As promised by DC last month, the aftermath of the Dick Grayson's shooting in Batman #55 left the hero with memory loss and loss of motor function. But this week's Nightwing #50 surprisingly revealed that Dick’s injury also gave him a different personality, as the character is not only distant, but likes to gamble, fight, and break into people’s houses who are on vacation.
The character was shot in the head with a sniper rifle by the villain KGBeast from the window of a building near Gotham City Police HQ.
As Nightwing #50 opens, some time has passed since the injury, with the character back in Bludhaven to start a new life that doesn’t resemble his old one at all.
Yet Nightwing #50 also made it clear that Dick - who now drives a cab and goes by the name “Gray” or “Ric” - still has a heroic streak.
He risks his life in one of the issue’s first scenes to save a waitress from harm and thievery, and even some of his worst choices seem to stem from blackouts and mood swings that result from his injury.
The anniversary issue also hinted that some of Dick’s old memories could be stirring around in there, as he spoke about staying “true” to his “circus blood.”
And despite Dick being a bit of a jerk, Barbara Gordon hasn’t given up on him, offering to help Dick remember who he is.
“I’m your friend,” she tells him one rainy night.
“Don’t need any friends,” Dick says as he walks into a bar where a cast of characters seem to know him.
Other DC characters are missing the old Nightwing too -not only his Bat-family, like Alfred and Batman, but even the cops in Bludhaven remark on how tough their jobs are without the hero helping out.
But Dick wants nothing to do with his superhero past, even torching his former subway headquarters and burning his Nightwing costumes.
The character also doesn’t look much like himself, wearing his hair in a buzz cut that reveals the large scar on the side of his head and usually sporting a leather jacket and jeans.
Nightwing #50 was written by Benjamin Percy with art by Travis Moore, Chris Mooneyham, and Klaus Janson. And although it focused mostly on Dick’s surprising new approach to life, it was also interspersed with flashbacks to Dick’s battles with Scarecrow when he was Robin.
A new mystery was also introduced, one that features a murderer’s calling card - a black feather - that hints Scarecrow wants to confront his young Robin nemesis again.
The end of Nightwing #50 teases October 14's #51 as “Muscle Memory Kicks In.” That next chapter in the story will be picked up by writer Scott Lobdell, who is staying on the title at least through December’s Nightwing #55, when solicitation text promises “the evolution of Dick Grayson reaches its next level!”