Tom Taylor's Nightwing plans include a dual-threat Barbara Gordon and solidifying A-list status for Dick

Page from Nightwing #78
(Image credit: DC)

Upcoming Nightwing writer Tom Taylor has big plans for his impending run on the title, which kicks off with March 16's Nightwing #78, introducing a new status quo in which Nightwing fights crime in Blüdhaven alongside Barbara Gordon, who will take on the identity not just of Batgirl, but Oracle as well.

(Image credit: DC)

With the new status quo following DC's 'Future State,' which replaces the publisher's entire line with stories that flash-forward to multiple possible futures, Newsarama connected briefly with Taylor to dig into his plans for Nightwing - including Dick and Barbara's new dog.

Newsarama: Tom, perhaps the biggest surprise in the announcement of you taking over Nightwing and DC's subsequent solicitation copy for March's issue #78 was the addition of Barbara Gordon as a main cast member.

In the Death Metal: Last Stories of the DC Universe,
Dicks and Babs get married— sort of—for the night. How does that inform their relationship in your series?

Tom Taylor: An alternate universe tale set in the future doesn't really inform our story, but everything Nightwing and Batgirl have been through over the years does.

I love the relationship they have. They're great partners and there have been some great stories for the two. We want to tell the next chapter of Babs and Dick's story.

(Image credit: DC)

Our series is informed by Gail Simone, Chuck Dixon, Scott McDaniel, Tim Seeley, Nicola Scott, Kyle Higgins, Devin Grayson, and so many more wonderful creators.

Nrama: Sticking with Batgirl, by Nightwing's side do you mean fighting crime on the streets and rooftops. Will Batgirl still be an active superhero?

Taylor: Yes. Batgirl will be an active hero. Actually, she'll be two active heroes. The challenges and threats facing Blüdhaven will need Nightwing, Batgirl, and Oracle.

Nrama: The solicit for your Nightwing debut states the story "takes Nightwing to the next stage of his evolution as a hero!" What can you tell readers about how Nightwing will evolve?

Taylor: Part of this is evolution, and part of this is just acknowledging that Nightwing belongs alongside DC's A-listers.

(Image credit: DC)

Dick Grayson has been a hero for eighty years. He's lived in the shadow of the bat for much of that time, but my favorite Dick stories are his own when he's the main man. When he's leading the Titans or the Justice League or just standing against it all as a lone vigilante.

Our series is definitely about Nightwing. It's about why he's such a good hero and pushing that further. In the first issue, an opportunity is going to come his way which will test him in a way he's never been tested.

What he chooses to do with this will demonstrate how different he is from Bruce Wayne. This isn't about Gotham. This is about Blüdhaven. This is about a lost, corrupted city ruled by fear and calling out for a hero. This is about a hero stepping out of the shadows to answer the call and to push back against the darkness as a positive, entertaining, compassionate force for good.

(Image credit: DC)

Nrama: Tom, DC asked us to keep this to three questions but we're defying them and asking four...

What's the breed of the puppy?

Taylor: Ha! Everyone weighed in on this one. In the end, we decided to just make her a mutt. But an orphan adopting a rescue pup was too perfect. We hope she'll stick around.

Keep up with all the Gotham goings-on DC has planned with our listing of all DC's upcoming Batman family comics through March 2021.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.