Who's it by?
Nightwing #1 is written by Kyle Higgins (Batman: Gates of Gotham, Squadron Supreme and drawn by Eddy Barrows (Birds of Prey, Teen Titans).
What's the history?
Dick Grayson made his debut in 1940 in the pages of Detective Comics #38, from Batman creator Bob Kane and artist Jerry Robinson.
As part of Haly's Circus, Grayson toured with his family, until their murder at the hands of a mafia boss. After that, Bruce Wayne took the young acrobat in as his ward and trained him to become Batman's first sidekick, Robin.
Robin went on to become one of the most popular DC Comics sidekicks, eventually going on to lead of the Teen Titans.
After eventually outgrowing his role as Robin, Grayson took on the new mantle of Nightwing in 1984, and later moved from Gotham City to become the protector of neighbouring city Blüdhaven.
Following a successful miniseries, writer Chuck Dixon launched an ongoing Nightwing series in 1996 which ran until 2009.
After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, following Bruce Wayne's apparent death, Grayson reluctantly became the new Batman and allowed Wayne's son Damian to become the new Robin.
In Higgins's new Nightwing series, Grayson will once again revert to his Nightwing persona, following a successful stint as Gotham City's Batman.
Despite much fan speculation as to whether the 'New 52' would address Grayson's time under the cowl, DC have now confirmed his stint as Gotham's protector is still in continuity.
With Bruce Wayne once again the sole Batman, Nightwing is expected to re-establish Grayson's identity as a young, independent superhero.
Nightwing immediately introduces fans to a more confident Dick Grayson, who is more than happy to be back as Nightwing after a tumultuous period of time covering for Bruce Wayne as Batman.
Much of the issue revolves around Grayson's feelings about Haly's Circus returning to Gotham for the first time since the death of his parents, and his generally conflicted feelings on confronting the past.
This opening issue also introduces an unknown villain intent on assassinating Grayson, after claiming that the former Robin is "the fiercest killer in all of Gotham".
What's the verdict?
Kyle Higgins smartly addresses fan concern about the title's continuity within the first few panels, confirming that not only did Grayson's time as Batman still happen, but it has also made him a better superhero as a result.
Nightwing #1 portrays Dick Grayson as a hero at the peak of his career, confident in his abilities and willing to confront his issues head-on.
The issue deftly sets up Grayson's new status quo, as well his personality and abilities, without the use of unnecessary exposition.
The return of Haly's Circus provides a perfect jump-on point for new readers unsure of the character's history, as it allows Grayson to reflect on his roots without being heavy-handed about his painful past.
Eddy Barrow's artwork is both clean and dynamic, and the issue's action sequences perfectly capture Grayson's grace and flexibility as a former circus acrobat.
While nothing is particularly groundbreaking about Nightwing #1, the title's implied direction and Higgins's promising take on Grayson himself suggest DC has big plans for the character moving forwards.
> Buy the digital version of Nightwing #1
> Read our review of Detective Comics #1
> Read our review of Batwing #1
> Read our review of Batwoman #1
> Read our review of Batman and Robin #