Warning: This does have spoilers for Nightwing.
In this review I tackle the first three parts of the Nightwing Must Die! Storyline in DC Comics’ Nightwing issues 16 – 18. For those of you who don’t know, Nightwing is Dick Grayson, the original Robin. For more information and to get caught this is a good place to start for an overview Nightwing wiki!
In Nightwing 16 the current Robin, Damian Wayne, is upset as social media reports suggest Nightwing will take over the mantle Batman. Damian expects he will take over one day as Batman due to his blood lineage: he’s the son of Bruce Wayne.
Fast forward to a fight in Bludhaven between Nightwing and some thugs all dressed in horse masks. Robin arrives and demands to know if Nightwing expects to take the mantle of the Bat. Nightwing checks his messages and is shocked that his girlfriend Shawn has asked to bring a pregnancy test. Night arrives at Shawn’s apartment only to discover Shawn kidnapped. Robin offers up a stolen Batmobile that flies (from their past), and they are off to France based on a clue.
At the end of the issue, Deathwing, dressed in an old Nightwing costume, is at the scene of the horsemen gang incident having beaten and killed the thugs while looking for Nightwing.
This leads us into Nightwing 17 as Robin and Nightwing spar on the top of the flying Batmobile as they travel to France. Nightwing tells Robin he’s not even sure he wants to be Nightwing, let alone Batman.
As they arrive in France Nightwing and Robin battle Deathwing, Deathwing cuts Nightwing with a blade doused in drugs. Nightwing then sees different versions of himself and Robin from alternate earths. The scene is a nice payoff for fans that have been following along with the Rebirth mystery in other DC books. Robin and Nightwing then defeat Deathwing with the help of a boy named Danesh who thinks he is Robin. Danesh then reveals he and Deathwing were reprogrammed by Professor Pyg, a mad scientist who creates bizarre versions of people through surgery and drugs.
Nightwing 18 opens right into Nightwing and Robin breaking into Pyg’s lair to save Shawn. They manage to defeat Pyg, but Deathwing tries to escape. Robin goes after Deathwing but is felled by…I won’t spoil it! Check out the book and don’t worry there are two more parts to Nightwing Must Die!
Artist Javier Fernandez and colorist Chris Sotomayor work well together to move the sequential story along at an action movie pace. Writer Tim Seeley drops in some nice references to different eras throughout DC history. DC Rebirth really is about legacy and the character of Nightwing is the best representation of that.
My Rating: 4 stars
So far I would give the story a solid four out of five. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
- Nightwing created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez
- Tim Seeley – Writer
- Javier Fernandez – Artist
- Chris Sotomayor – Colorist
- Carlos M. Mangual – Letterer