Until recently, the most exposure I had with Dick Grayson as Nightwing was in animated form, either in The Batman Superman Adventures or Batman: Under the Red Hood. I was aware of the character of course, but had never read him in books until DC Rebirth.
After a brief look at his character in Titans: Rebirth last month, we now get Nightwing's rebirth one-shot to kick off his series, and it's one of the more solid, emotionally loaded books in the rebirth series so far. It's very similar to the other series getting a one-shot first issue in the same week, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, though this story is uniquely human and Earth-centric and also is greatly influenced and affected by several of Dick's friends and allies that are helping him throughout this story.
The plot is simple enough: Dick Grayson is leaving behind the past elements of his story from New 52 and is reclaiming the moniker of Nightwing again to become a hero as he once was before. Throughout the book, Dick narrates as he comes into contact with old friends and allies along the way toward his journey back to his costume.
As someone using the DC Rebirth series as a way to finally become more acquainted with these characters, I'm unfamiliar with the events that Dick has been a part of up to this point, but graciously the book does a fantastic job of setting this new series up with Dick's own narrated recap, full of familiar characters and past events that will satisfy the loyal readers from before and get the newbies up to speed for the new stories.
One thing that you really get the sense of in this book is the lives and characters that Dick Grayson has affected or been affected by over the years, all of them helping to shape his life in whatever place he found himself in. It is clear that Dick has been away from Gotham and his superhero identity for some time and now in a renaissance of his own, he wishes to reclaim that identity and go back to what he does best in terms of fighting bad guys.
Again, similar to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, this book doesn't have a whole lot of action in it either and serves as a bridge from Dick's past in comics to what is now his future for this series. It also lays the groundwork for a few other stories coming in the rebirth series, most notably Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, which features The Huntress, who was also in this tale.
Nightwing seems to have been one of those characters that lost a lot of his classic attributes and emotional weight during New 52, and now just as with numerous other characters is getting a fresh start with DC Rebirth. Considering how the other books have gone in the series to this point, there's no reason to believe that this one won't be just as good as the others.
4 out of 5 stars - DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH - Nightwing: Rebirth #1
This series will run twice a month. Nightwing #1 is due to release on July 27.