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Graphic Novel Review: "Nightwing: Year One" by Chuck Dixon

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Nightwing: Year One" deluxe edition cover

"Nightwing: Year One" deluxe edition cover

Quick Info

  • Author: Chuck Dixon
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Page Count: 144 pages
  • Published: August 1, 2005
  • Availability: Sporadically in print, but you can buy it digitally on Comixology or stream it on DCUniverseInfinite

Story Summary

Nightwing: Year One shows how Dick Grayson was fired by Batman and goes on the search to find what he should do with his life after that. He visits Superman for advice and returns to his circus roots to give him time to think about his future and how he will continue helping people despite not being Robin.

The Story Is a Fun Transition for the Character of Dick Grayson

Dick Grayson is an interesting character, but they transitioned him from being Robin because of how the character was being used at the time, but the story reasons for him becoming Nightwing is very interesting and tie back to his need to be a hero.

I enjoyed seeing Nightwing without Batman as much, and it was a compelling view of their relationship and how it’s had ups and downs over the years.

It’s also an interesting look at Bruce and his obsession with fighting crime, and it also showed Jason Todd becoming Robin.

Nightwing reintroducing himself to Commissioner Jim Gordon.

Nightwing reintroducing himself to Commissioner Jim Gordon.

The Art Is Nice, but It’s a Little Weird

Scott Beatty’s art is very similar to his Robin: Year One art, although the cartoon style look is different from that book. The art is nice to look at, but the stylized look might not appeal to everyone because of how it looks.

The action scenes look nice, and the artwork looks great and flows nicely with the story. I do find that the art style is a little weird, but it doesn’t look as cartoony as the artwork in Robin: Year One.

Overall, I like the artwork for this graphic novel, and it has a unique look that makes for a memorable book.

The Quiet Scenes Slow the Book Down a Little

Although the quiet scenes are there to give development to Dick Grayson as a character, this book doesn’t have many action scenes in it, although the last few chapters are about him meeting Jason Todd and helping him pass “the gauntlet,” the final test to become Robin.

But if you’re looking for constant action, you’re probably not going to like this book as much. But I enjoyed it a lot.

This Book Has Been Out of Print for Years

Nightwing: Year One has been out of print for years because D.C. Comics doesn’t like Chuck Dixon, mainly because he’s a conservative and D.C. Comics is run by liberals, and they don’t want him to get royalties from the books he wrote despite him being very popular with Batman and Nightwing fans.

Now, when it comes to comics, Chuck Dixon doesn’t make characters share his political views, and he doesn’t bring up politics at all; I didn’t know he was a conservative for a long time, and I didn’t care because he wrote fun Nightwing and Batman comics that I like.

They only recently reprinted Nightwing: Year One in a deluxe edition, only for it to go out of print again too.

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Fortunately, it is available for digital download on Kindle and Comixology or streaming on DCUniverseInfinite for reading, and that’s how I’ve been able to reread the book because I borrowed it from my local library and read it years ago.

Robin chasing down Clayface in Gotham City.

Robin chasing down Clayface in Gotham City.

Reader Poll

Parental Warning

As a note to parents, this comic contains violence and some language. It’s recommended for ages 13 and up.

This “Nightwing” Story Is Entertaining and Fun

Nightwing: Year One is a fun and entertaining graphic novel that shows Dick Grayson’s transition from Robin to Nightwing. While Nightwing first appeared in The New Teen Titans during The Judas Contract story arc, Nightwing: Year One showed why he became Nightwing, and that’s very nice.

This graphic novel is also a great way to introduce newcomers to the character since, in pop culture, Dick Grayson is still Robin for many people, despite the fact that there are at least four different people that have been Robin in the comics.

It’s a great way for people that want more Dick Grayson without him being Robin, and it’s a very newcomer-friendly book if you’re trying to get into DC Comics characters that are associated with Batman, but you aren’t sure where you should start. I highly recommend starting with Nightwing: Year One.

What WorksWhat Doesn't Work

Great story, world-building and characterse

Pacing can be slow

Great artwork

Easy for newcomers to start reading about Dick Grayson as Nightwing

I did enjoy it and if you like the character of Dick Grayson you will too, just try not to pay too much for it because if you don’t like it, you might not be able to get your money back if you resell it, but free from the library is definitely recommended because it’s worth a read, but not necessarily the expensive price of the book.

— ReViewMeMedia

My Grade: A+

I really delighted in Nightwing: Year One. The book is a lot of fun to read, and I appreciated the story and plot. The writing is good, and I enjoy Dick Grayson as a character. I liked the plot and the introduction of Jason Todd, my favorite DC Comics character.

I also enjoyed how it showed Dick moving on from his Robin identity and into a new chapter of his life as a crimefighter. I like how they explored the strained relationship between Bruce and Dick and showed how they separated from each other. It was great to see how Dick wanted to continue helping people despite not being partnered with Batman and how he found a way to do that. I also enjoyed it referencing the Teen Titans even though they’re not a big part of the story; it also referenced the comics and their accomplishments too.

Overall, it’s a fantastic story that is easy for newcomers and great for longtime fans of Dick Grayson’s character.

If you like the character of Dick Grayson, Nightwing: Year One is a must-read. But the problem is, it’s out of print, which means buying it can be expensive because DC Comics hasn’t decided to reprint it again. Even if you get it used, it’s going to be pricy. But it’s worth a read, so see if your local library has it and borrow it.

If you like the character of Dick Grayson, you will appreciate the comic as much as I do; just try not to pay too much for it because if you don’t like it, you might not be able to get your money back if you resell it, but free from the library is definitely recommended because it’s worth a read, but not necessarily the high price of the book.

If you want to buy it digitally, it’s available, but you don’t necessarily own it because it’s a digital copy and has digital rights management, AKA DRM on it to stop people from pirating it, but I’m subscribed to DCUniverseInfinite, and I use it to read my comics because then I don’t have to necessarily buy a physical copy of the book.

I would recommend getting a physical copy if you can because it’s a great book, but it is very hard to find, but it's worth having in your graphic novel collection.

But if you want to purchase a digital copy, you can grab a digital copy from Comixology. I hope DC Comics will reprint Nightwing: Year One again, but for now, I’ll just be reading it on DCUniverseInfinite.

My Rating

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