Thanks to the magic of DC Universe Rebirth, Nightwing is back, y’all. I’ve been a little sad that the Grayson series is over, especially with how ridiculously it ended, but I’m also happy that Dick has found his way back into the black and blue. He’s back living at Wayne Manor with Bruce and Damian, and fortunately, the new series has not kicked off with Nightwing obsessing over Haly’s Circus and his parents’ death. I suppose the former would be difficult, since the circus burned down during Nightwing’s run in the New 52. However, a classic arc with Nightwing from the 90s and the New 52 has returned—the Court of Owls.
Or more specifically, it’s the Parliament of Owls. Yes, applaud their clever joke. Dick makes fun of it quite a bit in the first issue. But back to the topic at hand, the Court of Owls is in Gotham, and the Parliament of Owls is the international organization. They have coerced the Gray Son of Gotham into joining their ranks as a mercenary, where their payment is to not kill Damian Wayne. Even though it’s not possible to kill Master Wayne, Nightwing agrees to join them anyway to spy on their activities and break them up for good. He can’t give up everything he learned from his days in Spyral, and really, this is a much better side of Dick Grayson.
But there’s been one tiny problem. See, while Dick has no problems roughing up people and threatening them, he has refused to kill anyone the Owls have ordered dead. As such, they’ve forced him to partner with an international thief and assassin, Raptor. If you’re connecting the dots, then yes, Dick Grayson has his own Birds of Prey. In this third issue, Nightwing and Raptor are sent to a maze creator’s home to nick a blueprint he has of the Parliament of Owls. The homeowner was so afraid of being murdered in his own home, he built his elaborate mansion to be a maze full of traps that would give Indiana Jones nightmares. Most of the story is about how Nightwing and Raptor traverse through the home, and the other half is about Nightwing’s relationship with Batgirl.
Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson have been on again off again more often than Ross and Rachel from Friends. Now that he’s back from the “dead” and is free of Spyral, they were both hoping they could patch things up and get back to where they left off before Grayson decided to take off to Chicago without telling her. After he stands her up for a get-together yet again (they were supposed to meet for coffee once before, and when she went to his apartment, he was on the road to Chicago), she chases him down to Norway right before he and Raptor break into the target’s house. When she realizes how deep he is in with spying on the Parliament of Owls, she offers to help them steal the blueprint. Unfortunately, when she really realizes how deep he is in the spy game, she tells him that she’s done with him. She can’t support his current idea behind fighting crime. Guess it’s too much of the police officer’s daughter in her.
Now that that little distraction is out of the way yet again, Nightwing can focus on completing his little mission. As much as Batman tried to make Dick not like him, it’s amazing how much Dick is like him in nearly every way.
We’re only three issues in, but Nightwing appears to be quite promising. It helps that Tim Seeley, who wrote Grayson, is behind this pen as well. The same humor and personality carry over, which makes it as seamless as it is enjoyable. May it continue, and may Nightwing please get back together with Starfire. I know, I know, that’s a futile hope, but it’s still mine.
Also of note, Batgirl is drawn far better in Nightwing than in her own comic.