By Kyle Higgins, Jason Masters, Daniel Sampere, & Vincente Cifuentes
Nightwing Annual #1 takes the time to examine the relationship of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon while they share a case together. The cover of this issue pegs it as a tie-in to the Batgirl: Wanted storyline but don’t let that deter you, you won’t need any extra backstory to fully enjoy this story.
After taking down Tony Zucco, his parents’ killer, in issue #24, Nightwing returns to Gotham City to pack up his things for a more permanent move to Chicago. Batgirl is there to help him pack, and in doing so talks about why their relationship didn’t work.
Kyle Higgins mirrors Dick and Barbara’s relationship issues with the issues of the new Firefly. The story does a great job of presenting the polar opposites of Nightwing and Firefly, and how each handle struggling with a lost relationship. The dialogue between Dick and Barbara is pitch perfect and their banter is a strong point for the issue.
The art by Jason Masters, Daniel Sampere and Vincente Cifuentes is good but doesn’t have the same kinetic feel that Will Conrad has been bringing to the series of late. The fights and swinging through the city still look good, just not as free-flowing and acrobatic as readers are becoming used to. Firefly’s new costume design looks much too clunky to be considered “firefly-esque.”
While this issue does feature a lot of action it spends the majority of the time exploring the relationship of Dick and Barbara. It moves their relationship into a new place in certain ways that are both interesting and heartbreaking. While the introduction of Firefly might be a little lackluster, the overall beats of the story hit home really well.