Before there was John Blake, there was Dick Grayson. In the new 52, Dick Grayson returns as Nightwing, which is currently being written by Kyle Higgins. Before this very moment, Kyle kept all his dark secrets to himself. For the first time ever, he tells us the mistakes he made in the New 52, whether or not he could beat Scott Snyder in a Writers Deathmatch and his opinion on a Nightwing vs Winter Soldier fight. By the way, go buy Nightwing #12 at your local comic shop or Kyle Higgins will find you........
What are three facts that the average fanboy does not know about Kyle Higgins?
1. I could eat pizza for every meal.
2. I’m a diehard Chicago Bears and Bulls fan.
3. Before writing comics I was a sound designer.
Let’s say that you own a time machine. What changes would you make in Deathstroke and Nightwing?
Oh, Deathstroke is easy—I would have shown what was in the briefcase at the end of issue 1. In hindsight, we strung out the reveal too long. In doing so, it detracted from the emotional core of the book. It really hurt us (and readers) in that we didn’t really articulate what was driving Slade for the first three issues.
Nightwing is a bit trickier to nail down. There’s a lot that worked… and other things that, depending on your taste, didn’t. Scott (Snyder) and I needed to hit the same Court of Owls twist at the same time (issue 7), and as a result, I think the Raymond/Saiko mystery got dragged out too long. With that in mind, the biggest thing I would change is keeping the book in Gotham rather than having the circus drag Dick out onto the road. I would also rework Raymond/Saiko, using him as a shadowy character in the background (more the Winter Soldier approach) rather than kicking things off with him as the primary villain and A-plot. I’d also reveal his identity sooner, in order to spend more time developing what happened to him.
Having said all that, I’m incredibly proud of the work we did on both books!
When writing previously created characters, have you noticed weaknesses that hindered your storytelling and how did you adapt?
Actually, I think one of my greatest strengths as a writer is getting to the core of a character. Who they are… what they want… etc. In that way, it’s been a lot of fun. And typically, if there’s a “weakness” to a character, I like to tackle it head on.
Is Bludhaven still in a state of emergency? Why didn’t you have Nightwing return to Bludhaven?
I have no idea what’s going on with Bludhaven, honestly. As it’s not a place we’re going to be exploring, I haven’t really given it much thought. As for why we didn’t have Nightwing return there, the point of the New 52 was to try and start fresh. Of course, I realize that in a lot of ways my book is a walking contradiction of that, as Dick Grayson is built on the idea of change and continuity… but there was definitely a feeling amongst us all that Bludhaven had run its course and there were more interesting avenues to explore going forward.
Depends on which book I’m writing J
Writers Deathmatch: Kyle Higgins vs. his mortal enemy, Scott Snyder. Who wins and why?
What are we writing? Haikus? Tell me its Haikus. Just say the word and I’ll Joe Namath guarantee this sucker.
Whenever I see your name, two titles follow: comic book writer and film director. What can you tell us about the life you lead as a film maker?
That it hasn’t moved nearly as fast as my life as a comic book writer J
Filmmaking is my passion—it’s what I’ve wanted to do since I was seven years old, when I was making home movies with my Dad and sister. It’s why I went to film school, why I spent years developing skills in everything from cinematography to VFX and sound design… and, most importantly, why I started writing. It’s funny—thinking back to some of the earliest writing classes I took, I always wrote so I would have material to direct. It seemed simpler to me that way—I didn’t have to rely on anyone else. And when I figured out, freshman year of college, that I had an ear for dialogue… well, the rest started taking care of itself.
Fast forward nine years and I wouldn’t trade what I’m doing now for the world. I honestly can’t see a time, going forward, where I’m not writing comics. I love the medium and the art form… I love the possibilities. And I love superheroes. I’m going to start venturing out into more creator-owned arenas in the coming months, and with any luck I’ll be shooting my first feature at some point here, but I’ll always keep a foot in the superhero world.