The Spy Who Claimed Not To Be A Spy Anymore, But Still Was Anyway, Who Loved Me
Written By: Tim Seeley
Art By: Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 27, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Nightwing's back baby! Yeah, this might be a chant that you'd hear in the dead of night, in the middle of the woods from a super secret cult, who decided that reading Grayson wasn't for them because Dick wasn't rocking a proper costume, but with the Rebirth issue tying up loose ends to the previous series instead of really setting up where we're going in this series....... I don't know if that super secret Dick cult will be continuing their midnight rituals and chanting. With that though, at least we know that Damian is safe from having his head blown up from the Parliament of the Owls, from when they placed a bomb in his face way back in Robin War so that they could have leverage over Dick and get him to work for them........... and that seems to be where we're heading here, but have we traded Dick spying on one organization for another? Let's jump into this issue and find out.
When we start this issue, not only do we need Dick talking to us about how he was a circus performer to catch anyone up, who doesn't know dick.......... about Dick, we find out that Tim Seeley really doesn't seem ready to let go of the whole spy angle of his storytelling because really, this series is just simply Dick trading spying on Spyral for him spying on the Parliament of the Owls.......... and that's it really. Yeah, we do get some moments where we get to see Dick hanging out with Damian and Batman....... which is always a good time because who doesn't want to see our Bat Family actually acting like a family, but even this feels off a bit because while Batman didn't mind putting Dick in harms way when he asked him to go undercover in Spyral, this whole plot with him being a double agent against the Owls seems to be something that Batman doesn't really give a shit about........ but passive aggressive like, where Batman just kind of says do what you're going to do, I'll bankroll it, but since you're leaving me out of this, don't bother talking to me about it.......... and this just doesn't feel odd to the reader, it also feels odd to Dick.
So throughout this issue, in between Dick's time talking about how he got in this situation in the first place and having odd conversations with Batman, we see that Nightwing is going around the world and doing the Parliament's........... well, not dirty work per se, since Nightwing is just beating up some folks and reminding other more powerful people in politics that the Owls are watching........ but at least Dick is sticking to his guns by telling the new mysterious head honcho in charge of the Parliament that he absolutely isn't going to go about killing folks. Even with this though, things aren't really going according to Dick's plan because I don't know if Tim Seeley liked Dick and Tiger's interactions so much as a team that he figured that our hero needed a new partner immediately, but the Parliament decided that to make sure Nightwing stays in line they're making him work with a guy named Raptor, who we see a strange opener with in this issue that really left me scratching my head, but what we gleam from this is that Dick's new partner has the ability to use his supposedly homemade gauntlet to read people's thoughts, while the gauntlet reads its wearer....... which I don't quite understand yet.
So in the end, Nightwing meets his new partner and the two come to fisticuffs because Raptor starts using his doohicky to read Nightwing's mind and then use that information to talk some shit about him........... but I really hope that Raptor got creative with his smack talk and didn't relay exactly what Dick thought about himself........ because he's using words like impotent virgin, who's obsessed with Barbara..... Yeah, we saw Dick and Barbara have a non-date that turned into some super heroics, but still that would be a pretty harsh way to perceive yourself Dick. As our issue closes, Raptor gets the upper hand on Nightwing and I'm left wondering what the hell Raptor actually knows from reading our hero.
That's it for this issue of Nightwing and where I thought that Tim Seeley relied too much on tying up Grayson issues in the Rebirth issue instead of getting us going with Nightwing, here I see that he's not ready to let go of his storytelling methods from that series to this because this is almost exactly what we got out of the Grayson series with the only difference being that Dick is in his Nightwing costume and instead of Spyral, we have our hero working for the Parliament of the Owls. Hell, we even have Dick being saddled with a new partner here, who while right off the bat isn't exactly like Tiger, but it seems that this duo are going to have some of the contentions that Tiger and Dick shared among one another. I really hope that this series becomes its own animal in the future, but right now it's just Grayson 2.0 and it almost comes off as a trick to try and get the readers who bailed on the Grayson series because he wasn't Nightwing back without them knowing that they're getting the same kind of story. I do enjoy the art more in this issue than in the Rebirth issue, but it still came off a little rough at times, but I believe that it will get better as this series progresses........ maybe I'm being optimistic, but sometimes it takes an artist a little bit to get into the style they want for a series.
Bits and Pieces:
While Nightwing might not be the new fresh take on Dick Grayson that many of us wanted or even bringing him back to basics, there are some decent character scenes involving our Bat Family and I did find myself enjoying the art more than I did in the Rebirth issue, but going into this first issue of the series I find it to be too much like the Grayson series, just rehashed with a new perspective.