Writer: Tim Seeley / Artist: Javier Fernandez / DC Comics

As I’ve stated before, what is nice about a Nightwing comic compared to say, a Batman book, is lack of any attempt to shield emotional response. Dick Grayson is a skilled fighter with the best teacher possible, but he’s about 90% heart. So when his possibly pregnant girlfriend is kidnapped, we aren’t given some cold and calculated plan of rescue. He panics. He accepts help from a bratty surrogate not only because he could use it, but because he probably doesn’t want to be alone either. Of all the Batfamily interactions, the Damian Wayne / Dick Grayson is my favorite because they are completely different people, even though their tutelage suggests they could’ve been the same person. Grayson, the surrogate son that Batman willing took in. Damian, the biological son Batman was forced to take in. Damian’s insecurities drive the arguments between them, but I appreciate how Grayson recognizes he’s the adult in the situation, even in the face of Damian’s brutal pragmatism.

The main conflict and the story of how and why Shawn got kidnapped isn’t as good as the aforementioned exposition, but it’s close. The duo is almost in over their heads and needs to be bailed out by another mysterious fighter that leads us back to the actual villain of this arc. The rogues gallery for the Batfamily is so deep, that so many villains make an appearance that feels simultaneously reasonable and a stretch to the end of the bench. But I look forward to seeing what Seeley does with the villain in this arc.

Fernandez handles the art well, including the full range of emotion for Nightwing specifically. There’s some disturbing and off kilter designs that he had to work with for this storyline as well and they are effective, especially compared to our handsome lead. There are some big actions scenes in this one and Fernandez nails them as usual, giving the book a pretty kinetic feel.

The villain is revealed and Robin has Nightwing’s back as the story jumps up a notch. Now that we know what the plan is, it will be interesting to see what the cost is of Shawn being kidnapped and its ultimate effect on Nightwing.

8.2 Snarky Remarks out of 10

Reading Nightwing? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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