NIghtwing joins the circus looking for some sort of closure about his mom and dad getting blown up and instead is subjected to this freak show of a storyline Nightwing formerly, Robin, the Boy Wonder is supposed to be the light hearted, quippy member of the Bats family, but even he s worn down by this loose tie in to the Owls storyline from the Batman titles.Why do a majority of DC s New 52 titles get plotted with storylines that would seem quaint and dated back in 1990 One reason According to the credits on this volume, Geoff Johns is was the creative brains behind much of DC s output If there s something out there by Johns, that rates than three stars, please don t tell me It would just shatter my view of him as a mediocre hack.This isn t a horrible story treatment, but when you compare it with the some of the things Marvel is doing or some of the adventurous output at DC Snyder s Batman, Swamp Thing, Animal Man it just melts away like an ice cream cone left out in the sun But by that time, it s too late, I ve already gotten brain freeze Blechhh written by Kyle Higgins art by Eddy BarrowsOf all the characters villains and heroes within Batman s sphere of influence, it is Dick Grayson, specifically Dick Grayson as Nightwing, who is the most important to our reading of Batman himself.Many, if not most, would argue that the pride of this place goes to Joker He is often seen as Batman s opposite the dark to Batman s light, the crazy to batman s sane, the chaos to Batman s order But that s not the case, as many great comic book writers have been quick to show us Batman and Joker, who they are and their actions, are but shadowy reflections of one another, they are too similar to be opposites They are both dark, both crazy, both chaotic, and if there is any difference at all it is the difference of motivation and what that does to their consciences, which is where Batman manages to separate himself from the Clown Prince of Crime.And it is in the realm of conscience that Dick Grayson plays his fundamental role in the life of Batman Dick is the Horatio to Bruce s Hamlet Like Hamlet, Bruce s parent s are murdered and his actions from then on are motivated by vengeance Like Hamlet, Bruce is a prince above the peasantry, a man untouched by the constraints of lesser men Like Hamlet, Bruce is brilliant, makes connections others can t, and is capable of deep love and emotional pain Like Hamlet, Bruce needs a Horatio He needs Dick to be objective when he cannot, needs Dick to criticize his behaviour when others won t, needs Dick to offer opinions when Bruce fails to see something important, needs Dick to protect him from himself.It is Dick who is uncomfortable with Bruce s brutal moments it is Dick who is most against Batman s relationship with Catwoman it is Dick who will receive a request to join the Justice League from his benefactor and have the guts to say no it is Dick who will step in to maintain the presence of Batman when Bruce is missing it is Dick, even than Alfred, who will turn his back on Bruce when he Batman has gone too far He ll always come back, sure, but he will stand by his principles even in the face of the man who took him in and made him who he is.So Nightwing was one of the New 52 I was most excited to read.Traps and Trapezes Vol 1 , the first arc of the series by Kyle Higgins Eddy Barrows whose pencils are fantastic in this arc , is glorious when it comes to Dick Grayson it lets Nightwing be Nightwing, lets Dick be Dick, without Batman at least until the last possible moment in issue 5 The influence of Bruce is all around Dick, of course But for five issues we get Dick on his own, on his own and dealing with some pretty serious shit.Haly s Circus is back in Gotham, the circus Dick was in as a boy, as one of the Flying Graysons It is the big top under which his parents fell to their deaths, and Dick finds himself inheriting the circus from a family friend at the same time as he is being hunted as himself rather than his alter ego by an assassin named Saiko think a pissy Wolverine lite.It all builds up to an arc closing confrontation with Bruce in the Batcave and some serious revelations about what Dick was being groomed for before the death of his parents and his moving in to Wayne Manor.There s nothing groundbreaking about the plot, the action or the dialogue It s pretty tame stuff, although all those elements have enough quality to do their job The arc is strong, however, when it comes to character, and that s what matters to me when I am reading a Nightwing comic If I want deep plots I go to Detective Comics if I want killer action and dialogue I go to Batman but if I want to spend some time with the Bat characters, I go to Nightwing, which is precisely where this arc excelled We were given a touch of Barbara Gordon, a hint of Bruce and Alfred, and plenty of Dick.And who would turn down plenty of Dick if given half a chance sorry how could I resist Traps and Trapezes didn t blow me away, but it is definitely a really solid story.This is not a Nightwing origin story, even though this is part of the re boot No, it s just Dick going back to being Nightwing after his stint as Batman, which is interesting enough in it s own right.Halys circus comes back to Gotham, and with it comes a forgotten part of Grayson s past.Well, we all know the poor guy can t resist a redhead.It all ties into Batman, Vol 1 The Court of Owls So if you haven t read that title yet, you may want to check it out first. Okay, so I d read Batman, Vol 1 The Court of Owls before this, which means I had some idea of where the story was headed Nightwing is by far one of the better New 52 titles It s right up there with Aquaman, Vol 1 The Trench.First of all, the Nightwing story isn t a reboot There is mention of his tenure as Batman, and how it changed matured him he s in terrific crime fighting shape here Which brings me to Saiko the fighting scenes in here are nothing short of spectacular Much like The Talon is such a good foil for Batman in Court of Owls, Saiko gives Nightwing a run for his money in Traps and Trapezes And that, by the way, isn t just a clever title for a Nightwing story it has a fundamental bearing on the plot Expect some twists.As you may have guessed, it has to do with the circus, and with Dick Grayson s very origins Those of you who have been reading the Batman series dealing with the Court of Owls will know what fate had in store for Dick Grayson What you won t know, is just how far this reaches Is Dick Grayson the most dangerous man or fiercest killer in Gotham Considering who else roams the city at night, that s quite a claim The answer to this question could well cost Dick his life It s a tale of betrayal and legacy which even takes time out for some voodoo OK admittedly this particular scene, where Dick goes up against a conjured Demon, is one of the weaker parts of the story Nightwing s history is obviously altered in this storyline, but it s not a retcon It s just a case of secrets being revealed Traps and Trapezes is also pretty damn tense, something that I seldom experience when reading graphic novels Needless to say, this book kicks ass I would recommend that you read Batman, Vol 1 The Court of Owls first It details an important aspect of this story, namely where was Batman when this was going down Traps And Trapezes sees Dick Grayson confronting his past as Haly s Circus returns to Gotham City, bringing murder and mystery with it Spanning across seven chapters the plot has plenty of time to build, although it s definitely one issue too many After battling an assassin and reuniting with old friends, chapter five features the summoning of a rhyming demon, of all things Even Nightwing himself comments that it s SO out of his wheelhouse it s not even funny.This was likely due to writer Kyle Higgins needing to save the big finale until chapter seven, which runs parallel to Batman s Court Of Owls storyline It s interesting to see his journey to the same point and the different challenges he faces compared to the Caped Crusader The rest of the story delivers too, becoming personal with each chapter and the aforementioned finale is well worth the wait.Eddy Barrows and a team of inkers and colourists do a consistently great job with the artwork and their cover collaborations are fantastic Artist Trevor McCarthy fills in for chapter four and while he has a unique style, his art doesn t sit well with the rest of the book Fortunately, this chapter also sees Batgirl Barbara Gordon make an appearance, in a role reversal from her solo series Once again, the banter between the two characters is great, ensuring a fun team up between the pair that resolves the animosity between them.Traps And Trapezes is a strong start for the New 52 Nightwing series and a great jumping on point for those new to the character His jokes and quips are present and accounted for, but the dark story often relating back to his tragic origins and their consequences and literally electrifying battles are interspersed throughout, making this a solid read that you ll want to see through to the end. Dick Grayson sheds Batman s cowl and slips back into the cape less, newly re coloured Nightwing outfit Dick s old stomping ground, Haly s Circus, is back in town and the past comes crowding back as familiar faces bring haunted memories of the night he lost his parents The Flying Graysons in an acrobatic disaster But mystery shrouds everything as a vicious figure with claws talons is hunting Nightwing, enigmatically labelling Grayson Gotham s fiercest killer And Dick s about to find out his beloved circus has a dark, dark pastFirst off, Dick Grayson as Batman was a great step forward and I would ve liked to see him continue in that role Bruce as figurehead of the Batman Inc., globetrotting and overseeing the construction of a massive, non superpowered global crime fighting organisation with Dick as the Batman of Gotham in his absence is a fantastic setup I know the Batman Inc story continues but seeing Dick take off the cowl and go back to his Nightwing persona feels like a step back even if Dick doesn t seem to mind But I think he would mind he was Batman Now he s Nightwing with a much limited arsenal and a smaller status Kyle Higgins doesn t really explore this though and launches straight into the series with barely a nod to the events of the last 2 years it feels vastly underwritten.While there is potential in exploring Dick s past with the circus, I hate how DC feel the need to go back and muddy the waters with their characters histories They love making their past dark and gritty and do it all the time, to excess Dick s life in the circus was a good one, that s why his loss is so tragic But by going back and making the circus seem like a hellish ground where horrible things were done to children, it doesn t seem so tragic While the loss of his parents is sad, in light of the revelations in this book it could be seen as a positive as he was definitely better off out of that place Especially as if he had stayed, he would ve ended up as a severely damaged adult, if not dead.The Haly s Circus gone wrong angle ties in with Scott Snyder s Court of Owls without really adding much to that story arc The events in Owls is repeated, the only real addition being Haly s Circus involvement with the Court which only throws up questions And how is it, in the 21st century, circuses are so popular that this many people would show up to watch acrobats This isn t Cirque du Soleil , this is a straight up old school circus with acrobats, clowns, and even a bearded woman I just don t buy that thousands of people, in this day and age, would pay to see that view spoiler There are also a couple of plot holes that annoyed me the mantra Dick Grayson is the fiercest killer in Gotham is repeated throughout to no avail It s no clearer at the end what that means, but maybe it s a continuing plot thread that s explored in later books It s still unsatisfying.Then there s Raya who s a character with no consistency It s not clear why she s got such a grudge against Dick to want to kill him, especially as she spends most of the book in bed with him so why does she betray Dick Is it because she loves Raymond for no clear reason as they don t seem happy together, nor does Raymond seem to possess a winning personality that she does all of this Because she wanted Dick to become the Talon for the Court of Owls and not Raymond But it didn t seem like Raymond was involved with the Court either sure he was tortured and became an unfeeling killer if unfeeling, why the strong relationship with another human, Raya but he doesn t seem to have strong ties to the Court so is Raya mad at Dick because she wanted him to be tortured instead of Raymond I just don t get this weird character and at the end when Dick asks her why she just looks blankly at him, unspeaking Maybe she was just nucking futs hide spoiler I never read much Nightwing in the past, so I had essentially no baggage going into the New 52 version Of course, being a Bat book, very little, if anything, was changed I wish Higgins had spent maybe a few pages dealing with Grayson s adjustment from Batman back to Nightwing Is it a demotion Dick doesn t seem to think so, and I get his point At this point, being Batman would essentially require doing a fairly convincing Bruce as Batman impression on top of fighting crime, and as Nightwing Dick can be himself Well, himself as Nightwing, which amounts to or less the same thing Because he didn t get rebooted, this is not an origin story, though it does deal heavily with Dick s origin Dick gets drawn back into the circus he d spent his childhood in, and learns some dark truths If you hadn t read Batman, Vol 1 The Court of Owls before, you really need to afterwards The art is fantstic There s a lot of detail, especially in expressions And I have to give Eddy Barrows a big hand for not making the two redheads essentially identical How many comics have one face for every female character Not so here, thank goodness. As A Part Of The Acclaimed DC Comics The New Event Of September , Dick Grayson Flies High Once As Nightwing In A New Series From Hot New Writer Kyle Higgins BATMAN GATES OF GOTHAM And Artist Eddy Barrows SUPERMAN Haley S Circus, The Big Top Where Dick Once Performed, Makes A Stop On Its Tour In Gotham City Bringing With It Murder, Mystery And Superhuman Evil To Uncover Clues As To Why A Mysterious Assassin Is Targetting Him, Nightwing Joins The Haley S Circus Tour In Order To Find Clues And Protect Those He Loves But As Dick Becomes Closer Acquainted With The Big Top He Grew Up With, He Discovers There S A Much Deeper, Darker Secret To Be Discovered I know a lot of N52 books are a toss up for some fans but this series is a great introduction to Dick Grayson It s not the overall best series for Dick but it goes over his origin and how he came to work with Batman Dick s pretty well characterized and it features enough action and excitement to keep my attention I recommend it to anyone that wants an easy introduction to Nightwing. Was closer to 4 than 3 Enjoyed the story but felt at times it was a little predictable.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- Kindle Edition
- 160 pages
- Nightwing, Volume 1: Traps and Trapezes
- Kyle Higgins
- 04 May 2019 Kyle Higgins