Nightwing Might Break Me

From the Newsarama.com write up of the DC Nation panel at WonderCon today:

"When asked about Dick Grayson, DiDio unbuttoned his overshirt to reveal a Nightwing t-shirt."

This might sound insane, but this news -- or at least what was implied -- had me pretty annoyed.  Fear my nerd rage, DC, fear it!

Why did this bother me so much?  Because it was, yet again, a reminder that mainstream superhero comic books thrive on the allusion of change, but nothing ever will -- particularly when dealing with a corporately owned character.


I love Dick Grayson as Batman.  I am currently reading more Batman books than I have ever read in my entire life and 2/3 of those start Dick Grayson as Batman -- and I'm only reading the Bruce Wayne book because Grant Morrison is writing it.  Dick Grayson as Batman and Damien Wayne as Robin are a fantastic Dynamic Duo.  There's so much to like about them, it's hard to even know where to begin.

But let me just cut to what I liked about them thematically: change.  Growth.  Forward motion.  The former sidekick actually grew up and took on the mantle of his mentor (even if the mentor stuck around).  It was a glimpse of a DC universe in which things actually happen -- and have consequences.

I know how you feel, Nightwing.
The revelation -- or the implied revelation -- that Dick Grayson will be returning to his role as Nightwing is a joke.  It completely undermines the growth of the character...and it's a horrible reversal of a great story.

I have no doubts that Grayson's return to being Nightwing will happen as a result of DC's big summer event, not unlike the way that current Captain America Bucky Barnes will hand over the mantle to his mentor Steve Rogers by the end of Marvel's summer event.  Because this is the way that comics at the Big Two work.

I've gotten to the point where I firmly believe that I could quit reading comics from Marvel and DC today and go back to them in 20 years and nothing will have changed.  But, really, why would I think otherwise?  They have to stay the same because they're not comic book characters, they're brands.

Believe it or not, I'm so annoyed by this news that I'm on the verge of dropping all the Big Two books I read.  I know, probably ridiculous, this is how I look at it: the money I save on Big Two books could be spent on creator owned, small press titles where decisions are made by creators whose bottom line is the story, not, well, the bottom line.  I want to read books that make money because they're good, not that are good because they make money.

I don't actually read that many comics by the Big Two, but it's enough that the money I do spend could support some more deserving titles.

I have no doubts that I'm being something of a nerd drama queen.  Then again, the idea of dropping all the books I buy by the Big Two feels...liberating.