After speaking with other-Earth Superman in last month’s issue, Nightwing decides maybe he needs to leave Gotham. Again. Thanks to a little suggest from other-Superman, he packs up and moves to Blüdhaven, an Atlantic City-esque town with no job and only his savings to get him by. He is not depending on Bruce for once in his life, by golly! He wants to get away from Bruce, his family, his friends, everyone in order to go on a soul-searching quest. I get that. We all need soul-searching quests every now and again. I only sincerely hope this isn’t another Chicago detour from his New 52 days. I love that Nightwing wants to establish his own roots, but he needs to do it without ditching his family and without it tying to his circus days.
From one issue in this Blüdhaven road, Tim Seeley appears to be doing just that. This could be the breath of fresh air Nightwing needs outside of the Grayson run.
I’m not sure exactly what Dick plans to do in Blüdhaven, as it doesn’t seem like he wants a job. He mentions that he’s dipping into his savings, yet he interviews for a volunteer position at a facility that helps kids who have witnessed violence. Granted, he’s the best one to help kids overcome this sort of trauma. He’s witnessed it as a kid on more than one occasion. But surely, he gots to get paid at some point, right?
Regardless, this is where we are. His draw to Blüdhaven is rather interesting as well, as he sees the city as clear black and white. With the boardwalk and tourist traps, there is a definite delineation between the wealthy and the poor, which is the proper garden to cultivate good and evil. With the have-nots desperate to be part of the haves, they’re ripe to be manipulated into evil’s hands or exploited for not falling into said hands. He’s tired of living in the lines of gray and watching them blur together. He’s even more tired of being the Gray Son of Gotham (see any Court of Owls arc). Blüdhaven appears to be the best place to differentiate between the black and white and find himself in either the white or his shade of gray. Not Batman’s shade, not Barbara’s, but his.
It’s not long before Dick has to stop his session of “me time” (which includes binge reading and binge TV-watching) to don the Nightwing black and blue. It takes even less time for Dick to find something even shadier than a typical crime amongst the neon. It really does beg the question of whether trouble of this magnitude would ensue in the absence of superheroes.
The story hits all the right notes, but I’m curious about the art’s color palette. Everything is very whitewashed, which is worsened by how Caucasian Dick truly is. Perhaps it’s a reference to Dick trying to leave the darker shades for a hard white, but it doesn’t work. Reading on a screen only makes it worse. I had to turn down the contrast on my device because the bright whites and lack of contrast were hurting my eyes.
At least the blanched colors don’t remove any of the humor.
Author: Tim Seeley
Artists: Marcus To and Chris Sotomayor
Publisher: DC Comics
Publish Date: 12/7/2016
Acquired via Purchase