even factoring in his Grayson role, to see him snuffed out in a Nightwing book feels like a whimper. I’m hoping the Owls restore him, keep him in stasis, or something to that effect.

Nightwing: Rebirth #1, Dick and Damian, yanick PaquetteI’ve been high on Yanick Paquette in the wake of Batman #49. But some of his renderings of Dick and Damian are weirdly off in this issue. For instance, the image at right. What, pray tell, is wrong with Damian’s face? Is it contorted because his eyes hurt? Is he rolling his eyes at the thought of Spyral being on the side of the angels? At certain points he also looks like he’s hunching.

On the plus side, he ends on a splash page of Dick in the Nightwing suit, and it instantly satiated my craving for blue Nightwing. Well done, sir.

Just to clarify, I’m not downing Kyle Higgins, or anyone who worked on the red Nightwing book. Eddy Barrows did some nice work with Dick, and I was pleased when Higgins moved the setting to Chicago. Grayson also turned out better than many of us imagined. But this issue feels like a homecoming. Just as so much we loved about the old DCU has come back in this Rebirth initiative, so has the Nightwing we know and love.

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A Nightwing #19 Review – Sweet Home Chicago

Nightwing #19 cover, Brett BoothTITLE: Nightwing #19
AUTHOR: Kyle Higgins
PENCILLER: Brett Booth
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASED: April 17, 2013

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Pre-New 52 Nightwing was one of my absolute favorite characters. But these days? Not so much. Not only has the novelty of his red costume worn off, but this Dick Grayson feels like he’s been robbed of so much of his depth and intrigue. He feels like just another one of Batman’s stringers, as opposed to a man who decided to forge his own path. While he’s moved to a new city, this is hardly a fresh start for our hero.

After learning that Tony Zucco, the man who murdered his parents, is still alive and in Chicago, Dick Grayson relocates to the Windy City. But in the DC Universe, Chicago has a strict “no capes” policy. This means Nightwing is as much an outlaw as the criminals he’s pursuing. As our hero works to track down Zucco, a masked villain called the Prankster wreaks havoc, and is undoubtedly on a collision course with the former Boy Wonder.

Nightwing #19, 2013, Brett Booth, two-page spreadI’ve had it out for Brett Booth for a couple of years now. I’m completely and utterly sour on the direction he helped take Teen Titans in when the reboot happened. It’s going to take a long time for me to forgive him for the mess that is Red Robin’s costume. He does alright this issue despite having to draw Dick with the red costume. The opening sequence with him running from the police across the rooftops is fairly reminiscent of the way Justice League #1 opened. But I do have a question: In the shot you see on the right here, why are Nightwing’s legs wide open like that? This issue dedicates a two-page spread to our hero assuming a position that’s often seen in the adult film industry. He’s supposed to be jumping across a rooftop, right? That hardly seems aerodynamic…

The Prankster we see here is a revamp of a classic Superman villain. The last time we saw him, he was a game show host-looking Joker knocking off with a green suit and a goatee. This Prankster is much more menacing, with a black and yellow outfit, a long coat, and a mask not dissimilar to the white ones we’ve seen the Court of Owls wear. His pranks are cruel, but he apparently has a sense of social justice about him. He could prove to be an interesting friend or foe for Nightwing.

Nightwing #19, 2013, Brett Booth, runningAs a Chicago native, I’m not sure what I expected this issue to be from a “Hey, that’s where I live!” standpoint. The Willis Tower (remember, it’s not the Sears Tower anymore) is prominently on display, and some of the architecture looks vaguely familiar. But the art doesn’t scream Chicago. I wonder if this is how New Yorkers feel when they read Spider-Man or Daredevil

Since the reboot, I’ve actually come close to dropping Nightwing from my pull list a couple of times. It’s not necessarily Kyle Higgins’ fault. With the New 52, he company forced ALL its characters to drop some of their baggage, but as such they also lost a lot of the depth and backstory that made them interesting. I wasn’t enamored with Dick coming back to the circus either. We’ve seen that story a bunch of times. I was hoping Nightwing #19 would start the character down a path that would freshen him up a bit. But despite its strong points, I’m not sure this issue gave us that.

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