Like the rest of the Batbooks, Nightwing picks up with the status quo that existed last month. So while Superman lost his wife, Wonder Woman lost her pants, and Wally West lost his ENTIRE EXISTENCE, Dick Grayson's more or less intact. So, it's extremely difficult to judge this as just a single issue. You see, last month Dick Grayson was Batman, part of Grant Morrison's overarching Batman storyline, wearing the cape and cowl and protecting Gotham City. So to have Dick Grayson back in the Nightwing suit does seem like a major demotion, which does impede this series.
So Grayson's been demoted, but perhaps there's still a chance for him to star in a good comic. What writer Kyle Higgins does with Grayson's character is solid. He quickly establishes his confidence, his abilities, his attitude towards being a superhero, and his taste in cereal. It's extremely solid character-building work. Where Higgins fails is the plotting. The villains he confronts are uninteresting, Dick Grayson returning to the circus he performed in as a kid is boring, and we do see Nightwing get his ass handed to him at the end, which is sort of lame way to show off your lead hero in his first issue.
The biggest problem with this issue is really the sheer gore. Graysno gets attacked by an assassin. He ducks away for a moment to throw on his costume, and in those few seconds, his attacker slashes the throats of two police officers. And by throats, I mean from sternum to mouth. Seriously, the blood sprays across the bottom of the page. It's fucking disgusting. I've seen less disgusting donkey shows.
Buy the next issue: No, as much as I want to see the further adventures of Dick Gryason, this isn't worth my time or money.
New reader friendly: Yeah it's okay for a fresh pair of eyes, assuming those eyes don't mind being spattered with copious amounts of blood.