Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Exclusive interview: Writer Kyle Higgins lays down a new foundation for former boy wonder Nightwing



Batman’s first partner in peril, Dick Grayson – these days going by the moniker Nightwing – is headed for Chi-town, leaving the owls and the jokers behind.

To discover the reason for this change-of-lifestyle move and what it means to the former Robin, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer tracked down writer Kyle Higgins in the alleyways behind the United Center and exclusively got the following answers after hours of interrogation.

Cosmic Book News: Kyle, Dick Grayson is one of comic's oldest characters. How do you hope to redefine this former Robin with a change of venue, Gotham to Chicago?

Kyle Higgins: It opens things up for us. I’ve talked about this before, but I’m really looking to build a world for Dick Grayson that is entirely his own and not predicated on his relationship with Batman. The relationship with Batman is a part of the character, but it’s not what he should be defined by.

CBN: We understand the locale change for Nightwing brought some smiles and cheers at C2E2 ... in Chi-town! How'd that feel and was the timing intentional?

Kyle Higgins: The timing was actually a total coincidence. We were originally going to make the change with issue #18, but we pushed it back a month because of “Death of the Family” and Damian. It was pretty cool that it hit a week before C2E2.


CBN: The hunt for the murderer of Grayson's parents goes to the core of the "Batman and Robin" legend. How will Nightwing lead the readers through this mystery?

Kyle Higgins: That’s actually a great point, and is the main reason why I wanted to tackle this story. As I was saying before, defining Dick Grayson/Nightwing in a way that separates him from Batman is important … and Tony Zucco is going to be a part of that. That’s all I can say at this point.

CBN: While Dick is becoming Chicago's masked avenger, how does he do this is a burg that outlaws masked vigilantes?

Kyle Higgins: He’s just that good! (laughs) Of course, the bigger question to me is “how did the city end up this way?” The history of Chicago in the DCU and its relationship with masked vigilantes is something I’m quite excited to explore.

CBN: From the look of things, Chicago will be an important lurking character in the new Nightwing. How will your hometown bring this character new energy?

Kyle Higgins: It’s a city with a unique personality, and its own rich history (and a bonus history with masked vigilantes in the DCU). Just like Gotham can be used as a character, I’m hoping to do the same with Chicago. By creating a rich world for Nightwing, it gives him more to react to and deal with … which ultimately helps the character grow.

CBN: You seem to be excited about the new supporting cast. Can you tell us about some of them and how they will influence Dick's world?

Kyle Higgins: Michael is an up and coming photographer/videographer … who doesn’t get many opportunities from his bosses. He’s got a bit of a chip on his shoulder and thinks he’s better than he probably is … and definitely better than his bosses think. Joey is a cyber security specialist who says what she thinks … sometimes to her detriment. She works as a contractor primarily, as a 9-5 job isn’t quite her scene. She likes change. In addition to the natural roommate dynamics (ie: drama) that we’ve ALL had at one point or another, Nightwing will have an effect on their lives and vice versa. Don’t want to say much more than that!   


CBN: What did artist Brett Booth bring to the book?

Kyle Higgins: Brett brought a tremendous sense of energy and fun to the book. Unfortunately, he was only able to do three issues due to other projects, but what a great three issues!

CBN: Any favorite Nightwing/Dick Grayson tales from the past?

Kyle Higgins: “A Knight in Bludhaven” is a personal favorite. I also love the Man-Bat issues and (although it’s not technically Nightwing) Robin: Year One.

CBN: Kyle, any projects present or future you'd care to discuss?

Kyle Higgins: Well, my run on Batman Beyond starts in August … and I’m also working on a creator-owned book right now with Alec Siegel and Rod Reis, based on my college thesis (superhero) film The League. It’s a bit too early to talk about that one, but hopefully more soon!

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Kyle Higgins for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our nosy M.E. We would also like to thank DC’s own Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski for helping to make this story possible.

“Nightwing” #21 hits shelves June 12th!