Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nightwing: Rebirth #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Never Say Never Again

Written By: Tim Seeley
Art By: Yanick Paquette, Nathan Fairbairn, Carlos Mangual
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 13, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Our boy Dick Grayson has gone through a lot since the New 52 started....... and probably a lot before that too, but we didn't get to see all of that, what with the five year gap....... even though Batman and Robin would have been perfect to show us some earlier Robin stuff instead of giving us the stages of grief of Batman after Damian died with Catwoman, Aquaman, etc. etc.  That's probably something I'll never stop bitching about, but it serves no real purpose here because the Grayson book is over and it's time to put Dick's spy days behind him as he squeezes back into his tights and hopefully get all the people who bitched when the Grayson book came out, back on board........ bitchy little naysayers.  Anyway, Dr. Dedalus has been defeated, Dick's identity is his again and now it's time for us to finally resolve the ending to the Robin War.  Let's jump into this Rebirth issue and see what kind of tone is set.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our Rebirth issue begins with Dick Grayson taking on some Charlton Comics rejects, The Madmen, but don't worry, it's only a segue to get us to the main story, while allowing Dick to tell us that his Nightwing name was derived from the Kryptonian hero who was the great rebuilder and the catalyst for change........ So yeah, I guess we already know what the tone being set here is.  First page..... huh.  Well, clearly Tim Seeley doesn't like playing games and I kind of appreciate him for that..... oh yeah, I'm definitely letting him go all the way.  After The Madmen, this issue becomes about saying goodbye to the past and starting anew.  The past part being Saint Hadrian's School for Girls and Helena Bertinelli, who's secretly saying her final farewells so she can become Huntress and what looks like her taking out her crime family once and for all.

It's time to set things right from where we left off in the Robin War though, so our hero goes to Midnighter for a little help and after having himself a God Garden adventure, our boy Midnighter gives Grayson a strange device, which we find out is something like that wand that Arnold Schwarzenegger used in Total Recall to get that tracker out of his snout because it goes up Damian's nose as well and retracts the bomb that the Court of the Owls placed in there at the end of Robin War as a way to get Dick to see things from an owl point of view.......... but now that it's out, we've got ourselves a wild card bitches!  It's hilarious too because after all this time, nobody told Damian about the bomb in his head........ and at a point it seemed like Batman didn't know, when he walked in on Dick removing the bomb, but who are we kidding?  He's Batman, he totally knew and that pisses Damian off even more.

In the end, with everything set right in the world, Dick Grayson suits back up as Nightwing to take on the now worldwide organization, The Parliament of The Owls, led by none other than Lincoln March.  It's weird though because he's talking about how the Court are hiding in Gotham........ while the Parliament will be in the shadows, surrounded by walls........ sounds like hiding to me.  Lincoln's reign doesn't last too long though because out of nowhere he gets a dart to the eye and the new big wig in town claims his leadership.  Too bad we don't get to see who it is.

That's it for this Rebirth issue of Nightwing and while I liked the setup and that we resolved the ending to the Robin War, I did find the dialog a little stiff at times and I'm not really a fan of the art....... but even with that, it's still decent and I did love the way that Helena looked as Huntress.  Really though, I'm happy to have Dick rocking his Nightwing persona again and having his secret identity back....... even if it doesn't make much sense about who knows and who doesn't know, but maybe there will be some fun exploring that down the road a bit.  Yeah, I have some problems with this Rebirth issue, but all in all it this was a great send off to Dick's time with Spyral, while opening the door to his new adventures taking on the Parliament of Owls....... Not to mention setting the tone of this series being about rebuilding and being the catalyst for change.

Bits and Pieces:

While I found some of the dialog pretty stiff and the art doesn't happen to be my cup of tea, I do look forward to see where this story is going because Tim Seeley created a great tone for this Rebirth issue and setup what looks like a lot of fun going forward.  We also got some closure to the Robin War crossover and who doesn't love having closure?



  1. Man Lincoln's a joke, was an ok issue while the art was off at times, the artist isn't on the main book and we have a sense on where his book is going compared to batman

  2. This was soooooo boring for me. The dialog was horrible and they just wouldn't stop talking. What the hell is an arcade in 2016? "Hello, fellow teens!"

  3. I am not a ROBOT!! I am a free man!!

    Genuinely agree with this review, I had the same issues with the dialogue (all my Seely fears come to life) and the art. And don't get me wrong, I dig Paquettes art in almost anything else, but not in this book; the action was stiff, and the faces were just off.
    Quick side note: While I do love the new Huntress design, my favorite part of Helena was always seeing her face, especially her eyes. Gonna miss them.

    That said, I do appreciate the setup that this book is heading towards , the black-masked "Parliament" should be an interesting addition, without re-hashing the "Court" beats that were in Batman's story. I wonder if the new head Honcho will be William Cobb or another former Talon?

    The issue achieves its goal, but with a fair number of flaws. I appreciate Seely's attempt at witty banter, and his acknowledgement of the existing relationships in Dick's life, but If I have to endure one more "I've gone by many names, but I'm always Dick, and I always care, and that's why I always win" speeches... I'm going to find him at NYCC and kick him in the shin!

    To me this felt more like the true final issue of Grayson, a semi-proper sendoff to that spy life, than a proper reintroduction to Nightwing.

    6.5/10 for me.
    Rock on fellas!

    1. i agree with it feeling like the real last issue of Grayson...I just worry that anyone jumping on who hasn't read Grayson will be so lost.

  4. Also am I crazy or wasn't it revealed that Tiger was really a Checkmate operative the entire time?

    1. Yeah, the Tiger bit seemed out of nowhere here from where we left him previously.

    2. Tiger getting along with Grayson made no sense but at the end of Grayson its reviled that he is now in charge of Spyral... Im assuming after Helena becomes Huntress

    3. Tiger getting along with Grayson made no sense but at the end of Grayson its reviled that he is now in charge of Spyral... Im assuming after Helena becomes Huntress

    4. the end of Grayson more showed that Checkmate had been playing Spyral and Tiger was with Checkmate all along. The only thing was the last bit in issue #20 with Tiger saying that he was "coming back to the fold", but that was just one panel and seemed out of place after what we saw in issue #19.

    5. with all that, there is no way that Dick would have been working with Tiger...the last interaction they had was Dick causing an avalanche to stop Tiger from killing Otto Netz by also killing Helena.

    6. During that scene when tiger says he's coming back he calls himself patron the male version of matron that helena called herself when she was the leader of spyral so from that I think you were supposed to get that tiger is now the leader of spiral and has left checkmate but I might be talking out my ass as usual

    7. my thought is that Checkmate may have just taken over Spyral...or Tiger just ran in and took charge because everyone else is dead (Otto, Frau,...) or quit (Helena, Dick...)

    8. I assumed it was the latter, thats why Tiger is with Spyral in the rebirth issue...why he's all buddy-buddy with Dick is beyond me

  5. Yeah, the art was sort of hit-and-miss. I mean Dick looks great on that page with the Madmen but not so much in the arcade scenes. I'm not really feelin' his Damian either. I did like the brother bonding with Dick and Damian. And I like that Damian is still his snarky self but his affection for Dick is clear. At least, it was to me. I thought it was a good Rebirth issue.

  6. Where's the meat video game to go with the Cheese Viking game??

  7. This art was just BAD in most of the book... in one panel while Dick and Damian are walking down the street it looks like Damian had a stroke, eye strain my ass, and Dick has Bruce Campbell/Sgt. Slaughter jaw levels in this book