Nightwing: Year One
Wr. Chuck Dixon
Wr. Scott Beatty
Ill. Scott McDaniel

Chuck Dixon, writer extraordinaire proved you can go back home again. Along with co-writer Scott Beatty, he took over the Nightwing series he made famous back in the late 90's to write a six-part story arc. The arc has recently been reprinted in Nightwing: Year one.

Nightwing Year One comic review.The story picks up on the day that Dick Grayson shows up late to help out Batman deal with the rogue Clayface. With his job on the Teen Titans and school, Dick's life is overbooked, a fact not overlooked by Batman himself. Knowing he would never give a 100 percent, Batman strips Dick of the Robin mantle. Without an identity of his own, he goes in search of his future by going into his past, traveling with the circus he once called his family. It is here the first steps of Nightwing are taken and readers are taken along for the ride as he faces his first villain, "Two Face," and even Jason Todd.

On paper, it seemed like a recipe for success: The reunion of the original writer and art team that made Nightwing famous for a "Year One" style story. The fast pace, witty dialogue of Dixon matched by frantic action packed art by Scott McDaniel would bring any comic reader to the table.

Too bad Scotty Beatty is thrown into the mix. It is not so much that there are too many writers on the story but rather any reader can tell two writers wrote it. Any comic fan can tell action scenes and the overall plot is clearly Chuck Dixon but the dialogue is clearly written by Scott Beatty. It is like two artists both drawing cats but each drawing a different cat. I would have much preferred either writer to write the story solo.

The dialogue is decent but doesn't keep up with the pace of the story and action. It is almost as if there are two Nightwing stories happening at once. Scott McDaniel is the only person who comes out of this project relatively clean. His art is tops as always and is one of the few artists with an exclusive contract that actually deserves it.

No extras in this book but that's the least of its problems. If you're a huge Nightwing fan, borrow Year One from your local library. For excellent Nightwing stories, check out the previous trades before this one.

- James Chan

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