DCAU #239: You Can't Go Home Again

IN THIS ONE... Dick Grayson returns to Gotham as Nightwing.

CREDITS: Written by Hillary J. Bader; art by Bo Hampton and Terry Beatty.

REVIEW: It's the origin of Nightwing's flying/gliding ability as we push against the 3-year-mark since Dick left Gotham, a story that flows right out of issue 3, and once again connects to "Sins of the Father", although only for very few pages this time. Seeking this ability, he stumbles on Ra's al Ghul's goons whose agenda is to find the same flying monks who could teach him, something that draws him back into the fold.

The odd thing is, there is no technique to the flying thing, it's just an adaptation of wingsuit gliding, an extreme sport available today (but just at the prototype stage when the series used it). Dick is gifted the suit when he agrees to help the monks, whose representative is a hooded superhero type, recover a stolen idol. This all lacks focus. What's the idol got to do with anything? Why do Tibetan monks wear spandex suits and masks? Why do they trust Dick so easily?

What's really missing is a connection between the sherpa helping Dick up the mountain and the monks. You keep expecting it. That his gauge of Dick's character will be the impetus for the monks embracing Dick, but if it has any bearing, it's not made explicit (or even implicit). The mountain locale is well used to show Dick's fearlessness, but as soon as the hooded figure shows up, the Tibetan flavor is lost.
REREADABILITY: Medium - I don't begrudge Tibet its superheroes, but it's an element too far in what is otherwise a strong Dick Grayson story.

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