Wolfman, Marv, Jamal Igle, and Jon Bosco. Nightwing: The Lost Year. 2008.

Nightwing is injured and left in a coma after the Crisis. When he wakes up, a year has gone by. Barbara Gordon is there when Dick wakes up and is tasked with being his physical therapist. But their time together proves ultimately too painful for both of them, and Dick leaves after his recovery. Back on the streets of Gotham, Nightwing stops a kidnapping attempt on someone he used to know. Liu visits Dick at his work, wanting to see him after being released from prison. Dick already knows he can’t trust her, but especially after she tells him she’s working for “Metal” Eddie Hwang, the leader of a gang Dick used to run with. Liu swears he’s clean now, but Dick isn’t so sure. For one, it can’t be a coincidence that Liu comes to see Dick Grayson the night after Nightwing rescues her. And Vigilante has shown up, swearing revenge on the seemingly reformed Eddie. What’s the connection? What does Liu want? Why does Dick want to trust her even though he knows he can’t?

This one is smack in the middle of the arc, so it was hard to get my bearings at first. I adored how elements of Barbara and Dick’s relationship were recounted in the beginning. They’re just so cute! Their first date was incredibly funny. Get ready for the feels though after that.

This is a good example of the inner struggle a hero faces. Dick wants to see the good in Liu, even though she’s hurt him before. He knows he can’t trust her, but wants to give her the benefit of the doubt anyway, even if it means he has to get hurt again. I suppose much of a superhero’s fights are internal more than external. This was definitely an internal book. I enjoyed it, but probably wouldn’t pick it up again. The rest of the book after Dick and Babs just wasn’t interesting to me??? Idk if that speaks to how much I love those two or how the book actually was.

– Kathleen