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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 171

Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we take a look at Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel’s return to Nightwing, the six-part “Nightwing Year One” that was in the top ten on the Greatest Chuck Dixon Stories Ever Told list!


Co-written by the great Scott Beatty, Nightwing #101-105 featured the return of Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel to the book that they produced for nearly four years together.

The book opened up strong by showing how Robin and Batman had drifted apart from each other, and how that distance has affected Dick’s role as Robin…

Particularly once the action is seemingly over….

At the end of the issue, Alfred debuts Dick’s NEW Robin costume (a nod to the Earth-2 Robin)…

but before he can use it, Batman basically fires him as Robin…

Dick takes some time off re-discovering himself, and Dixon and McDaniel do a nice job giving the Nightwing costume a background by showing that Dick’s father once was a solo acrobat whose costume inspired Deadman’s outfit, and when you look at it…

so in a story similar to the old Batman tale when we learn that Bruce’s father once dressed like a bat, we see the basic inspiration for Dick’s Nightwing outfit….

I liked it – I think it worked pretty well, and the tying in the Deadman mythos was cute.

Later on, Dick encounters the new Robin while Jason is on The Gauntlet (the final Robin test – something that Dixon had previously used in a graphic novel showing Dick’s Gauntlet).

Dixon and McDaniel then throw in an homage to their acclaimed “The Boys” one-off issue of Nightwing (with Dick and Tim Drake) by showing Dick doing the same with Jason Todd…

Anyhow, Dick, Jason and Barbara Gordon (as Batgirl) team up to save Batman when Batman is hurt during the Gauntlet (as the test becomes REAL)….

The ending is strong, too…

Good stuff – this has to be collected into a trade, right? Anyone know for sure?


Yes, it’s in trade.

These issues are in paperback and in print.

I suspect Scott Beatty deserves a lot of the credit for the details that tie the creation of Nightwing in this series into the history of the DC Universe: the Earth 2 Robin costume, the resemblance to Deadman, what the Titans were up to.

I think the Guantlet story you are thinking about (where Dick ran the final test to be Robin) was written by Bruce Canwell:

Though, maybe it was originally shown in another comic? I don’t know. All I know is that Lee Weeks drawn story is great!

Stephane Savoie

June 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

Is this the first (only?) appearance appearance of the Robin costume Dick wears at this beginning of this segment? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that particular iteration before (Kneepads, Bracers, and red sleeves underneath the green).

nice to see this for chuck really knew how to make dick finaly step out of the shadows of batman and become his own hero. and the trade is still in print . i think

As everyone already said, this is in trade. I got my copy from a local library that was discarding it (I think the binding is going). I was going to reread it in tandem with reading Batman and Robin, so cool that you feature it.

That art style is way to blocky and just looks bad.

“How are we going to find Al–”
“No names. Six degrees later and somebody’ll figure out the secret.”

So the JLA shouldn’t be calling each other “Bruce” and “Clark” in the presence of enemies?

reminds me that the Nightwing costume is pure suckage.

This look fantastic. I love the connection between Nightwing and Deadman. Seriously, how many borderline criminal traveling circuses are their in the DCU?

That one’s the last good Nightwing story I’ve read.

Dixon is the undisputed master of the Bat-Kids.

Wow does that line from Babs ever sound prophetic now with Dick taking up the mantle.

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