The death of the Justice League has shaken Earth’s heroes, and Nightwing is the only superhero they can turn to in their darkest hour…
This article contains spoilers for Dark Crisis #1.
The death of the Justice League has left Nightwing as Earth’s greatest superhero in DC Comics. The Justice League have fallen. Earth’s greatest superheroes – including the likes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman – fought for the fate of the entire multiverse. They lost, and Black Adam barely escaped with his life, bringing news of the tragedy back to Earth.
A new generation of superheroes must rise up to take their place. Jonathan Kent, heir to the mantle of Superman, believes he’s the one who must bring them together; but others are unwilling to become a team, rejecting the new Superman’s appeal. In truth, few A-list superheroes are willing to become part of a new Justice League right now; the grief is too raw, the sense of loss too crushing, and the world feels so very unsafe. What is striking, though, is that – hesitantly and unwillingly – one hero is stepping forward.
Joshua Williamson and Daniel Sampere’s Dark Crisis #1 shows that, with the Justice League gone, all eyes are turning to Nightwing. Dick Grayson was the first Robin, but over the years he’s become far more than a sidekick, even taking up the identity of Batman himself for a time. He served as a member of the Teen Titans, and he’s been a mentor to successive generations of that superhero team. Nightwing is the hero chosen by his colleagues to speak at the memorial for the Justice League, and he delivers the speech of his lifetime, aware the whole world is watching. “There will be hard days ahead of us,” Dick Grayson admits, “but I promise you if we work together, hope will fuel the light that pushes us through the darkness.“
In comics, Nightwing has always been an underrated leader, and in the past he took charge of the Justice League once before when they were killed; a recorded message left by Batman introduced him as the perfect leader. “He is the best,” Batman declared. “The only one I could have picked to lead you.” Over the years, Nightwing has led various incarnations of the Justice League to triumph, saving the entire universe on one occasion. And it’s telling that, in the absence of clear leaders, Earth’s surviving superheroes turn to Nightwing to express their sorrow.
Ironically, at this point Nightwing has no idea how important he really is. Like all the best leaders, he doesn’t seek to lead; he steps forward to help others process their grief simply because that is his nature, his character, and he’s yet to realize he is the one who must serve as a champion of the light in this dark time. The Justice League may be gone, but Nightwing can be their legacy, ensuring the now-flickering candle of light does not go out.
Dark Crisis #1 is available now from DC Comics.
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