Strange How the Night Moves: Tomasi talks "Nightwing"

Tue, October 16th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

"Nightwing" #140, beginning Peter Tomasi's run, on sale in January, 2008
What new "Nightwing" writer Peter Tomasi likes best about his titular superhero is that he while he's definitely a hero, he ain't so super. "Nightwing is a renaissance man," Tomasi told CBR News. "He's a great fighter, a great tactician, a great detective, a weapons expert, and a natural born leader. And best of all, he's 100% human with frailties and strengths that can be put to the test at every opportunity."

Tomasi, a former editor with DC Comics before signing an exclusive writing deal with the publisher in April, takes the reigns of "Nightwing" starting with #140 in January as part of a major Batman family shuffle that sees him replacing Marv Wolfman on "Nightwing," Wolfman launching a new "Vigilante" spin-off series and Chuck Dixon returning to "Robin" after a six-year hiatus. "Nightwing" itself will be drawn by Rags Morales and Michael Bair, the artists behind the hit, "Identity Crisis."

Despite the shakeup, and perhaps even because of it, Tomasi doesn't foresee any massive crossovers with the Bat books at the dawn of 2008. "Actually, I've finished the scripts for #140-142 and there are no crossovers rearing their heads at this juncture. I really want to try and steer clear of any, let's say foreign entanglements for awhile, and just tell a kick-ass "Nightwing" story," said Tomasi.

However, Tomasi did offer that since Nightwing is such a major player in DCU, that fact in itself would inevitably lead to some fellow do-gooders stopping by from time to time. "I want readers to feel that Nightwing is part of the tapestry of the DCU," explained Tomasi. "I won't be shoehorning guests in just for guests' sake. I'm putting them in because I feel they either serve the story or more importantly to me, the character of Dick Grayson."

According to Tomasi, Grayson, who long-served alongside the Dark Knight as the original Robin, has certainly held his own since going solo as Nightwing, "Dick Grayson, in my mind, is at the top of the food chain," explained Tomasi. "As one of many writers lucky enough to script his ongoing adventures, I'm simply approaching him like he's the best at what he does. He's not a second fiddle, he's not a sidekick, he's the hero of our story and he's going to have a bumpy ride, but make no mistake about it he is respected by everyone in the DCU."

Not that serving as a protg under the world's greatest detective should ever be considered a misspent youth. "Having been Robin at such an earlier age informs Dick Grayson in every aspect of his life, and I think in a good way," explained Tomasi. "It was all he knew after his parents died, and being a kid he immediately rolled with the punches so to speak and got on with his life thanks to Bruce and Alfred.

"Honestly, I simply think he's a great character that has so much dramatic and action potential that I'm trying to stop myself from cramming so much stuff into each issue," Tomasi continued. "I've mentioned before, that one of the best things about Nightwing is that he can be transposed on so many different genres. There's no limit."

Tomasi, who's previously scripted "Black Adam: The Dark Age," admits in terms of "sales and such," Nightwing doesn't get the attention he deserves, but he says, "I hope Rags, Bair and I can rectify that."

The new creative will be picking up with Nightwing at a turning point in his life. "Not some massive 'Oh, my God' kind of turning point, but just a simple right turn in a new direction," revealed Tomasi.

And while there is no end date set for his run, Tomasi doesn't want to overstay his welcome either. "I guess I'll stay as long as they have me or until I run out of gas," said Tomasi. "I most definitely don't want to stay on a title if I don't have anything left to say. Get while the getting's good is a good way to go about this business. I think it's always wise to leave a book the second you're not excited about it anymore."

Something that will keep the writer excited is the fact that "Nightwing" is staged in his hometown, the Big Apple. "Being a native New Yorker and a bit of a New York historical nut, it's going to be a lot easier to base Nightwing in a city I know and love so well," said Tomasi. "I want the city to be a supporting character in a way, and Rags is taking my approach to the city to heart and doing some great work in bringing areas of the city that haven't been really utilized on the printed page and screen."

Tomasi, who also begins his run as the new writer on "Green Lantern Corps" in November while working on a creator-owned project with artist Peter Snejbjerg, says he is eager to try his hand at as many of DC's heavyweights as possible. "From Batman and Superman, to Sgt. Rock and the Spectre," said Tomasi. "There's plenty in the DCU library to keep me busy for awhile."

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