NIGHTWING #50 BY BENJAMIN PERCY AND CHRIS MOONEYHAM
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Ben Percy has written an intriguing storyline for Nightwing. The visuals by Chris Mooneyham are stunning, to say the least. NIGHTWING #50 is absolutely a must-read!
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BOY WONDER WONDERFUL!

After suffering a gunshot wound to the head in BATMAN #55, Dick Grayson has lost his memories. Now living with amnesia, will he be able to remember the hero he once was? Or will he become someone else entirely? Written by Benjamin Percy, NIGHTWING #50 is a compelling, new issue that is most definitely a must read.

Warning, potential spoilers for NIGHTWING #50 are below!

No More Nightwing?

NIGHTWING #50 weaves the past and the present together. During his days in Gotham, Robin is itching to escape from Batman’s control. He wants to step out on his own, actually asking Bruce to “let me be my own man.” Then, the dynamic duo encounters Dr. Jonathan Crane, also known as the Scarecrow, who’s terrorizing the citizens of Gotham. In a dark turn of events, Batman uses the Scarecrow’s fear gas against him and incapacitates him. Robin disagrees with the Dark Knight’s fear-based methods, claiming he’s exactly like Scarecrow. Later on — when Dr. Crane is imprisoned — he starts yelling to himself, “I hate the boy who fears nothing!” This will definitely become important in the future.

Speaking of the future, let’s talk about Dick Grayson’s present situation. For the most part, he’s a brand new person, living in the aftermath of a gunshot wound to the head. He’s drinking, fighting, and gambling. Despite his misdeeds, Grayson has this sense of justice and still feels the need to help people. Barbara Gordon offers to help him remember his past, but he stubbornly refuses.

NIGHTWING #50
NIGHTWING #50 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

What an ending in NIGHTWING #50 too! In the present day, there’s been a murder in Blüdhaven, and the victim was holding a crow’s feather. Pretty sure we can guess who’s coming to town in the next issue. The last scene of NIGHTWING #50 is intense. Dick Grayson sets his Nightwing hideout on fire, destroying all of his equipment and costumes.

Bat-Family Relationships

I love how the comic intertwines Dick Grayson’s Robin days to his present situation. As Robin, he was growing into his own hero, and he was steadfast against becoming like his mentor who used fear to intimidate others. His desire to separate himself from Batman’s shadow is so integral to Nightwing’s origins. Also, it speaks volumes as to the kind of hero he wanted to become, and why the Nightwing persona was so different compared to the Dark Knight.

In NIGHTWING #50, the story explores the relationships between members of the Bat-Family. Barbara tries to help Dick Grayson, to remind him of their relationship. He refuses, wanting to discover himself on his own. The page with Batman, Batgirl, and Alfred sadly looking at Robin’s old costume is heartbreaking. Sadly accepting that Grayson may need a fresh start, without them. Can Dick Grayson be a hero without his memories as Nightwing? Despite his brain injuries, he still has the instinct to protect people in danger.

Outstanding Visuals

The artwork is extraordinary in NIGHTWING #50. Seriously, the fine details make the characters — especially Dick Grayson — look so realistic. Some panels in this issue look like actual photographs, with small details like muscle definition and facial expression. In the opening scene, there’s this excellent build-up of tension, with each panel dedicated to every slight movement between Dick Grayson and a robber.

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NIGHTWING #50 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

There’s also this contrast between light and dark surrounding the Scarecrow, and his nightmarish creations are quite terrifying. Overall, the artwork by Travis Moore and Christopher Mooneyham is outstanding. The visuals really do bring Nightwing’s world to life. Hats off to these incredible artists.

Final Thoughts on NIGHTWING #50

NIGHTWING #50 is a fantastic issue. Benjamin Percy has brought us a great story, with a real focus on who Dick Grayson is, as a person. This issue’s artwork is incredibly lifelike. The intricate details bring the characters to life. The stark contrast between bright colors and shadows, especially in the Gotham scenes, is amazing.

Yes, the idea of a character losing their memory and acting completely different is a bit of a hackneyed storyline. Despite this, NIGHTWING #50 is still a captivating start to a new arc for Nightwing. I’m interested to see how Dick Grayson will grow as a character, and how much he has grown from being Robin. Also, bringing in other members of the Bat-Family, like Batman and Batgirl, add to the intrigue of this plot line. How will the handle a Dick Grayson with no memories of Nightwing? We’ll just have to wait and find out!

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