Nightwing: The Series was a Youtube series that was originally uploaded in 2014. If you do watch it, i will warn you before i start, it’s awesome that fans can make something this good – but don’t expect it to be The CW standard as you are setting unfair standards for hardworking fans. I will also warn you there are potential spoilers in this article but i will try to not give the plot away too much.
The first episode begins with Deathstroke turning up at an event and killing everybody. Now, Manu Bennett for me has already set the standards of Deathstroke and as much as I wanted to give Michael Tylo a chance, he’s just not Manu Bennett. However, he does a decent job of Deathstroke in the scenes with his mask on (which is the majority of the Deathstroke scenes.)
We see the beginning of Nightwing as a long ranger in this series, and Grayson is in fine form when he deals with his first bad guy. For me, Danny Shepherd does a stellar job as Nightwing and I would definitely suggest that with a ‘CW’ budget, he could easily set the standards of Nightwing in the Arrowverse. He’s a perfect casting for me and portrays Nightwing just as I would imagine him.
In the second episode we see the past, where Dick Grayson hangs up his shoes as Robin and becomes Nightwing. This includes our first sighting of Barbara Gordon (Lenna Karacostas), Bruce Wayne (Scott Kinworthy) and Jason Todd (Noel Schefflin). This shows the beginning of Nightwing, and the end of Robin. Again Danny does a stella job as Nightwing, and Scott is by no means the worst Bruce Wayne i’ve ever seen (he’s better than George Clooney and Val Kilmer at least) and does look how you might imagine Bruce to look.
We don’t see much of Jason Todd in the episodes compared to the other characters so at this point I wouldn’t want to judge him too much. However, Lenna is great as Barbara Gordon and again has just the look you imagine Barbara to have.
The next few episodes are where the story really gets going and we also get a taste of Joker from episode two through bit appearances in onward episodes too. I’m not sure if it’s on purpose but there is a feel that, Jake Taylor wanted to bring a bit of a Jack Nicholson/Heath Ledger crossbetween to his Joker and again is another actor in this fan series that does a great job.
The production values for a fan series are superb. Throughout most of the episodes you wouldn’t tell that this was not a TV production and for that you have to give deserved props to the crew that produced it. However, at 8-11 minute episodes per episode, it does feel hard to get into. For me, it might have been better to release it as one 60 minute long one-off show, which could have given a better ability to get hooked by the series.
It also felt that things were a little rushed at times, but with limited funds, time and resources you can’t blame the team for that. It’s a fan made youtube series and that’s what you get.
I would be very excited to see this series produced by The CW, but with the same actors and actresses, however with Manu Bennett as Deathstroke. I think it’s a powerful series and this Nightwing would slot right in to the Arrowverse with much ease.
My suggestion would be that you watch this yourself and see just how well the whole team have done in producing a well polished series with limited funds and with such short episodes.
You can check out the whole series as well as many other DC related videos on Ismahawk’s youtube Channel here.