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REVIEW: 'Nightwing: Rebirth' #1 by Tim Seeley, Yanick Paquette, and Nathan Fairbairn


★★★★★ (5/5)

While the new 'Rebirth' on-going series at DC Comics have been surprisingly well conceived and executed, the one-shot prologues that preceded them have been a mixed bag. Sometimes rushed, treading old ground with retelling origin stories or recaps. Most have not been worth the money. Not so with 'Nightwing: Rebirth.' This may be the best of them all as it encapsulates Dick Grayson's varied career and costumes while keeping the issue grounded with the power of his charm and persona. 

After being the first Robin, Nightwing, Batman, and Agent 37, Grayson is returning to Nightwing but not before tying up loose ends and exploring his relationships along the way. Writer Tim Seeley makes all this possible by centering Grayson with Damian Wayne locked in an on-going conversation. First at an arcade then finally in the Batcave. Their relationship demonstrates what makes Grayson the most likable, consistently decent male character in the Bat-verse. Grayson's not afraid to express his emotions, his kindness, and is pretty self-aware. 

Leaving Spylar behind, realizing being a spy wasn't for him because it's not in his make-up to be deceptive and conniving all the time. He enjoys his time with the precocious Damian and it seems mutual as they both chide each other like brothers. Closing ties with  Helena Bertinelli (she heads to new Birds of Prey title) and hearing Batman's appreciation of his return is a nice bow on Grayson's past as Nightwing and the Parliament of Owls are now his future. Seeley creates such a breezy pace that doesn't feel rushed or awkward, it's just perfectly tuned to Grayson's calm deliberate demeanor. We go full circle with him and ease into another chapter of his life fraught with new challenges. Unlike other special "Rebirth" one-shots, 'Nightwing' feels satisfying and exciting making the issue a nice hearty prelude to the new series. 

Yanick Paquette has a confident sharp approach to his penciling. He provides a ton of detail while never wasting a panel. He's efficient and concise without appearing hurried or sloppy. He gives Seeley's words the space to breath while telling the story with Grayson's smile or Damian's smirk. It's technically sound craftsmanship with the characters' inherent personalities fully ingrained. Nathan Fairbairn's colors bring a bright sunny positive feel to Grayson's world before heading to the darker confines of the Batcave. The art is as flawless as the writing. 

'Nightwing: Rebirth' #1 does what other 'Rebirth' specials couldn't do - make me excited for what's to come. Seeley injects enough depth and character in Grayson's storyline while tying together where he's been with where he's going. The story goes full circle and it's endearing, positive, and exciting. The art is perfectly in sync with the writing. Dick Grayson is DC's favorite son and he shows you why. Nightwing is back and DC Comics is better for it. 

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