I get the impression that for the most part the various DC Rebirth books have brought in largely new creative teams to tell new stories with little if any connection to pre-Rebirth material.
That wasn’t the case for Nightwing, where writer Tim Seeley continued the adventures of Dick Grayson, continuing with the first Rebirth volume subtitled Better Than Batman.
Prior to Rebirth, Dick Grayson had to fake his own death after the Crime Syndicate revealed his secret identity to the entire world during the Forever Evil storyarc. Now, for reasons not really explained, Dick has managed to get his old identity back and has opted to return to fighting crime his own way as Nightwing. He has Batman’s blessing and trust to start, and a mission as the Parliament of Owls believes they have him blackmailed into working for them. Dick isn’t quite doing what they want, so they instead force him to work with a mysterious thief named Raptor.
Here’s the thing: Raptor is more than he appears to be, and he may be on the side of the angels himself, though he claims from the start that everything Batman taught the one-time Robin was wrong. As it is, Dick sees a lot of himself in Raptor, and while Dick’s usual support in the form of Batman and Batgirl don’t seem to approve of the mystery man, Dick does think there’s something there in the man that might make him a good ally. Is he right?
That’s the question Seeley sets up and eventually answers. This isn’t the best of the Bat-centric Rebirth books, but it’s likewise far from the worst. Seeley has a good grasp on Dick Grayson and the extended Bat-family, showing well how Dick gets along with the likes of Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon. As it is, Seeley is also able to use Raptor to dig into Dick’s own personal roots in ways that many writers maybe haven’t. This was not a bad book, but it likewise didn’t make me want to rush out to read more right this second. Let’s say seven and a half owl-monsters out of ten.