“I grew up in a circus. Before I learned anything, I learned how to put on a show.”
From the ashes of Grayson comes Nightwing, born anew thanks to writer Tim Seeley and his partner-in-crime Javier Fernandez. This issue continues the success of the recent Rebirth issue, utilizing humor and action to the utmost on every page. New series “villain” Raptor makes an explosive debut, joining the Parliament of Owls for this first arc entitled, “Better Than Batman.” Though there are many minor characters and cameos in this issue Dick remains the star of the show. From his brash and rugged acrobatics to his quick wit, Nightwing is as much of a spectacle as he’s ever been. While the art has some issues here and there, once again reflecting the Rebirth issue, Dick is off to a great start taking leaps and bounds from Gotham’s skyscrapers in <i>Nightwing #1.
Grayson was such a success due to the immense talent in Tim Seeley and Tom King. While their partnership has ended it’s no surprise they’re now individually helming two of DC’s biggest titles. Though their writing skills were absent from the final Grayson issues they did well to build toward the new beginning that is Nightwing. The job is now left to Seeley to finish what they started.
The plot thickens as the story that began in Grayson and continued into Robin War starts to form into a tangled web that both the Parliament of Owls and Dick seem to have caught themselves in. Though he’s in costume, Dick is still playing the spy game. Taking a brilliantly conspicuous approach to working for the Parliament of Owls, Nightwing completes their missions while finding a way to commit a good deed or two. Like the series that preceded it, the pages of Nightwing are some of the best on comic shelves right now.
Nightwing’s debut is just as striking visually as it is comically. The wonderful work by artist Javier Fernandez and colorist Chris Sotomayor serves up both impressive action as well as beautiful character designs. The aforementioned Parliament, and new character Raptor, are especially eye-catching. Unfortunately, there are numerous facial expressions that just don’t quite live up to the rest of the issue. Where one panel will have a typically handsome Dick Grayson, another may feature a crooked smile or a mismatched set of eyebrows. A minor detail, but one that becomes apparent when compared to the work and detail featured in the rest of the issue.
There’s a scene in this issue where Nightwing questions Batman about the next step in his overall plan. One might wonder if this was Seeley himself asking his newly Batman’d cohort Tom King how best to continue their story. Batman’s answer is simple and relevant to both the character and the writer behind him: to trust themselves and their instincts. Tim Seeley has shown he can tell an amazing Dick Grayson story. So far, the pages of Nightwing are just as promising.
With a new look and a new status quo, Nightwing #1 soars into comic stands in another fantastic Rebirth debut. Though hampered by odd facial expressions, much like the previous issue, the success here is driven by a light-hearted tone and exciting storytelling. As a revamped suit and former title are brought to the forefront, so are the new yet recognizable “big bads”. The introduction of Raptor in this issue serves to heighten the tension while increasing the excitement for the stories yet to come. Thankfully, there are still several layers to peel in this new Parliament of Owls. While many hoped the Grayson series had continued, it’s good to see another old friend in Nightwing. Thanks to Rebirth, Tim Seeley is utilizing every aspect of Dick Grayson’s past to move him into the future.
- Fun and Lighthearted with good dialogue and characterization
- Great Villain and Tension
- Costume Design and Action Sequences
- Crooked or Odd Facial Expressions