Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Release Date: 3rd August, 2016
It’s a case of “Better than Batman” in more ways that one with the second issue of the newly relaunched “Nightwing” series.
DC having been smashing it with “Rebirth”, and Nightwing is quickly becoming one of my favourite additions. The character of Dick Grayson has been through a lot during his tenure, between Robin, Nightwing, and most recently “Super Secret Agent and totally not trying to be James Bond”, however it’s a genuine pleasure to be reading about him once again wearing the black and blue tights!
Seeley is bringing a freshness to the character that I wasn’t actually aware it was missing. The series feels rejuvenated, with new characters, a supporting cast that makes sense, and seemingly taking all the best parts of his previous careers to actually progress the character.
Dick is back to being his own man, but with the introduction of Raptor, self doubt has been put in place. He’s trying to teach Grayson the lessons Batman couldn’t/wouldn’t, something which is even addressed in his “think about it on the way down” approach. The addition of Batgirl/Barbara is also a nice touch, acknowledging things that have happened before, but still driving the story forward.
That seems to be he predominant theme with the series so far. Seeley seems to want to actually drive the story forward. The past is recognised and referenced, but this is a new take on the character that Seeley is wanting to grow organically again, and it’s a pleasure to read.
Fernandez knocks it out of the park once again on art duties. With a dynamic aesthetic to his work, there’s definitely a “DC feel” to it, with dark tones and a very Jock/Sean Gordon Murphy feel to how he shows motion. Uneven panels are one of my favourite artistic tools, and when used correctly (like in this issue) can give a really unusual feel to the page layout. This issue feature what I can only call a retro throwback with the super thin panel at the edge of the page showing Raptor and Dick scaling the cargo boat, and I think the scene with the two ladies is going to haunt me for a while!
With a rejuvenated Dick, and an emotion brought to the book that can sometimes be missing from other ‘Capes and Cowls’ titles, Nightwing goes against the grain but in the best way. My only niggle is the pop culture references seeming cheap, and then occasional goofy faces of characters that can be a little jarring.
Another stellar issue from Team Dick. They lose half a point for “Shark Attractant” though.
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