ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Comics & Graphic Novels

Comic Book Review: "Nightwing #9: The Gray Son"

Updated on September 14, 2012
Nightwing #9
Nightwing #9 | Source

Richard Grayson’s battle against his past and the Court of Owls continues in Nightwing issue 9, “Night of The Owls: The Gray Son”. Written by Kyle Higgins with art by Eddy Barrows and Andres Guinaldo, this story reveals the history and demise of Williams Cobb’s hope and dreams and his descent into becoming the most feared assassin in Gotham City. This chapter of the "Night Of The Owls” story brings more revelations to Richard “Nightwing” Grayson about his family’s past and the how his entire life was predestined a century before he was even born.

“The Gray Son” begins in Gotham City during the early part of the 20th Century. William Cobb is talking to Burton Crowne, his sweetheart Amelia’s father. He tells William that Gotham City is like the game of chess. It has two sides; there is no middle. It is Black and White. William may have pulled himself out of the slums but he is still living in filth. The two sides are always separate and can never mix, and William can’t change that. He is not good enough for Burton Crowne’s precious daughter; it doesn’t matter that they are in love.

In present day Gotham, during the Night Of The Owls, at 8:22 p.m. in City Hall, Nightwing kneels injured by knife wounds. His great-grandfather, the resurrected Talon, William Cobb, stands over him. Richard asks Mayor Hady and Deputy Mayor Kavanaugh if the building has a panic room. It is on the 4th floor. He tells them to get to it. He rushes Cobb and they both crash through the window. They crash land hard on the street. Cobb’s bones are broken, but they regenerate. He tells Richard to impress him. He calls his great-grandson a betrayer to the family heritage.

Cobb explains that Burton Crowne’s disapproval kept Amelia and William from marriage; He wouldn’t allow it. When Amelia and William found out that she was pregnant, she had to choose either William or her rich family. William recalls that it really wasn’t a choice: Her father arranged for her to marry a distant relative, to hide the true nature of her pregnancy. Cobb started as nothing and to those who mattered, he would always be nothing. The child would be raised as a Crowne.

He tells Richard that he is the best Talon, that’s why the Court of Owls woke him first. He says that Batman and Nightwing are weak. Nightwing is a just pathetic imitation of a naïve man.

Richards tries to get away, so he can recover from his injuries, but he passes out. Cobb grabs him and drags him down into the subway. He tells him that he has to understand: to truly choose to become something, you must first understand what you could have become.

In the flashback, William Cobb, dejected, is talking to Nathaniel, who run Haly’s Circus. Nate asks Will if he really loved Amelia. Cobb replies that it doesn’t matter now. Nate says there’s a way for him to really matter in a place like Gotham City.

Cobb chooses to be turned into a Talon. Drugged and conditioned; he was initiated in the ranks. The Court of Owls is the middle of the two sides of Gotham; they are in between the black and white, they are the gray.

As a Talon, he was making a real difference in the city; killing those the Court deemed necessary and it was liberating. He finally found his true place in the world; he was shaping the future. But the Court would need more from him after he’s gone. So he sneaks into the Crowne home and kidnaps his infant son. He gives him to Nathaniel and tells him to raise him in secret at the Haly’s Circus; his “Gray Son of Gotham”. He will be his legacy for the Court of Owls.

Cobb tells Richard that that is how he betrayed his heritage. He wasn’t just chosen; he was bred to serve the Court. Unless Richard embraces his true destiny as a Talon, he will only ever be a weak fake; an imitation Wayne. Gotham City never changes, the Court of Owls is the only protection and law the city truly has; Batman and his kin are worthless.

Nightwing tells Cobb that the city has changed. For example; as the city grew, the engineers expanded the tunnels for the subway train. The subway system began using liquid nitrogen to insult the cables. Talons don’t like the cold and that why he lured Cobb into bringing him down into the tunnel. He cuts the hanging cables and sprays Cobb will coolant. Cobb tells him to embrace his destiny as he freezes. Richard says that what he embraces is, “that destiny doesn’t exist”.

Nightwing Poll

Do you like the new direction Nightwing's origins have taken?

See results

As the "Night Of The Owls” begins to conclude, Nightwing learns more and more about The Court of Owls, his great-grandfather and the original plan for Richard’s life. Not only is his great-grandfather, William Cobb, an undead assassin for a shadowy organization, but he created a whole legacy of offspring to follow in his footsteps: going so far as to name his children “Grayson” in honor of the Court’s gray/middle position in Gotham society. This issue simply oozes Star Wars: It is very Anakin Skywalker vs. Luke Skywalker Revenge Of The Sith / The Empire Strike Back. Like Vader, Cobb turns to the “Gray-side” out of love (or lack of) and chooses to embrace a violent, hard-edged view of life. Like Luke, Richard is removed from the same path of his predecessor and raised in a more positive light. Nightwing’s dynamic world view helps him outsmart Talon’s rigid world view. Richard knows that choice and destiny are decisions someone makes; they’re not made for them. That’s the wisdom of Batman; nothing is inevitable, there’s always a choice. That’s why Batman is needed. He’s not the useless entity that the Court of Owls believes he is; and neither is Nightwing. This story, along with the entire Nightwing series, recreates Richard Grayson’s story and his view of the past and world around him. The road he walks is his own; nothing and no one will take that independence from him.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)