Okay, point of warning here. Dick spends the entire volume in some of the most frightening clothing this side of the early 80’s. I breathed a sigh of relief when Alfred and Harold (Batman’s chief mechanic) presented him with a new Nightwing costume towards the end of the volume, because while Elvis was the king, that particular fashion statement wasn’t doing much for my confidence in Nightwing as a superhero.
That being said, this is an interesting book. It’s an intermediary novel between Nightwing as leader of the Teen Titans and Nightwing as independent superhero. It’s also an intermediary novel between the older style of comic writing which drew heavily on the use of the omniscient narrator and the cliff hanger phrase, and the more recent comic writing which tends to use dialogue and the running internal monologue to tell the story. There is also a fun story about Alfred at the beginning of the volume, which isn’t something that you get to see very often. I don’t think that its essential for a collection, and it isn’t really part of the new Nightwing series that Chuck Dixon is writing, but if you’re into the Bat-verse its worth reading, you just have to take a deep breath and ignore the polka-dotted shirts.
Nightwing: Ties that Bind
By Dennis O’Neil, Alan Grant
Art by Dick Giordano, Greg Land, Mike Sellers, Nick Napolitano
DC Comics 1997