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Nightwing Vol. 1: Traps and Trapezes (The New 52) Paperback – October 16, 2012

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Book 1 of 5 in the Nightwing Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Author Q&A with Kyle Higgins

Q. What's it like working on a huge initiative like The New 52?

A. Depending on the day, it's a combination of exciting, inspiring, nerve-wracking, and a whole host of other adjectives (laughs). This past year has been a whirlwind for me. Coming off Gates of Gotham with Scott Snyder, I kind of jumped into the deep end of the pool by launching two New 52 books concurrently (Nightwing and Deathstroke). And, while the spotlight of The New 52 has been intense at times, I'm happy to report that I'm still swimming.

Q. How are you balancing making these stories and characters feel fresh and new while still respecting what came before?

A. That's actually the most challenging part of all this. With a book like Deathstroke, we moved on from a lot of the continuity that came before. We tried to boil the character down to his core and start fresh. I took the aspects that I liked and expanded on them, crafting a story that—in my mind—felt new for Slade and also tapped into the angle of respect. He's the older gun that's trying to show the new generation he's still got it.

Nightwing has been a bit trickier. Dick Grayson was once Robin, then Nightwing, then Batman, and now Nightwing again. And while we try to stay away from specific instances of old continuity, Dick is a character that exemplifies the idea of change. He's built on it. Our first story, which dives into an aspect of his life that hadn't been explored too much before (the circus and the secrets it might hold) was our way of referencing and paying respect to the old … while still breaking new ground.

Q. What stories or creators inspire you most when working on your character?

A. For Nightwing, I have two big influences: Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel's run (1996-2000) and Batman: the Animated Series. Growing up, Chuck and Scott's series was the first book I bought every issue of, month and month out. It's the run that really defined the character for me.

As far as Batman: the Animated Series goes, Loren Lester's portrayal of Dick Grayson was also pretty seminal. His is the voice I hear every time I write the character.

For Deathstroke, my single favorite moment/portrayal of the character was in Brad Meltzer's Identity Crisis.

Q. So what do you consider to be your character's definitive stories?

A. Nightwing: Dixon/McDaniel's first 25 issues; Batman the Animated Series: "Robin's Reckoning" and "Old Wounds"; Teen Titans: the Judas Contract. For Deathstroke: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract; DC Universe: Last Will and Testament

Q. What have you thought about the response so far for The New 52 and your title(s) as whole?

A. Honestly? It's been pretty amazing. The willingness of readers to give these books a chance—in particular, my books—has been nothing short of fantastic.

Q. Do you keep up with any of the other New 52 books? Which ones and why?

A. I try to! Scott Snyder's Batman, Josh Fialkov's iVampire, Pete Tomasi's Batman and Robin, Gail Simone's Batgirl, Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato's Flash, Scott Lobdell's Red Hood, Geoff Johns's Aquaman … the camaraderie that we as creators have built over the past year has made the DC Universe feel like one big family. We all try to support each other.

Q. Has social media and increased direct interaction with DC Comics' fans changed your writing/drawing approach at all in regards to The New 52?

A. Not too much. I try to write stories that I, as a fan, would want to read. That said, I do keep an ear to the ground to see what people are reacting to and what they're not.

Q. What creators have influenced the new direction you've taken with your book?

A. Scott Snyder has been a big influence. Between his Detective Comics run, our collaboration on Gates of Gotham, and his plan for the Court of Owls, my current take on Dick Grayson has been informed a lot by Scott's work. 

Q. So many classic characters have had their looks changed. What has been your favorite character redesign, even if it isn't in your own book?

A. Supergirl, Batgirl, and the Flash.

Q. There seems to be a lot of storylines integrating both Nightwing and Scott Snyder's Batman title. How in depth is the collaboration process with you and Scott? 

A. Well, Scott is one of my best friends, so a lot of the collaboration happens without us even realizing we're doing it (laughs). Since Gates of Gotham, working together has been pretty effortless—we both approach story from the same way. That, coupled with the fact that we're on the phone together a couple times a week and G-Chat all the time, and story conversations just kind of inevitably happen. We just try to keep things fun.

Q. Kyle, you've written Dick Grayson as both Batman (in Batman: Gates of Gotham) and Nightwing now. What differences do you find yourself weaving into the separate personas of Dick?

A. I think the biggest difference is humor. In Gates, Dick was a bit more stoic than I write him in Nightwing. He wasn't as upbeat and quippy, which I think was a combination of the seriousness of the threat, feelings of insecurity, and the fact that he was wearing the Bat cowl.


"Dynamic art and a story that draws upon the history of the character."—The New York Times

"Stellar ... a solid yarn that roots itself in Grayson's past, with gorgeous artwork by artist Eddy Barrows to boot."—IGN

"I think a new generation is going to fall in love with Nightwing."—MTV Geek


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Product Details

  • Series: Nightwing
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401237053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401237059
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.2 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kyle Higgins is a New York Times Best Selling writer whose past work includes BATMAN: GATES OF GOTHAM, SUPREME POWER, DEATHSTROKE, and NIGHTWING. After spending two years at the University of Iowa, Kyle transferred to Chapman University where he co-wrote and directed a superhero noir titled THE LEAGUE, about the 1960's superhero labor union of Chicago. The film opened doors at Marvel Comics, where Kyle co-wrote his first two books with Alec Siegel (CAPTAIN AMERICA THEATER OF WAR: PRISONERS OF DUTY, and AVENGERS ORIGINS: THE VISION). Kyle is also the co-creator of The Nightrunner (with David Hine), whose story was featured on The Daily Show with John Stewart. At present, Kyle is working on BATMAN BEYOND 2.0 and BATMAN ETERNAL for DC Comics, as well as his new Image series, C.O.W.L. (with Alec Siegel and Rod Reis).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Anarchy in the US on October 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
With all of the new titles coming in the DC New 52, Nightwing wasn't on my list of pick ups. Not that I don't enjoy Nightwing, but I had way too many other weekly comics I was picking up, and Nightwing wasn't one of them. And I thought there were way too many Bat-titles to pick up, so I passed on it. But I was reading Scott Snyder's Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52) monthly comic, and heard some people saying Nightwing's subtle connections to Batman and the story of the Owls, so it got me interested. And so, I decided I'd pick up Nightwing in trade form when it was released. How's it hold up? Not bad at all.

NIGHTWING VOL.1: TRAPS AND TRAPEZES collect issues #1-7. Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing, as returned to his former title after spending time as Batman while Bruce Wayne was out of town (Batman: The Black Mirror and Batman: Gates of Gotham for example). Grayson is happy enjoying his current life and identity again in Gotham, but Haly's Circus is back in town, which is Grayson's old traveling circus as a boy, and things suddenly start happening. A masked assassin shows up by the name of Saiko wanting Greyson dead, a woman enters his life, Grayson inherits the circus, and the past comes back to haunt him. Now Grayson and his circus travel around the country, while he's off to solve this case.

New comer writer Kyle Higgins made a decent name for himself in Gates of Gotham, and gave a reasonable portrayal of Dick Grayson as Batman.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ERSInk . com on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Out of the new batch of Batman-Family books, Nightwing is by far one of my favorites. I never gave the super hero much thought before the New 52. However, I decided to give the monthly series a try after seeing the striking preview pages for issue #1. His new red and black suit appealed to me much more than the one with a blue logo. I know it's shallow to judge a comic book icon on looks alone, but they are characters in a visual medium after all.

I'm glad I gave that first issue a chance and immediately became addicted to it. A new graphic novel collection of the first seven issues entitled "Nightwing Volume 1: Traps and Trapezes" gives new readers a chance to jump on board now.

Haley's Circus returns to Gotham City, bringing with it a trail of murder, mystery, peril, and supernatural evil. Dick Grayson / Nightwing rejoins the traveling show to uncover the truth behind sinister deeds that haunt the greatest show on Earth. He uncovers more than he bargained for when a mysterious costumed assassin calling himself Saiko appears with an obvious taste for vengeance against either Grayson or his alter ego.

Writer Kyle Higgins takes the reader on a cross-country adventure filled with plenty of action and engaging stories. He does a great job incorporating some familiar faces into the pages and even getting one involved in the heavy duty crime-fighting workload Grayson has taken on. Higgins is also unafraid of going into supernatural territory, which many current Bat-Family writers avoid.

Eddy Barrows, Eduardo Pansica, and Geraldo Borges handle the penciling for the book. Each of their styles is similar enough to where it isn't distracting. The illustrations lean towards realism. There's one flashback towards the end that stands out more than anything else.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L.D. Frost on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was initially worried about the Nightwing series when I saw that they changed his costume color to red. In the midst of this New 52 reboot, any horrible thing could happen to the characters we know an love. But my concerns have been put to rest. Nightwing is still the young maturing hero that I've always known him to be and he still likes to mouth off to his enemies every now and then (not too much though). The story revolves around the secrets of Haly's Circus which Dick grew up with, so its a very personal story that is relevant to the character. I also liked how Nightwing's story directly connects with Batman: Court of Owls without Dick being overshadowed by Batman or other DC characters. There was ONE thing in this comic that I thought was out of place was a scene where the circus's clown, Jimmy's, wife summons some kind of demon to consume him. It was probably part of another comic, but it was so sudden and almost irrelevant to anything going on. Anyway, don't let the new costume fool you. It's still the same old Dick Grayson. And if you're a fan, then you definitely won't be disappointed.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Harbour on April 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I give this 5 stars for the writing and artwork, even though I have a few issues with it, because they are trivial. First, this story is very much about the origin of Nightwing, once the first Robin, and whose real name is Richard Grayson. As the first Robin, Dick tends to be like an older brother to the younger members of the Wayne family, followed by Tim Drake (Red Robin of the Teen Titans), then by Jason Todd (killed by Joker, resurrected by Ra's al Ghul, now Red Hood), and finally, Damian Wayne, the youngest and current Robin (see issue #18 in the crossovers for the Requiem story).

I like Nightwing a lot. I like his good attitude. No matter what happens between him and Batman, him and Batgirl, or anyone else, he never loses his good nature or loses his cool--he maintains composure even when under duress. He is a staunch professional vigilante crime-fighter who every bit deserved to wear the cowl of Batman while Bruce was indisposed (see Batman RIP and The Return of Bruce Wayne).

In these first 7 issues, we get the origin of Dick Grayson again, and it's a bit overkill, unfortunately--almost worth a star rating, but I won't... Yes, he and his parents are acrobats in Haly's Circus, and yes, they fell and died when he was a child, and yes, Bruce Wayne adopted him. That is kind of told to death (forgive the pun), but then, so is the story of Bruce losing his parents, so I can forgive it on that precedent. What really impresses with this story is just how important Haly's Circus (and Nightwing) is to the Court of Owls story in Batman main. Without actually mentioning the word "Owl" anywhere in this GN, it is masterfully tied in with the Court of Owls nightmare that Batman goes through--and nearly dies from--in that story.
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