By Tim Seeley and Yanick Paquette
If there was ever a time to wonder about the where the name Nightwing comes from and what it means, this would be it. Nightwing Rebirth #1 is a quiet welcome home for Dick Grayson. The story covers the three days prior to his arrival back in Gotham. This story is soundly written by Seeley and masterfully drawn by Paquette. There are several beautiful splash pages throughout the book that are simply stunning.
Seeley uses this issue to tie up any loose ends that Grayson may have left behind. He also reintroduces us to where the name Nightwing comes from while tying the tenants of the character to Dick’s new mission. With the Owls on the rise once again Dick has been presented with a challenge that he is long overdue confronting. The Owls have been extremely long played through line that each story run involving Dick Grayson has touched upon since their creation in the opening of Scott Snyder’s Batman run. Recently Damian faked joining the Owls to gain the upper hand during a battle and even more recently Dick decided that he would infiltrate the organisation and dismantle them from the inside when he could. This was a solid issue that pulled on a couple of heart-strings when Bruce and Dick talk. It has Bruce being a reserved father figure that knows he is the one that sent his son away, but never meant for him to be gone for so long. Dick is happy to be home and able to resume his secret identity and put a costume back on.
Seeley seems to have made one of the centering points of the issue about identity and what it means to be able to identify comfortably with who you are and the person that you want to be. That really speaks to the character of Dick Grayson who has filled so many roles. He started as Robin the Boy Wonder and eventually he took off the masks all together and was just Dick Grayson: Agent of Spyral. There has been a longing by both Dick and some fans for him to return to the tights and now that Spyral has undergone some drastic regime changes, and Helena is off with the Birds of Prey, there is no better time for Dick to reconnect with his Bat Family in Gotham.
Paquette brings simple and elegant style to every page with clean lines and clear emotions. There is no trouble understanding how a character feels when you see their expressions and body language. Paquette really gets to show a wider range of characters in this issue from The Owls to a strange one-horned monster. We also get to see his take on the new Batman suit, Midnighter and the Nightwing costume. As mentioned before, there are several splash pages all of them stunningly presented and ready to be framed.
While Dicks adventures in the pages of Grayson where a fun romp they also managed to be extremely moving at times. That’s why it’s exciting to have the talent that just explored new ground for the character move with him into his next adventures. Having the opportunity to develop a character across multiple titles is a rare opportunity and if this Rebirth issue is any indication of where the series is going to go, there is no doubt that the funny and enjoyable stories to come will further the character and pleasantly surprised any new reader.