Kyle Higgins may be done with Nightwing, but he's not done with DC.
The writer announced this week that his last issue on Nightwing, the title he launched for DC in 2011, will be March's issue #29.
Higgins guided the Nightwing title through several New 52 revelations and changes, most recently moving the hero to Chicago. The book, while establishing several new situations for former Robin Dick Grayson, was often part of major shake-ups after line-wide story lines like "Court of Owls" and "Death of the Family."
But DC has been hinting that an even more significant change is coming for Nightwing — with readers concerned the character might even be dying when Forever Evil ends in March.
The departure of Higgins at the end of March only further emphasizes the change ahead for the character, but the writer said in his announcement that the new creative team on Nightwing would be announced next week — indication that, at least, the title itself isn't ending (like Teen Titans, which ends in April).
Higgins just recently announced that he would be launching a new series for Image in May called C.O.W.L.. During our interview with Higgins about the title, he also revealed that he has a second Image title coming soon.
He also writes the digital-first title, Batman Beyond 2.0, taking the comic in a critically acclaimed direction since he took over last year.
Besides his work on Beyond, will Higgins be doing any other work for DC?
And what's this new Secret Origins title he's co-writing in April?
Newsarama caught up with Higgins to find out more about his departure from Nightwing and what this means for his future with the publisher.
Newsarama: Kyle, you're done with Nightwing?
Kyle Higgins: Yeah, after issue #29, I'll no longer be on the book. It’s a definite bummer, but I’ve got some huge Dick Grayson/Nightwing stuff coming up in Batman Beyond 2.0… which I can’t urge you enough to pick up. Seriously. The book is so much fun — Thony and I are cutting loose. It’s the best stuff I’ve done at DC.
Nrama: Looking back on your time with Nightwing, what do you take away from Dick Grayson?
Higgins: Well, I've said in countless interviews that he’s my favorite character — he has been for years, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. The only difference now is that I have an even greater appreciation for him, for helping me grow as a writer. D.G. taught me how to write comics, both creatively and professionally. He let me make mistakes and helped me navigate difficult water. That's a relationship that very few people get to have with their favorite character. No matter what happens, I'll always love him for that. And who knows. Maybe we’ll reunite one day. Never say never!
Nrama: I'm sure you've seen the reaction to this announcement online. Anything you want to clarify?
Higgins: Nah, I don’t think there’s much to clarify. Maybe when issue #29 hits, I’ll have something else to say, but right now… I don’t know. I’m kind of overwhelmed by the number of messages that have come in. I can’t thank fans enough.
Nrama: You're writing for the Secret Origins issue in April, which presumably tells a story from Dick Grayson's past. What's the story about?
Higgins: It's a story about D.G. becoming Robin. So it's very similar to what we did in issue #0, but it's a slightly different point of view, a different look at things. But at its core, it's Dick as Robin.
Nrama: The very beginning.
Higgins: Yeah. And it's 12 pages.
Nrama: On Nightwing, you have two more issues, and I assume they're important issues for not only the character, but you as well.
Higgins: Yeah. Especially issue #29. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to end things, and what I ultimately wanted to say about D.G. We’re still finishing the issue, but I'm really proud of how it’s turning out. I gave Russell a really difficult script, and he’s delivering in spades. I really, really hope we get to work together again. I’m so happy we got him for these last two issues.
Nrama: As I'm sure you know, there's a lot of fan tension about the future of Nightwing after what has happened to him in Forever Evil — and your announcement doesn’t exactly help. Any clue you can give fans about what happens to Nightwing after you depart?
Higgins: Sorry… I can’t. Solicits hit on Tuesday though, so that’s probably a good place to look.
Nrama: We talked earlier this week about your new Image series, C.O.W.L., and you mentioned that you're working on a second project for Image. But does this mean you're leaving DC behind?
Higgins: No, this doesn't mean I'm gone from DC. The Image books are keeping me pretty busy right now, but I also have something else at DC that I’m ramping up on. Maybe you’ll hear about it soon.