Dick Grayson is flying high once again, on both sides of the page.
After a frankly unimpressive ending for the Grayson series due to the entire original creative team’s absence, I had some doubt as to how Dick Grayson would fair after Rebirth. Tom King is working on Batman, with Mikel Janin to join him at some point, which leaves only 1/3 third of the trio to carry Dick onward. I’m pleased to say, Tim Seely more than meets the challenge as Nightwing continues the tone and fun of Grayson.
As Dick cuts off the last of his ties to Spyral, and tentatively reconnects with the Bat-family, we see that the past series wasn’t just a phase or a gimmick but actually a part of Dick’s life. It influenced him and in turn he influenced his previous supporting cast. Although it feels familiar to an issue and annual of Grayson, it’s still effective at showing a softer, more playful side to superheroes that is becoming more rare these days. This time though, it plays into the theme of why Nightwing works, it’s a character who’s always reinventing and growing himself.
On art, Yanick Paquette turns in some excellent pages for storytelling such as an aerial view of Dick fighting clown henchmen midair, Bruce and Dick chatting in the batcave, or him and Midnighter fighting a weird Sasquatch monster. Without mimicking Janin’s style itself, Paquette seems to continue the visual panache that Janin injected Grayson with. It works well, as Paquette has always been a strong storyteller and designer. Seeing his angular, almost blocky figures again reminds me fondly of past DC adventures and his past work. Like Dustin Nguyen or Doug Manke, Paquette is always a welcome presence in the bat-titles. I’m hopeful this won’t be the last time we see his interior artwork for Nightwing.
As I said, the plot feels familiar to a few past stories but in a good way. If I had one minor gripe it would be Barbara Gordon’s absence as Dick reconnects with his old friends. I’m not sure what her current romantic prospects are, but it would’ve been nice to see her reaction to Dick’s homecoming. We did see Helena’s, which has its own promising attributes for the future. I really don’t have many negatives for this issue, it was satisfyingly solid and fun which puts it ahead of other Rebirth books. I’m glad to say Dick Grayson/Nightwing will be remaining on my pull-list for the foreseeable months.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent