Death of the Family is the current talk for The Batman Universe. Nightwing has been hinted on Twitter by writer Kyle Higgins to possibly have the most dire outcome of all of the Bat-family. Newsarama talked with Higgins about how Nightwing falls into the crossover as well as what is upcoming for Dick Grayson.
Newsarama: Kyle, this week's #0 issue looks like it's an origin for Dick Grayson. Is this going to give us his back-story in the New 52?
Kyle Higgins: It's the story of Dick Grayson becoming a superhero, which means Robin. It's the origin of the first Robin. It includes where the name comes from and where the decision to work with Batman comes from. And while it's a story that a lot of people are going to recognize, there are some new wrinkles to it, particularly on the emotional level, where we start to get into who Dick Grayson is and the way that he is always looking forward and never back. And you'll see what that means when something tragic happens, like his parents dying.
It was a very interesting opportunity to juxtapose Dick and Bruce, who are very similar in the way that they're both products of a tragic event, but they went about dealing with it in different ways. That's the crux of the issue. It's also setting up some threads with Lady Shiva, who Tom DeFalco will be doing a two-part story with, in issues #13 and #14. And Tom also worked with me on the #0 issue. Yeah, so this sets up the next storyline while also establishing the origin of Robin in the New 52. It's exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing what people think of it.
Newsarama: As you mentioned, there's a two-issue story arc by Tom DeFalco. Why is he filling in for a couple issues?
Kyle Higgins: Because the Joker issues are so important and so big, the decision was made to give me a chance to get ahead on them and jump forward and set some things up, as well as develop pretty in depth what's coming after the Joker story. The Joker story is really a huge turning point and changes a lot of things. When you see what happens during "Death of the Family," it will be much clearer why there was a need and a desire for me to jump forward and spend a lot of time developing everything coming out of that.
Newsarama: Are you working pretty closely with Scott Snyder on "Death of the Family?"
Kyle Higgins: Yeah. I flew out to New York back in May, and we had a little powwow in the DC offices between myself and Scott and Pete Tomasi and James Tynion IV, who's doing all the back-ups in Batman as well as launching Talon. And then Gail [Simone] and Scott Lobdell were conference called in.
And we all worked pretty closely developing this story and what the particular pieces were going to be. Even coming out of that, I've been working pretty closely with Scott, and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a lot of fun. That said, Scott's given me a ton of freedom — as he's given all of us really — to make this a story unique to Nightwing. His only mandate was: Make it the scariest, most impactful Joker story that you've ever seen for your character.
What's so exciting for me is, aside from a couple instances, I can't think of a really big Nightwing/Joker story. The moment that comes to mind would be during, what Last Laugh by Chuck Dixon. It was a big crossover where Nightwing killed the Joker.
Newsarama: How many issues is your tie-in to "Death of the Family?"
Kyle Higgins: It's two issues: #15 and #16. And issues #13 and #14 have some set-up and development for my Joker story. I coordinated with Tom a little, giving him a heads up about some of the plot points I needed set up for the Joker story. And then there will be some fall-out for several issues afterward.
Newsarama: It sounds like you've really planned what's coming for Dick. To finish up, can you give us a few words to describe what's coming for Nightwing in 2013?
Kyle Higgins: There will be seismic shifts coming out of the Joker story. Big things are coming for Nightwing, and there will be big changes ahead for Dick Grayson.
For the entire interview, including talk about the future of the artists on the series, head over to Newsarama. Nightwing #0 is in stores today.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel