Nightwing: Year One by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty

TITLE: Nightwing.
Volume: 8
Story-arc: Year One.
WRITER(S): CHUCK DIXON & Scott Beatty .
Penciller(S): Scott McDaniel.
Inker(s): Andy Owens.
Colourist(s): Gregory Wright.
Letterer: Phil Balsman.

FORMAT: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition.
RELEASE DATE: June 30th, 2020 (first published August 2005).
PAGES: 144.
ISBN13: 9781779502575.



Being a vigilante doesn’t mean that you have to go at it alone. When your vision of crime-fighting coincides with others, the unexpected can happen and allies are formed when you least expect it. This is all good as long as everyone is fighting for the same cause, right? For Batman, his help came in the form a child who had nowhere else to go. Acting both as a father figure, Batman mentors Dick Grayson into becoming the first Robin to swing through the night sky alongside the Dark Knight as they fought off the countless villains who roam the streets of Gotham. While their time together was filled with memorable adventures, their commitment didn’t match over time as Batman continuously bled for Gotham and Robin found himself splitting his time between the Caped Crusader and the Teen Titans. This is was the moment for him to spread his wings and fly away from his nest to become his own thing.

What is Nightwing: Year One about? Fighting crime in Gotham isn’t an easy task. Following a tragedy at a circus that cut the wings off the Flying Graysons, a child was orphaned until Bruce Wayne swept in to offer him a new purpose to his life. After years serving Batman as Robin, he is now fired from his duties and left to work out life away from his mentor. Seeking advice from other costumed heroes, he goes adrift and returns to the circus where his life took a tragic turn only to realize that fighting crime will always be in his heart. While he still believes in the Dark Knight’s crusade, it’s time for him to don a new uniform, a new name, and a new lifestyle. Collecting Nightwing issues #101-106, this story-arc presents the origin story of the first Boy Wonder turned into Nightwing.

If I’m going to continue helping people… I’ll have to do it on my own.

– Chuck Dixon & Scott Beatty

See how Batman and Robin formed the greatest dynamic duo of all time? Well, writer Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty make sure to accentuate Dick Grayson’s ability to singlehandedly bring in the full force of dynamism on us. His odyssey also enlightens him as to how he wants to move forward now that Batman cut all strings attached to him. He thus seeks advice from heroes like Superman who coincidentally ends up being the one who will present the origin story of his new name. The story in itself doesn’t have a linear narrative with a main villain as it essentially focuses on Dick Grayson’s quest for self-discovery. Every issue explores Dick Grayson’s character and the allies he still has to help him out. Inevitably, Batman also ends up finding the next Boy Wonder who will end up facing Dick Grayson in a battle of ego. The story is also narrated by Dick Grayson, as if he’s talking to Batman, giving us key insight on his understanding of the Dark Knight’s way of life, himself, and how the world around him works.

Ironically, the artwork captures the explosive and vivid colours that would normally be associated with Robin’s character. This helps in reminding the reader that Dick Grayson doesn’t necessarily change as to who he is. He simply adapts to his newly-found independence and goes out into the world with all the lessons he’s learned from Batman. The penciling is a bit rough and remains the weakest element of this origin story. While the visual style can be easy to get used to, the character designs aren’t that impressive at all. The cartoonish artwork does, however, allow for some entertaining action sequences that are further complemented by the silly banter. Without any grit, gore, or vulgarity, this origin story is simply uplifting and inspiring at the end of the day.

Nightwing: Year One is a solid and entertaining origin story revealing Robin’s tale of independence and self-discovery.




40 thoughts on “Nightwing: Year One by Chuck Dixon and Scott Beatty

  1. I never was into Grayson, either as Robin or Nightwing. I’m glad he became his own character though. I just wish Tim Drake had gone on to be as successful a character as Nightwing. Oh well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The whole “Bat Family” thing just makes me feel like they (DC) keeps reaching for new ideas because the people they hire either can’t tell a good story or are so constrained by DC that they can’t tell a good story.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait what? You can fire Robin? What? I….okay. 🤔🤷🏻‍♀️

    Well, good on him to go and find his own purpose and fight for it alone now. Still…WHY WAS HE FIRED THOUGH?!? 😭🥺

    Awww! In the end, it does sound a great idea for Grayson to go off on his, after all that’s how he’ll realise his true worth and purpose, giving him the confidence he needs to keep fighting!

    LOVED THE REVIEW, Lashaan. As always. 😇🦋

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The story sounds good. I’m not sure about the artwork, but at least it is bright and colorful. I haven’t read any of Chuck Dixon’s Nightwing run, so I’m curious. I have a copy of his Robin: Year One which I still need to read. I remember Dixon’s Bane stories fondly; those days of Knightfall and the Broken Bat. Cool review, Lashaan😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. Not a huge fan of the art style but at least it’s consistent! It’s the least you could pray for with these comic book story-arcs hahaha He also does Batgirl: Year One, unsurprisingly, and it’s fun to see how Dixon tells these stories and sets the foundation for these characters. Oh maaaaaan, the Knightfall saga was so epic hahaha It is a bit over-stretched, but the iconic moments were ICONIC. 😛 Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Wakizashi, I appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome write-up my friend! I must admit that I’m always a little dubious about these “Year One” DC titles, they’re clearly influenced by, but ultimately never live up to, the greatness of Frank Miller & David Mazzuchelli’s classic Batman story. I did see a preview of Nightwing: Year One but was honestly put off by the art style, but it’s encouraging that you found it’s actually quite suited to Dixon’s writing (and I am a fan of his 90s Batman work).

    May have to check it out when it’s part of a digital sale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha you’re right, but after Miller and Mazuchelli’s Batman: Year One, we all know that Miller could never do a proper Year One again! 😛 I do find that these Year One titles are nice entry points for people who want to know how some characters become the heroes we know them to be. This Nightwing Year One reprint was simply refreshing for me. It covered all the main progressive elements of his transition to Nightwing but the artwork is indeed off-putting! At least, it’s consistent! 😀 Thanks for reading, Chris! I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Origin stories can be fun. And it seems a bit refreshing to have one that’s less grim and more uplifting. I wonder, given that, if it was marketed at younger audiences? Or was this just a nice move on the part of the writers? Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they kept it relatively-mature here and consistent with those past ongoing Batman stories since Batgirl isn’t exactly younger-audience-friendly in her design hahahah But this does present the quintessential Robin-to-Nightwing transition for those curious to know how it all went down. 😀 Thanks for reading, Todd!


  6. I’m usually quite put-off by origin stories (so many of them recently and they get re-hashed every time there’s a new film or tv-series). I do love Nightwing, though. I collected the first 20 or so of his New 52 outings and found them to be great reads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least this one is just a reprint of a past Year One story-arc hahaha I too find some of the newer origin story retellings a bit hard to enjoy, especially when they try to introduce new things to the character’s lore. Ohhh, that’s pretty cool! Tom King’s Grayson series is also pretty popular if you ever want more Grayson (he becomes a superspy instead of Nightwing there)! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This one looks and sounds quite promising! I always had a soft spot for Grayson, either as Robin or as Nightwing, and his relationship with Batman, when done well, is truly a highlight. Glad you enjoyed it, Lashaan – and cool review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gotta grab this. Been a Nightwing fan since day 1–New Teen Titans was the comic for me at the time, and I read the issue where Grayson adopted the new name/costume dozens of times. Pretty sure I have that issue still, somewhere. Any well-told Nightwing story is always a welcome treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmmm the graphics look a little different in this one as compared to the rest I’ve seen in your recent reviews. Feels like its targeted for a slightly younger audience? I’m not sure just a thought coz I’m not familiar with this genre and learning about it through your blog 🙂 Great review, Lashaan!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s