By Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez and Minkyu Jung, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M Mangual
Nightwing travels to the ends of the Earth to save Damian Wayne, but will he trade a son for a brother?
Seeley has really outdone himself on this character, and while I didn’t appreciate each story at the time (the move-to-Bludhaven dream issue still bothers me a bit) its added up to a strong run for Dick Grayson. He’s moved to Bludhaven, like his former iteration in the old continuity. He has a new girlfriend whose actually compelling on her own merit, and she might be pregnant with Dick’s child. While he managed to rescue her with Damian’s help, that ended with Damian’s capture at the hands of Dr. Hurt.
I mentioned in my All-Star Batman #9 review that both of these issues reminded me of Grant Morrison’s Batman stories. For this issue, its the inclusion of Dr.Hurt who Morrison recontextualized as one of Batman’s oldest villains, but also the theme that a hero needs added trauma in order to become a stronger hero. If nothing else, the focus on Dick and Damian’s partnership as Batman and Robin, as well as their bond as brothers, give an added layer to Seeley’s script.
Art duties are split between series’ regular Fernandez and Minkyu Jung, which Fernandez handling the energetic action scenes and most of the storytelling while Jung gets the moody, Bill Sienkiewicz-like storytelling. Great art abounds in this issue, which gives some extra punch to the story. Nightwing walking down the dark stairwells surrounded by dollotron versions of himself gave me goosebumps, and acted as a nice visual metaphor.
I don’t know where Seeley is going with this arc, but I do know its been more successful than than the one in All-Star Batman with identical story beats. I’m very curious to know why Hurt has fixated onto Dick Grayson, and I’m hopeful that Seeley has an explanation in store.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent