The latest issue of "

Nightwing

" shows why he may be the noblest "Knight" of all.

Nightwing is both the best- and least-known of the "Bat-Family." While much of the world is familiar with the character of Dick Grayson, they know him mainly as Batman's sidekick Robin and not the vigilante Nightwing, which is the name he has gone by in the comics for the past two decades.

What is most interesting about the character is that while he has definitely matured past the point of being Robin, he is nowhere near as dark as Batman. In short, he has the experience and ability without nearly the amount of angst.

This is quite fertile ground for ideas. But ever since Chuck Dixon stopped writing the character, the stories have ranged from mediocre (exemplified by Devin Grayson's run) to flat-out terrible (Bruce Jones' recent arc).

It is left to writer Fabian Nicieza, in the current issue No. 139, to remind us how cool, formidable and important the character is. This issue alone makes so-so "The Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul" crossover worthwhile, which is a little tough to do. Let's see . . . one of Batman's arch-enemies, famous for rising from the dead again and again . . . rises from the dead? Wow. Awesome.

But in this issue he not only goes toe-to-toe with his successor, Tim Drake, the third Robin, but also there are real stakes involved. Ra's has tempted Drake to take a dip and use the Lazarus Pit to bring all the people he has loved and lost recently back to life.

Let's be clear. No character in comics has lost nearly as many loved ones as Tim Drake, who has lost his dad, girlfriend and two best friends in the past two years. Combine that with other anger and confusion Grayson is able to deduce, and he truly fears Robin may be going over to the dark side.

At one point Drake exclaims, "In a world where people cheat death every other day . . . then why can't my dad?"

It is at this point that Nightwing decides he has to let Robin have the freedom to make the choice of using the Lazarus Pit himself, realizing that if he stops him it means he didn't trust him and that if he goes through with it he shouldn't have trusted him. That he is willing to let a virtual brother make such a momentous decision on his own despite no guarantee of a happy ending speaks volumes about the character.

Combine that with the intelligence, toughness, fighting ability and nobility all on display here, and it is clear that Nightwing is a character taking flight once again.

'Lost Boys' bouncing back

Shocktillyoudrop.com has reported that screenwriter Hans Rodionoff is scripting a four-issue "Lost Boys" limited series starring the Frog Brothers, (aka Cory Feldman and Jamison Newlander), who worked at their parents' comic shop by day and fought vampires at night.

The untitled series will be published by DC's Wildstorm imprint and will aim to fill in the gaps between "The Lost Boys" and the soon-to-be-released, direct-to-DVD "Lost Boys 2" film, the latter also written by Rodionoff.

The series "will bridge the movie together" Rodionoff said. "[We will see] what Edgar and Alan Frog were doing between the first movie and the second one. We'll get to play with [Corey] Haim's character a little bit." *