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Dick Grayson Returns as Nightwing, New ‘Batwing’ and ‘Red Hood and the Outlaws’ Series [Updated]

The rollout of the new slate of Batman-related books in September continues, with the announcement at IGN of three new ongoing series: Nightwing, featuring Dick Grayson in the title role once again, Batwing, “the first… in-continuity black character wearing the Batman costume,” and Red Hood and the Outlaws, about a team lead by Red Hood (a.k.a. Jason Todd) and featuring “Green Arrow’s rejected sidekick Arsenal and Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war.” Note: Arsenal appears to have two healthy arms in the cover art, leaving us wondering whether the spectacular cat corpse adventures of Rise of Arsenal have fallen into the chasm of non-canon.

Nightwing will be scripted by Kyle Higgins with art by Eddy Barrows, Batwing will be scripted by Judd Winick with art by Ben Oliver, and Red Hood and the Outlaws will be scripted by Scott Lobdell with art by DC newcomer Kenneth Rocaforte.Batwing, a.k.a. David Zavimbi — previously announced on ComicsAlliance — is one of the satellite batmen created by the Batman Inc. franchise, and as mentioned is both the first black character to step into the Batman role and the first Batman to be based in Africa. The latter was the source of some controversy for critics who felt “Batman of Africa” treated all the countries of the continent as a monolithic entity, although it remains unclear Zavimbi is a Batman of Africa or the Batman of Africa.

For fans of Grant Morrison’s run on the Batman books, however, the return of Dick Grayson as Nightwing may be the biggest revelation. Namely, it means the former Robin will soon step back from the role of Batman, which he had assumed after the apparent “death” of Bruce Wayne during Final Crisis. Although Wayne recently returned to don the cowl once more, he and Grayson had decided to share the Batman identity simultaneously, a move that coincided with the announcement of a Batman franchise intended to spread the crime-fighting identity across the globe.

According to The Source:

After a tenure as the Batman of Gotham, Dick Grayson resumes his mantle as Nightwing! As Dick embraces his identity, Haley’s Circus, the big top where he once performed with his family, returns to Gotham – bringing with it a history of murder, mystery and superhuman evil. Nightwing must confront friends and enemies from his past as he searches for the source of an even greater evil.

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