Writer Kyle Higgins has quickly made a name for himself at DC Comics, starting in 2011 with the series Batman: Gates of Gotham co-written with then up and coming writer Scott Snyder, and has been the guiding hand behind Nightwing ever since the “New 52” relaunch of the character. Higgins is now taking Nightwing to places he’s never been before, including leaving Gotham to become Chicago’s resident superhero.
Nerdist: So Kyle, you’ve been on Nightwing for awhile now, ever since the launch of the “New 52” two years ago. Now, in the whole “New 52” Universe, Dick Grayson wasn’t Robin for as long as he was before, I believe roughly a bit more than a year in this new timeline. How do you approach writing Dick differently than you would have before, seeing as how he’s not been at the game for as long?
Kyle Higgins: The truth is, I don’t. I mean, the core of the character is the same. When I think of Nightwing — and I’ve been a fan of the character for so long that I have “my version” of Nightwing, who is really an amalgamation of the comics version and the animated series, different interpretations over the years that I combine into what is “my” version of Nightwing — a lot of what I base him on is also the stuff that Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel did with him during the mid to late ’90s. But with the New 52, what it does is make it easier for me to innovate. It makes it easier for me to go back in and refine the character, in the way that if you were to do a cartoon, or a version of him in some other medium, It would be like, “can I tell a clean version of the origin and the character that brings a lot of different versions together into one?”
And the other thing it does, as you see in the current arc, where you see Nightwing chasing down Tony Zucco (the man who killed Dick Grayson’s parents) again, the fact that it’s in the New 52 let me think outside the box as to what happened to Zucco in the past, and how the hunt for Zucco may have had an effect on Dick’s decision to leave the Robin mantle behind, which then leads to becoming his Nightwing persona. It’s something that we’ve talked about a little bit, and I’ve hinted at a little bit, but that to me is the biggest difference.
N: One thing you’ve focused on a bit during your run so far is Dick Grayson’s relationship to Barbara Gordon, AKA Batgirl, probably more than most writers had before the New 52. Is their relationship something you’d like to explore further?
KH: Well, we’ve actually got a Nightwing Annual coming up in October that is actually focused on Nightwing and Batgirl, and their dynamic as they work a case together and they deal with the craziness that is in both of their lives. Dick is coming off hunting down Tony Zucco, and he is back in Gotham, as he is coming home to collect his stuff as he sets to move out to Chicago. And I think that a lot of answers will be forthcoming in that Annual in regards to Nightwing and Batgirl.
N: Now Dick is dating Tony Zucco’s daughter now right? The daughter of the man who murdered his parents? That’s gotta be awkward.
KH: Well, he’s not actually dating her, but there is a flirtation, yes. They had a kiss in issue fifteen. She’ll show up soon in the book, so you’ll see where she’s at and what she’s doing, but all I can say is, “stay tuned.”