Is Nightwing #44 a good entrance point? (Nightwing #44 Review)

   Nightwing is getting a reboot with Benjamin Percy and right out of the get go, he's established a very not nightwing tone. On top of that, Bludhaven looks a lot like Gotham or at least it's a lot darker than Bludhaven has been traditionally been. It's an especially jarring transition from Sam Humphries Gotham which focused on the tourism side and the use of Casinos as the main industry. Though Humphries drew real world parallels in government corruption, Percy basically forgot any of the first 43 issues existed instead drawing parallels in the overuse of technology. Does Percy have a valid point? Yes, but it's overplayed and defines who Dick Grayson is. Dick Grayson now has a home phone with a dialer? I'm pretty sure he has a cell phone in the earlier 43 issues. (Not confident). But it's those kind of things that agitate me. 

However, if you forget about #1-43 and focus on Percy as a new interpretation of Nightwing, it's not a bad series by any means. For one, Percy's fake real world problem of virtual gentrification is extremely unique and something I've never thought of. It's genuinely thought provoking especially to see it in a negative and positive light in the same issue. Of course, it also result in my wondering how similar virtual gentrification would be to physical. Would housing prices go up or would stores just be more appealing. It's these sorts of ideas that Percy does a good job with. However, Percy wants to argue all this is bad, so he shows us the negative, evil side of this technology. This is where I got kinda lost, and Percy needed to slow down.

Nightwing also features the return of Barbara Gordon into Nightwing's life as a tech support. For what it's worth, Percy does this very naturally. In a context that makes sense. In a world with all sorts of Tech issues, Barbara is tech support. I also like Nightwings new upgrades as they bring back some robin elements to Nightwing without forgetting who Nightwing is.

Overall, though Percy fails to understand what makes Nightwing so great, he does have a story to tell and it's fairly well told. I did chuckle a few times and was horrified at others, but it's hard to excuse the lack of clear continuity. If you read Nightwing #1-43 maybe skip it, BUT if you didn't absolutely dive into this issue and see what you think.

Newcomers to Rebirth Nightwing: READ IT!
Returning to Rebirth Nightwing after a break: Maybe Pass!

After all the series gets a new creative team with Nightwing #51.

Cohesiveness: 4 (-1 for lack of continuity)
Enjoyability: 3 (-2 for poor interpretation)
Story: 5 (Great story)


Here’s the link to the issue and the cover

I think the intent was for Percy to have a long run that reset to a Nightwing Vol 1. Instead, his run was cut short by events in Batman and discussed in Nightwing 50, so Bleeding Edge is just one story arc (Vol 7). The status quo shift from Nightwing 50 is still ongoing. If a reader wants to jump into Nightwing and not be completely lost in the current book, I’d recommend starting at 50. (Although, I don’t actually recommend the current arc and hope it resolves itself in the near future. I’m not sure how a brand new reader would feel about it.)

In Percy’s run, Dick dialed back on the tech/‘on the grid’ stuff - e.g. wired phone - because weird things started happening in Bludhaven involving all that. I actually enjoyed the first few old fashioned type jokes, but I do think they got overplayed a bit. I love seeing Dick and Babs team up, so I was super excited to see that aspect of Percy’s books.

After Percy, Lobdell took over, hopefully Jurgens will fix this. With the 4th creative team swap in the last 20 issues.
I agree #50 is the better start by far, but it does rely on some stuff established in this run. Also it’s three months away.

I’m trying to give starting spots for the run.