Follow TV Tropes


Comic Book / Nightwing (Infinite Frontier)

Go To
The blue is back.
Master Bruce may feel you should only be a hero when wearing a costume. But I'm glad Dick Grayson steps up when someone is needed. It takes a different hero to help without a mask.
Alfred Pennyworth

Nightwing is a 2021 DC superhero comic book. It was relaunched at issue #78 as part of DC Infinite Frontier, and is written by Tom Taylor, with art by Bruno Redondo.

It's been a rough few years for Dick Grayson. First, he was shot in the head and lost his memories. Then, he was manipulated by the Joker. But that's all behind him now — with his memories restored, Dick is back to being Nightwing and ready to take on whatever is in front of him.

Even if that happens to be a poor, abused little puppy in need of saving.

But as Nightwing stops bad guys from (literally) kicking a dog, he is also confronted by the ghosts of his past when Barbara Gordon shows up as the executor of Alfred Pennyworth's will. And there is also the crime boss Blockbuster, ready to crush anyone and everyone in his way. In fact, Blockbuster just killed the Mayor of Bludhaven and handed the Mayorship over to the next in line: Melinda Zucco. Daughter of Tony Zucco, the man who killed Dick's parents.


Tropes in Nightwing (Infinite Frontier):

  • Amicable Exes: Defied. Sawyer is very curt towards Batwoman, still stinging after their aborted marriage attempted.
  • And Show It to You: The new mysterious villain Heartless has this as his primary schtick with the aid of a high-tech device designed for this singular purpose. A glimpse of his lair shows that he has killed HUNDREDS of people and added their hearts to his collection for his own purposes.
  • Asleep for Days: After the events of the first arc, Dick collapses immediately after entering his apartment safehouse. After Tim and Barbara carry him to bed, he wakes up and sees that it's morning. He remarks to Barbara that he didn't expect to wake up that early. Barbara says that he had been asleep for two days and that Tim had been patrolling Bludhaven the past few nights.
  • Advertisement:
  • Attack on the Heart: Someone is killing people and taking their hearts. At the end of issue #79, Nightwing even finds a tent city full of kids who ask him if he's "the man without a heart."
  • Audience Participation: After it was revealed that Dick was getting a puppy, the readers were invited to vote for the puppy's name on Twitter. The winner was Haley.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Dick seems to be in a pretty hopeless situation when Blockbuster discovers his secret identity and vows to ensure that Dick and his loved ones die screaming. This problem lasts for all of a single issue before Blockbuster runs into Heartless in a dark alley and this trope plays out by the numbers.
  • Batman Gambit: Blockbuster pulls one in #95: Realizing someone is tipping off Dick on his plans, Blockbuster beats up Electrocutioner and shows him to the mayor, telling her he's the one tipping off Dick and to tear him apart piece by piece. Instead, when she frees him and tries to warn Dick, he blasts her, allowing Blockbuster to find out the truth.
  • Beat Panel: As the cops come to question Dick in regards to Heartless' latest murder victim (as he had used Dick's credit card to check into a hotel), they ask him what his relationship with Barbara Gordon is, as she had provided an alibi by saying that she had been in the apartment all night. The two stare at each other in the next panel, with Dick exhaling loudly. He then replies that he's still wondering that himself.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The preview for issue #91 shows that Wally is furious at what the K.G.Beast did to Dick and vows to make sure he never gets a second chance at harming his friend.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Dick assumes this role with Jon Kent, the new Superman.
  • Bully Hunter: As the opening flashback shows, both Dick and Barbara disliked bullies as kids and would protect other kids from them. It's actually how they first met in their civilian identities.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • After not appearing in forever, Clancy, the superintendent of Dick's first Bludhaven apartment from the first Nightwing ongoing, reappears when he needs someone to dogsit Haley.
    • Maggie Sawyer, who worked for both Metropolis and Gotham City's police departments, becomes Bludhaven's new commissioner in #94 alongside Dan Turpin.
  • The Cavalry: After Dick is presumed captured at the end of issue 81, he calls off a rescue attempt in issue #82. Oracle does call off the rescue, which consists of the Titans (Donna Troy, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire, and Beast Boy) as well as Bruce, piloting the Batplane. Clearly, she does NOT mess around.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In issue #96, we learn of Bludhaven Private Prison. It becomes the center of attention in issue #100 as Heartless initiates a breakout to try to destroy the city and what Dick's done only for that plan to fail and the damaged jail becoming the new Titans Tower.
  • C-List Fodder/Back for the Dead: In issue #89, Risk of Dan Jurgens' Teen Titans run becomes a victim of the Rising.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Dick's Romani heritage is referenced when Meili Lin compares his facial features to his parents, confirming that Mary Grayson was Romani.
    • In issue #95, Batwoman's aborted marriage attempt with Maggie is mentioned.
  • Corrupt Cop: It's Bludhaven, what do you think? In this case, they go so far as attempt to vandalize Haven so they can overrun it. In issue #95, there are still so many corrupt cops after Sawyer joined the force that they're able to kill the former Commissioner and protect the evidence she needs to take down Blockbuster. And that's not counting Gotham's own, as Boss Maroni learns almost the hard way in issue #97
  • Creator Cameo: Editor Jessica Chen is drawn into #87, rollerblading down the streets of Bludhaven. Some fans jokingly gave her hell for not trying to rescue the dog-napped Haley. Also, issue #90 features a cameo from Taylor himself, standing on a street with some other pedestrians.
  • Crossover: Issue #89 is the first half of a two-part crossover with Taylor's other ongoing title, Superman: Son of Kal-El.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Barbara practically squees at the sight of Dick's new puppy.
  • Deal with the Devil: In issue #98, it's revealed that Blockbuster's own event from Underworld Unleashed still occurred, but he went one further - he renegotiated with Neron and gave up his own daughter's soul for his intelligence.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Blockbuster is killed at the end of issue #96 by Heartless after vowing to hurt Dick through his friends and loved ones.
  • Destination Defenestration: Blockbuster does this to Heartless in issue #93, knocking him out of a high rise building by throwing his desk at him.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In issue #93, Heartless confronts Blockbuster, demanding that he give control of Bludhaven to him so he can destroy the hope Dick is giving the city. Blockbuster responds by launching his desk at him, knocking him out of his building through the window.
  • Dramatic Irony: In the opening flashback of #78, Barbara and Dick stop a group of bullies from beating up a kid. When the police arrive, the main bully gloats that now they are in trouble because his father "owns the police." As both the audience and Barbara know, however, that isn't going to happen, because her father is the police commissioner.
    • The 2022 Annual deepens this flashback's dramatic irony with the reveal that one of these bullies would become Heartless. In other words, his first clash with the Bat Family actually occurred years earlier and neither party's aware of it.
  • Flipping the Bird: Electrocutioner does this to Blockbuster when he learns that Blockbuster owns Bludhaven Private Prison, a hellhole where he spent two years. His middle fingers are covered by a facsimile of the Comics Code Authority seal.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Dick and Wally West are this once again, with issue #90 featuring Wally and Dick teaming up for the first time since the Titans were disbanded by the Justice League prior to both characters going through rough periods.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Averted. After Dick reveals to Barbara that Blockbuster knows who he is and that they can't be together anymore, Barbara laughs it off, tells him that he deserves to be happy, no matter what someone like Bruce suggests and that things could go wrong with any sort of supervillains appearing, they both deserve to be happy. Dick understands and agrees with her, deciding to keep going with their relationship.
  • It's Personal: As stated under Beware the Nice Ones, Anatoli Knyazev earned himself a very special place on the Titans' shit list for what he did to Dick during Tom King's Batman. Wally in particular has been itching for a shot at K.G.Beast given his close friendship with Dick.
  • Kick the Dog: Some punks in #78 aren't just kicking the dog, they are also going to shoot the dog For the Evulz. Nightwing stops them and ends up taking the poor dog in himself.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Melinda Zucco reveals to Dick that her biological father was actually John Grayson, making them half-siblings.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Blockbuster eventually ends up meeting a gruesome end at the hands of Heartless, Bludhaven's newest villain.
  • Meaningful Echo: In issue #93, Commissioner MacLean mockingly tells Dick that he "may need to accept that you're not be in control of every situation" after he and his force overrun Haven in response to vandalism they caused incognito. When Dick has Oracle reveal footage that implicates the Commissioner and his force in the vandalization, the Commissioner has a Villainous Breakdown and demands to know how he got the footage at, leading Dick to throw his words back at him.
  • Meaningful Rename In issue #99, Melinda Zucco legally changed her name to Melinda Grayson-Lin, to honor her birth parents and make sure the name Zucco becomes forgotten.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Barbara at one point wears a T-shirt with the image of Batman slapping Robin.
    • There's a mug depicting Batman holding a bomb over his head.
    • The boats that rescue the tent city kids are named after Nightwing writers Devin Grayson and Tim Seeley, and artist Rick Leonardi.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: One of Dick's recent regrets is not being there for Alfred, since he was literally a different person when the latter died.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Heartless leading a breakout of Bludhaven Private Prison to try and destroy everything Dick had built up since his return to the city leads to the Titans repurposing the prison as the new Titans Tower, meaning Nightwing is no longer the sole hero operating in the city.
  • Not Me This Time: Nightwing and Robin defend squatters from Brutale and Executioner until the whole slums are suddenly set on fire. The villains are immediately accused of starting the fire, but they were just as surprised as the heroes were. The real culprit is the new villain Heartless.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dick's narration utters "Oh, no." when Blockbuster hits him so hard he loses his mask.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • Dick gets pickpocketed by a couple of street kids. When he asked Barbara not to tell anyone about this, she reveals that she spread the whole news to the Bat Family's group chat. Dick himself lampshades that they are probably not going to let up on reminding him of that little mishap.
    • A team-up between Nightwing and The Flash leads to an encounter with KGBeast. Turns out that as mad as Dick is over the attempted assassination and the "Ric Grayson" era, Wally may be even more pissed about it - and it’s implied that the other Titans feel the same way.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The 2022 Annual reveals Heartless actually first appeared way back in the flashback opening of Nightwing #78. He was one of the bullies attacking the kid who the then-teen Dick and Barbara intervened to protect.
  • The Oner: The series somehow manages to make this possible within the comics medium with Issue #87, which is drawn from start to finish as one very long continuous image.
  • Painting the Medium: As he leaves Blockbuster to the mercy of an angry mob, Electrocutioner flips him the bird while shouting obscenities. The speech balloons, along with is middle fingers, are covered by a parody of the Comics Code Authority seal.
  • Papa Wolf: Part of The Cavalry mentioned above is a very pissed off looking Batman.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: While Nightwing #100 is a legitimate celebratory issue, it's also very much Titans #0, serving to set up Taylor and Nicola Scott's upcoming Dawn of DC relaunch.
  • Precious Puppy: Nightwing saves a puppy. He doesn't mean to keep it, but Barbara knows him better than that:
    Barbara: Sure, you're so well-known for turning your back on innocent creatures in need. The second she came through that window, this became her forever home. Just accept you have a fur baby now, Dick Grayson.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When everyone started to be captured, Blockbuster flips out and starts blasting Haven to draw out Nightwing and force him to confront him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When Brutale and Electrocutioner find out that Blockbuster owned Bludhaven Private Prison, reputed to be one of the worst prisons in the country, they opt to leave a defeated Blockbuster high and dry.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Alfred. Due to the Wayne Industries stocks he received and a lot of well-made investments, Alfred was actually a billionaire himself. Dick asks the obvious question:
    Dick: Why would a billionaire make me sandwiches and do my washing?
    Barbara: For the same reason a billionaire would fight crime in Gotham. It's what he wanted to do.
  • Serial Killer: Heartless has a wall lined with rows upon rows of his bottled heart "trophies", indicating he's been at it for a while now, with a sizable body count.
  • Signature Style: As with many of Taylor's works, this book focuses on positive familial and romantic relationships, quippy dialogue, and a cute adopted animal.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Averted as of issue #100 - the Titans decide to base the new Titans Tower in Bludhaven.
  • Take That!:
    • Tom Taylor includes a not-so-subtle jab at the "Ric Grayson" era, where Dick had lost his memories and worked as a cab driver:
    Nightwing: I'm not letting you shoot a puppy in the head—in my experience, the next thing you know, the dog will have lost its memory and be driving a cab. And with or without amnesia, a dog shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car.
    • In issue #95, Batwoman brings up her attempt to marry Maggie Sawyer. When Dick asks why they didn't, she says it was because of "stubbornness, stupidity and fear", a jab at the DiDio-era mandating that heroes couldn't be happy.
  • Take Up My Sword: In issue #100, with the Justice League disbanded after the events of Dark Crisis, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman ask Dick to help protect the world while they decide how to adjust the League. In turn, Dick brings the Titans to Bludhaven to help protect the recovery he's brought about it.
  • They Do: Dick and Barbara get back together again after sharing a kiss before Dick's speech to the city of Blüdhaven.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: This is Dick's analysis of Heartless' fighting style. He's been enhanced beyond a normal human, but has no technique, which is how Nightwing balances the odds.
  • Wealthy Philanthropist: What does Dick ultimately decide to do with the vast wealth he inherited from Alfred? Give it all away to the city of Bludhaven by establishing the Alfred Pennyworth Foundation: A self-sustaining philanthropic organization dedicated to eradicating poverty and homelessness in the city by tackling big-ticket issues such as public and affordable housing, access to employment, prisoner rehabilitation, public transportation, free renewable energy, health care, and guaranteed living wages.
  • Wham Shot: Issue #97 ends with Ric Grayson suddenly showing up?!