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I have provided scans of the pages Dick appears in. The text is too small to read... this is deliberate. The purpose of the scans is to show other fans the scope of Dick's role. If you want to read, you will need to buy a copy of the comic... and support DC writers and artists.


Batman
November 2011 to... (9 Issues so far)
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Issue 1
Year
Nov 2011
Character
Dick Grayson and Joker
Role
Minor
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"Knife Trick"
Story Arc:
-
After:
-
Next:
-
Summary:
Brief Summary - Bruce is back as Batman and this issue is all about showing that. We see Batman tackle most of the big names in his rogue's gallery, dispensing with them all relatively easily... they are no match for him. Following this we are introduced to new characters - a new mayoral candidate that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up on end. Then the story re-establishes ties with old friends and allies - Commissioner Gordon and Bullock. As a matter of fact, the banter between Jim and Batman and Bullock and Batman are highlights. The story ends with a cliffhanger which I will discuss later.

Detailed Summary - In the opening of this story we have a running stream of thoughts from Batman about his beloved Gotham and a statement that “Gotham is Batman.” Okay, so Bruce is still the same old obsessed crack pot we all know and love. Batman is in Arkham and fighting against rioting villains... no sign of any guards. Just as the tide turns against him, a familiar white face with evil grin appears in the shadows and states- "There you are!". Then the Joker launches himself... entering the fight as an ally of Batman. I have to say, I did a double take... kept reading for a bit... went back to have another look and then it dawned on me. You see, Batman is fighting with a villain... not just any villain - his arch nemesis, the Joker. However, as you watch the Joker you recognize a signature style in the way he moves and fights and in the way he and Batman work together. Once the riot of has been dealt with, we are taken to the Cave where the Joker stands beside Batman and the reveal is made - "...Dick, take off the E.M.P. mask". The digital mask shuts down to reveal Dick Grayson.

Fantastic opening to the new series. The mask is only one of Bruce’s new technological toys. He now has a contact lens with remote access to the Batcave. Dick's response - "Now that sounds healthy", immediately establishing the difference between these two characters and how they have and will play Batman. For Bruce it is all about his obsession. Dick, on the other hand, has a life beyond the fight for justice.

The exchange between Bruce and Dick in the cave is classic. My favourite part...

Dick - For what it's worth, hoe'd I do as him?

Bruce - Are you asking me if you were convincing as a homicidal maniac, Dick?

Dick - I suppose I am.

Bruce - Then yes, as a matter of fact, you were.

Dick - Score one for Alfred's school of acting. Still, I can't beleve you left me in there an extra day.

Bruce - I needed to be sure it was Matthews. Beside, with all you've been shouldering lately, I figured you could use a day off.

Dick - A day off. In Arkham. Only you, Bruce... only you.

This is followed by an image showing Bruce and his three boys. A few interesting things there. First, the way Bruce is drawn. The size and proportions and perspective make him like a gaint compared to Dick and the others. Clearly, the artist is trying to show that Bruce is larger than life. Dick barely passes his shoulder and is drawn very finely compared to Bruce's wide shoulders. Second, we have Bruce ask for facial recognition on his three sons... all of this is clearly leading to something. Bruce has commented on Dick taking the part of a homicidal maniac well and now we see him checking that his boys are really who they seem to be. At this point on my first reading, I was guessing that Bruce is going to have a crisis of faith in those around him in the near future. Finally, the banter between Tim and Damian is still alive and well, but the image shows an intimacy between the unusual family.

Next, Bruce makes a speech about the future of Gotham, again showing his passion for his home.

Finally, he is called away to investigate a torture murder of a John Doe. The guy has been dead five to six days, killed slowly using antique throwing knives. Batman locates a message on the wall stating, "Bruce Wayne will die tomorrow" and DNA under the victim's fingers which he is able to send back to the Batcave remotely. Now the cliffhanger ending. The DNA comes back as that of "Dick Grayson". So the stage is set and the earlier remarks I'd picked up about Dick being convincing as a homicidal manic and Bruce's clear need to ensure those around him are who he thinks they are, all falls into place. The antique throwing knives are clearly a clue to lead back to old circus days.

My impression. I liked it. I liked that the new series pays tribute to Dick through his inclusion and that we see Bruce's family together... probably before the story line tears it apart. The Cliffhanger is well used and I find myself wondering how this will affect the trust and relationship between Dick and Bruce. Surely...and I stress SURELY, Bruce will not doubt Dick.

Art - I like it. Also there is a huge picture of the Cave (included in the scans) which is a nice touch and shows us how things are in this new verion of Batman. BTW, if you look closely you will see that Dick's old Nigtwing Costume is hanging with Jason's.

                   


Issue 2
Year
Dec 2011
Character
Nightwing
Role
Minor
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"Crash"
Story Arc:
-
After:
Batman #1
Next:
Batman #2
Summary:
Dick appears on two pages. He arrives as Batman is examining the John Doe who had Dick's DNA under his fingernails. We learn that Bruce has told Dick about this prior to the meeting... so the Big Black Bat isn't keeping everything under his cowl. Dick explains how it happened... the man approaching him and warning him that, "They're real. They're everywhere. And they're sending him for you... all of you." Interesting that this is very similar to the Nightwing story line and I'm wondering if that is deliberate - they are connected - or Snyder and Higgins simply came up with similar storylines at the same time. I guess time will tell.

On one hand, I like Snyder's portrayal of the Bruce - Dick dynamic... and on the other, he's missing something. First of all, it would appear in the reboot that Dick is ultra-confident. We've seen this is both the "Nightwing" and "Batman" titles and that sits well with me as long as writers don't cross the line into arrogance. We establish in this story that Dick is still highly involved in Bruce's life - attending a ground-breaking for 'our' new Westside promenade. The use of the word 'our' shows he considers himself part of Bruce's life and business.

Batman asks Nightwing to examine the projected images of the dead John Doe and asks if Dick recognises him. I understand Batman's need to hear the story from Dick's lips after he has already viewed the footage of the meeting between Dick and the mystery man. Engaging Dick's thoughts of the incident and finding out what was said is essential. Dick's facial expression when he offers to prove his story, shows he is a little put out, but he recovers quickly and is apparently amused by the fact that Bruce checked his alibi.



He appears somewhat unfazed by Bruce's lack of unconditional trust in him - something he seemed to accept as a part of Bruce's personality. Clearly this theme relating to Bruce's 'trust' issues is going to playout through this title.

The only thing I found disappointing (and this is what I meant earlier about Synder missing something in the dynamic between these two characters )was Dick's comment at the end. "Enjoy yourself, partner." Yes, they are partners, but to me this fails to convey the closeness between the two. I know Bruce holds people at a distance, but in the privacy of the cave with no one else around, it would have been nice to see him let down the barrier a little. A minor gesture of intimacy would have improved the scene for me. Of course, that is probably the fangirl in me, but hey, that is how I felt.

Don't get me wrong, All in all, it was quite a good scene between Bruce and Dick and I really hope we see Dick popping into this title on a regular basis.
   


Issue 4
Year
Feb 2012
Character
Dick
Role
Minor
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"Kabooom"
Story Arc:
-
After:
Batman #3
Next:
Batman #5
Official Summary: Shocking discoveries lead Batman deeper into the mystery of the Court of Owls and its secret and bloody ties to both Gotham City and the Wayne family. But an even deadlier threat awaits Batman: a trap set hundreds of years ago, far beneath his city. The war for Gotham's soul begins here!

Summary: Dick drops in to check on Bruce after the explosion he survived (as Bruce Wayne) in Issue 3. What follows is an 11 page explanation providing Bruce's history with the Court of the Owls and why he is apparenly so calm in the face of this new foe. Dick is shown to be concerned, logical but supportive. I love the dialogue between Dicka nd Alfred.

Dick: Bruce resting?
Alfred: It is true, Sir.
Dick: And how many do you need to slip him nowadays? ...Alfie?
Alfred: 5 milligrams.
Dick: 5 milligrams of ace? That'd bring down a...
Alfred: I'm aware of the effect, Master Richard. Now, I'm afraid I must return to my duties. If there is nothing else you need?

On one hand, this shows how familiar Dick is with the runnings of his family. On the other, Alfred sounds almost formal with him. "Master Richard" and "I'm afraid I must return to my duties. If there is nothing else you need?" This just felt off to me.

Dick's expression when he discovers that Bruce isn't alseep is pricess as is his comment, "And all is right with the world." :)

I felt it was appropraite that Bruce open up to Dick in the way he did. I'm not sure if his motivation was simply to speak to someone about it, or if, after Dick has expressed the fact that he's worried about Bruce, Bruce decides to put Dick's mind at rest. I've decided on the latter. :) It was a clever way to provide so much information, using someone who is so familiar with Bruce... and of course, a nice way to keep happy fans who loved Dick in the Batman title. I should also mention that the use of Nightwing's symbol to indicate when Dick was speaking was particularly useful.

                       


Issue 5
Year
March 2012
Character
Nightwing
Role
1 image
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"Face the Court"
Story Arc:
-
After:
Batman #4
Next:
Batman #6
Official Summary: Deep beneath Gotham City lies the Court of Owls' deadliest trap – and Batman has fallen right into it! Can he escape, or will he perish in a maze of nightmare? Enter the labyrinth, Batman – if you dare!

Summary: Dick appears as a single image working with Damian. I love to see these two working together. They are like day and night and the dynamic is fantastic. This has been captured in this single image.

   


Issue 7
Year
May 2012
Character
Nightwing
Role
Minor
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"The Talons Strike!"
Story Arc:
-
After:
Batman #6
Next:
Batman #8
Official Summary: Batman may have survived the Court of Owls' first strike (barely), but even as he recuperates, the Court is preparing to launch its most deadly and sweeping attack yet. Plus: The secrets revealed in this issue will change Batman's world forever! You won't want to miss the issue everyone will be talking about!

Summary: Snyder uses Dick to contrast Bruce in this issue. Bruce feels betrayed by 'the city' (again, Snyder is personifying the city as a character). He describes it as 'his' city. Dick simply doesn't see things that way. Bruce views the Court of the Owls' existance as 'his' failure... Dick states Bruce simply made a mistake and underestimated them. We are shown dark and light at each turn... and the artists Capullo and Glapion support this through the use of light in their images - Dick always in the light, Bruce often in shadows.

The big reveal here ties in with the end of Issue 1 and shows the connections to Dick's current run in "Nightwing". I love the way Higgins and Snyder have woven the Batman and Nightwing stories together... each heading for a single point and adding to the larger story.

Snyder clearly spells out that fact that Dick was meant to be a talon for all of those who are not reading the Nightwing title and not realizing this was the purpose of Haly's Circus. The talon who had been tracking Bruce is revealed to be Dick's Great-Grandfather. Dick, while surprised, is basically unphased. We see Dick's understanding of Bruce's need for secrets but I felt the attack on Dick - Bruce smacking him in the jaw to dislodge a tooth which shows the mark of a talon - was a bit over the top, though very in keeping with the dark place Bruce is in at the moment, so great characterisation.

This sequence is presented in "Nightwing" #7 as well, though I prefer the way Snyder and Capullo portay it here The fact that Bruce kneels down beside Dick to explain shows the softening that was needed and missing from the Nightwing issue... a momentary softening that actually highlights and accentuates Bruce's harshness.

Dick's reaction is very in character. He rationalizes his Great-Grandfather as a Talon, viewing him as another criminal who needs to be stopped. Dick is not tied to his past as Bruce is. This clearly shows the difference Bruce and Alfred have made in Dick's life because he didn't turn out dark and obsessed like Bruce despite experiencing a similar tragedy.



"We are who we choose to be, not the role the past says we should play." Such profound words. I think this truly captures the essence of Dick. He chose to be Robin. He grew up and chose to be Nightwing. Dick is who he has chosen to be... which again shows Bruce (and Alfred) did a great job in raising him.

Dick's final words -"But they're (The Court of the Owls) not Gotham city, Bruce. And neither are you," again shows that Dick sees the world very diffently to Bruce. Synder has returned Bruce to his very dark roots and shows that Bruce's own ties to his past are colouring his judgement. A great character portrayal of both Dick and Bruce.
                   


Issue 8
Year
June 2012
Character
Nightwing
Role
1 image
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"Attack on Wayne Manor"
Story Arc:
Night of the Owls
After:
Batman #7
Next:
Nightwing #8 &
Batman #9
Official Summary: Broken and beaten, Bruce Wayne has retreated from Gotham City – the city of Owls – to Wayne Manor. But no place is safe, because the Court is about to strike at the heart of city, and nothing will ever be the same. Be there for the start of the battle for Gotham City's soul…and the prelude to "The Night of the Owls."And in the first chapter of a new backup story, learn the secret history of The Court of Owls – as well as the secrets of Gotham City and the Wayne family!

Summary: Dick appears as a single image when, on Bruce's orders, Alfred calls the Bat-team to arms. I find it interesting that Jason is now considered an ally of Batman's.

   


Issue 9
Year
July 2012
Character
Nightwing
Role
1 image
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"The Fall of the House of Wayne" Part 1
Story Arc:
Night of the Owls
After:
Batman #8
Next:
Detective Comics #9
Batman #10
Official Summary: Batman must stop the TALONS that have breeched the Batcave in order to save an innocent life...and Gotham City!• In the backup story, learn more about the PENNYWORTH family and the secrets they've kept from the Wayne family!

Summary: Dick appears in a single image, engaged in combat with a talon. It is fantastic that Snyder lets the reader know which story comes next so the reading order is clear.

   


Issue 11
Year
Sept 2012
Character
Dick
Role
Minor
Rating
Writer
Scott Snyder
Artist
Greg Capullo
Title:
"My Brother's Keeper
Story Arc:
Night of the Owls
After:
Batman #10
Next:
Batman #12
Official Summary: The stunning conclusion to “THE COURT OF OWLS” epic! • All is revealed in “THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WAYNE.”

Summary: The Court of the Owls finishes with Bruce facing a talon who claims to be his lost brother. The pair slug it out until the Wayne Tower collapses, Bruce just barely escaping and his ‘brother’ apparently killed in the collapse.

Next, we cross to Wayne Manor where Bruce is sitting in a wheel chair recovering from his injuries.. What follows is a wonderful scene between Dick and Bruce. I truly love the dynamic Snyder creates between Bruce and Dick. Dick is Bruce’s sounding board and confidant. He is the one person Bruce seems to know fully understands him. The discussion starts with…



Snyder then goes on to use Bruce’s explanation to Dick as a way to tie up all loose ends. There is an incredible closeness between Dick and Bruce here. Bruce not only tells Dick about his lost brother – who lived only one night – but goes on to admit that he really didn’t save Dick from the dark fate the Owls had in store for him. Rather, Dick saved Bruce from a darker fate… and continues to do so.



I just love the banter Snyder uses between these two as they dance around how much they care for each other.

The story finishes with Bruce musing that the Court of the Owls has taught him a great deal about Gotham and that he will always be around to protect ‘their’ city. This is a turn-around for there was a time Bruce saw Gotham as his (Batman’s) city. He now realizes Gotham is…”all of us”

Snyder captures the relationship between Bruce and Dick better than any DC writer writing at the moment. Let’s hope we continue to see more of Dick and Bruce from Snyder.

           


Issue 0
Year
Nov 2012
Character
Dick
Role
Major
Rating
Writer
James Tynion IV
Artist
Andy Clarke
Title:
Story 2 - "Tomorrow"
Story Arc:
Zero Origins
After:
-
Next:
Official Summary: Nil

Summary: This is the second story in the edition. The first part, written by Snyder is about “Yesterday”. This second story entitled “Tomorrow” gives a glimpse into the lives of the three boys who will wear the Robin costume.

Tim is shown to be incredibly precocious with a huge dab of arrogance. This is not how I see Tim… or saw Tim before the start of New 52. I haven’t been reading the Teen Titans so I can’t comment on how he is being written there.

Jason, despite the fact he is in the middle of committing a felon, is actually quite likeable.

Dick is shown to be brave, capable and full of himself. Again, not really how I see him.

What I do like about this insight is how each of the boys are drawn to the Batsymbol… drawn to what is their inevitable future.

Art - I think it could grow on me.