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  1. #1
    Veteran Member El Sombrero's Avatar
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    Default The excessive grimness of Nightwing and Batgirl

    Just wanted to talk about this a bit. I've been really disappointed with the treatment of the Nightwing and Batgirl franchises in the New 52. I feel these books are mired in constant excessively dark, dreary, violent, grim surroundings. Nightwing is fighting a killer named "Saiko," finds out he was meant to be an assassin, has all his friends from his old circus killed, etc. Batgirl fights a bunch of serial killers and is caught up with home invasions, her own brother is a psycho, she has PTSD trauma all the time, etc.

    To me the appeal of Nightwing and Batgirl is that they are so bright and optimistic in contrast to Batman. I understand that the writers are trying to push this idea of Dick and Babs staying positive in the face of all this darkness, but after a while you just get consumed by the darkness, and no matter how the characters react, if you read enough violence in the book, the book itself just feels dreary and grim. Higgins and Simone seem obsessed with having Dick and Babs face the most horrifying or gruesome circumstances possible, and the artwork and coloring on these books is also often dark and grim.

    I understand that "Nightwing smile hour" or "Babs goes to a tea party" is not going to sell, but I think that these two books are going way too far in the opposite direction. Brett Booth on Nightwing should hopefully make things a little more fun over there, but in general I feel these two books have really missed the point of these characters existence in the New 52. They can be exciting and dangerous while still maintaining a sense of "fun," which I feel has been totally lost.

  2. #2
    Dazed and Confused Badou's Avatar
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    I think mainly, particularly in Nightwing's case, they take most of their cues from Synder's Batman and his version of Gotham which is very much horror inspired in writing and tone. Horror is what Synder generally does in all of his work. So that reflects in the other series because they rely on what Synder is doing so much.

    I can't speak for Batgirl a whole lot, as I haven't really kept up with her series, but I do think it is quit sad at how much they have botched the reintroduction of these two characters in the New 52. It does feel like they have completely missed the point in what made the characters interesting, erasing important taints, history and relationships that really defined who they characters used to be and why people enjoyed them so much. But given how their books are selling it doesn't look like they have any desire to change from the new norm, unfortunately.

  3. #3
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    Moreover, both books are mundane as hell. I won't lie or pretend to be objective though, I have no interest in Barbara Gordon as Batgirl.

    But Nightwing I do like, and after Batman and Robin, the book has basically demoted him to a second rate Batman/Daredevil.

  4. #4
    Don't do the Limbo sunofdarkchild's Avatar
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    If I had to describe what DC has done with most of the bat-characters it would be 'throw out the baby and keep the bathwater."

    Batgirl? Keep The Killing Joke but throw out all of the great character development that followed and the fun that preceded it.

    Nightwing? Keep nothing but the name.

    'Red Robin?' Keep the controversial post-War Games/Identity Crisis characterization of him as mini-Bruce and throw out all of the previous 15 years of what most people think actually defines the character. Oh, and don't even keep the names 'Robin' or 'Tim Drake.'

  5. #5
    Blue Boba ABH-1979's Avatar
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    Overall, I agree, especially with Nightwing.

    Hopefully the supposed JLI title, that they will both be a part of, will indeed be like the old JLI book, and infuse some humor into the story.
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  6. #6
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    I hope after facing Joker and James Jr Batgirl will finally grow out of the PTSDness of it all and become fun again. Simone has proven she can write fun with Birds of Prey and I hope we see more of that.

    Higgins puts out some great tie-ins issues of Snyder's events but his work inbetween is mediocre and often lifeless. I was dropping the title but then the Joker issues and Booth have convinced me to stay on board for a while. I remember liking the Batgirl issue of Nightwing because it was fun. I'd like to have more of that please. If Higgins has got a good story to tell with him recovering from the Joker attack I'm fine with some grimness but I'd like to see him move on after it.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquacatlungfish View Post
    I remember liking the Batgirl issue of Nightwing because it was fun. I'd like to have more of that please.

    Yes, so would I.

    I've had a great interest in Barbara Gordon as Batgirl for a long time, and that first Adam Hughes cover seemed so full of promise- Barbara Gordon, as Batgirl, in a fun(!) Batbook.
    I never imagined that DC would bring her back in that role and that I wouldn't be reading the book, but that's where I am.
    I know that Gail Simone can write it (I just recently saw her 'Matches Malone' episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold), I hope that someday we'll see it.

  8. #8
    The Alpha and The Omega Godlike13's Avatar
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    Ya, Nightwing is pretty dark, especially the last issue, but i think Nightwing might be getting lighter. I just don't see Booth doing dark. Batgirl i don't think is that dark, well not any darker then Gails BoP anyway.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlike13 View Post
    Ya, Nightwing is pretty dark, especially the last issue, but i think Nightwing might be getting lighter. I just don't see Booth doing dark. Batgirl i don't think is that dark, well not any darker then Gails BoP anyway.
    I agree I don't see Booth's style going to work with dark. I think the reasons why these issues are dark is because of the DoTF. Other than that I think has been pretty nice tone wise.

  10. #10
    T.U.R.T.L.E. Power! willtupper's Avatar
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    Don't be so sure. I would buy the sh*t out of "Nightwing Smile Hour" AND "Babs Goes To A Tea Party."

    Those sounds like AWESOME books.

    And also, I do kind of agree with you. All my favorite Nightwing & Babs stories both have been about the joy of the adventure, the desire to do good and have fun while doing it. I've definitely missed that since the reboot.

    I'm glad that Chuck Dixon's "Batgirl: Year One" and "Robin: Year One" are being reprinted, at least. Those are two shining examples of the adventure, growth, and joy school of do-gooding that both characters used to definitely excel at.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Sombrero View Post
    I understand that "Nightwing smile hour" or "Babs goes to a tea party" is not going to sell,

  11. #11
    Gotham Guardian Captain Jim's Avatar
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    Hmm, well, since Nightwing and Batgirl are my two favorite non-Batman specific bat-books, I certainly can't agree with the premise of this thread.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunofdarkchild View Post
    If I had to describe what DC has done with most of the bat-characters it would be 'throw out the baby and keep the bathwater."

    Batgirl? Keep The Killing Joke but throw out all of the great character development that followed and the fun that preceded it.

    Nightwing? Keep nothing but the name.

    'Red Robin?' Keep the controversial post-War Games/Identity Crisis characterization of him as mini-Bruce and throw out all of the previous 15 years of what most people think actually defines the character. Oh, and don't even keep the names 'Robin' or 'Tim Drake.'
    100% this

    I have a hard time getting excited for the batbooks anymore, because I know whenever I pick one up it's going to remind me that DC defines the characters in them by name and costume only, and everything else is up in the air depending on the writer/editor, with no real thought going into characterization.
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  13. #13
    Agent. CLASSIFIED. Superchino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Jim View Post
    Hmm, well, since Nightwing and Batgirl are my two favorite non-Batman specific bat-books, I certainly can't agree with the premise of this thread.
    I agree with the Captain here.

  14. #14
    1906 Xistel's Avatar
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    I like the tone. I don't think Batgirl is very dark and grim.

    Nightwing is, but I think it's a character that can do both dark and a little lighter with ease.
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  15. #15
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    It is okay for the books to be dark because the target audience males 18-34 prefers darker and edgier comics with lots of violence.

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