No longer a super secret spy, Nightwing is back in business, but still technically in the hands of the Court of Owls (or is it Parliament of Owls?). If the Nightwing: Rebirth #1 was any indication, Nightwing has a more complicated life than ever, but is it good?
Nightwing #1 (DC Comics)
So what’s this book about? The official DC synposis reads:
Batman taught Nightwing everything he knows—but what if everything he taught him is wrong? When Dick is stuck with a new mentor who challenges everything Batman taught him, Nightwing has to shatter his concept of justice in order to fight for what he knows is right. Writer Tim Seeley (GRAYSON, BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL) launches Nightwing onto a new quest alongside rising talent Javier Fernandez (RED HOOD/ARSENAL).
Why does this book matter?
Tim Seeley proves with the Rebirth issue that he has a good handle on the character’s voice and the idea of the character growing up a bit more now that Batman is a bit more out of the picture. He’s his own man and with artist Javier Fernandez he’s visually in good hands too.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Fight, fight, fight! Is it just me or is Damian’s leg always turned like that when he kicks?
First of all, the art (pencils by Javier Fernandez and colors by Chris Sotomayor) is very good. It seems this series is going to open (or near the opening anyway) with great perspective shots of Nightwing soaring over an expanse, which it does in this issue as well; it’s a great way to remind us Nightwing was a tightrope artist in the circus and it’s an apt metaphor for the tightrope he’s walking between the Court of Owls and the Bat-Family, in his efforts to save anyone and everyone. There’s also a creepy opening involving a cemetery and possibly some supernatural things, a great fight sequence between Damian and Batman, and a touching moment between Batgirl and Nightwing.
Sounds like a lot right? Well it kind of is and this issue feels dense with content. There’s no decompression here from start to finish. Nightwing interacts with a slew of characters, meets a new dangerous one, and takes on multiple criminals in this single issue. Seeley also writes well written dialogue with a good balance of action and talking so as to not slow the pace down. He also opens and closes the issue with tight captions that get inside Nightwing’s head and remind us why this character is unique from the rest.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m not 100% sure what the deal is with Nightwing and the Owls. I guess he’s going to be globetrotting again, although judging from this and the Rebirth issue it appears the series is setting up shop in Gotham more than anything. It’s hard to get a bead on how Nightwing is going to stop them and that’s partly due to the script skimming over that bit.
You’ve got the wrong place, this isn’t The Matrix Revolutions…
Is It Good?
As first issues go, this has got it all: action, a reminder of all that is weighing on the title character, and plenty of intrigue.