Another Death In The Family?
By: Chris "DOC" Bushley
We have all heard the rumors before, "Nightwing is going to die!" As a matter of fact, before the New 52, it was rumored that Nightwing, Dick Grayson, was to perish in a most heroic way. This time, however, there are too many scenarios aligning to make this rumor feel like just another rumor, this time it may actually happen!
In the pages of DC's big event, "Forever Evil," Nightwing was captured, tortured and his true identity revealed worldwide to the shock and horror of all the remaining heroes. DC also previously announced that Nightwing will be canceled as of issue #30, arriving on stands April 9th. Just these facts alone don't truly add up to anything, but DC always has some subtle ways of giving clues as to what may come to fruition!
Way back in November, DC placed a lovely teaser image by Jason Fabok within the pages of its "Bat" books. This was solicited as a teaser for characters and storylines that would take place in the new weekly series, Batman Eternal, that just so happens to debut in April as well. You have all seen this image before, but take a look again. There is one character that seems to be missing, yes Nightwing is not there, or is he? The blonde haired character next to Red Robin appears to be wearing a mask that looks a lot like Nightwing. Did Dick Grayson dye his hair, or could that be Calvin Rose a.k.a.. Talon taking up the mantle?
Either way, it is still something to speculate, considering what this image has already revealed to us. In Batman #28, which takes place six months in the future, we have already seen the debut of Harper Row as Batman's new sidekick, Bluebird, as well as the return of fan favorite Stephanie Brown -- Spoiler! Both are featured here next to Red Robin and the mysterious blond hero. But there is even more!
Once you take a good look at Jason Fabok's cover to Batman Eternal #1, we see something even more intriguing. The cast of characters displayed within Batman's cape are also from Fabok's Thanksgiving teaser image as well. There are a few additions, such as the Riddler, Scarecrow, Harley and the female Talon, Strix, but the rest are the same -- minus two! Which two you may ask? Both Nightwing AND Talon are missing from this picture, and with both of their series being canceled, wouldn't one think that they would at least be brought into a book called Batman Eternal? It's hard to think that Dick Grayson, the original Boy Wonder, would be left out of something as big as a Batman weekly series focusing on all aspects of the Bat Universe! Unless, of course, he is no longer around!
But, maybe it's all just rumor, we truly never know until the the books hit the stands. Maybe I am just speculating too much, but then again, whose bones are those around the fire in Fabok's teaser? As Batman stands in the pouring rain on the cover of Batman Eternal #1, whose blood is running down his chest? Maybe the cover of Nightwing #30 will help give us some answers. You decide!