May 6, 2017
“Nightwing Must Die, Finale”
Written by: Tim Seeley
Artwork by: Javier Fernandez
Nightwing #20 and it's final chapter of the “Nightwing Must Die” story arc is just that, the end of a 5 part story. Before I go on, I'll have to introduce some of it's major
Way back in Nightwing #16, the “Nightwing Must Die” story arc began. Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul and grandson of Ras Al Ghul, is the current Robin. Damien is brash, argumentative at times and more violent aVand capable than any of the other Robins. What can you expect, having been trained by the League of Assassins and then getting dropped into the lap of his father, Batman? He's not happy with Nightwing’s online popularity, even more so that he's referred to as the first and best Robin and way annoyed with the assumption that he will be Batman one day. So, off to Bludhaven, that rank and rough city that Nightwing operates out of, a jealous Damien (give him a break, he's only 10 years old!) goes. Also, Nightwing’s relationship with his girlfriend, Shawn Tsang, the reformed villainess, Defacer gets a little more complicated when she tells him she's late (As in “that time of the month”, late.). Shawn is kidnapped by an unseen assailant later in the book and the now cadaverous looking Deathwing dispatches a gang of robbers with extreme prejudice. Dick and Damien agree to work together in solving this one, just like old times.
Issue #17 finds our heroes in Paris, France, where the clues have led them. It was revealed that Deathwing was behind the abduction of Shawn. Who is Deathwing? He is the future Nightwing, more violent and ruthless. Given the memories of the real Dick Grayson, Deathwing is uncertain of what his real name is, only that is the corrupted version of the original. Here, he looks like a walking corpse, dressed in the New 52 costume of Nightwing. Naturally, Nightwing and Damien find Deathwing ir us it the other way around? Anyway, the fighting commences within some empty catacombs and Damien gets locked in an empty tomb. Nightwing is slashed across the forehead with an odd-looking dagger and as the first drop of blood hits the ground, he begins to hallucinate all versions of himself across the multiverses. What's up with that knife? How could it do that? Deathwing is ready to deliver the final blow to Nightwing but is interrupted by Robin…but not any Robin we know. Odd-Robin begins to battle Deathwing and by this time, Damien has freed himself and joins the fray. Nightwing gathers his wits and he and Damien proceed to beat their doubles. It is then that odd-Robin reveals that both he and Deathwing are Dollotrons. The products of Professor Pyg, the mad surgeon that wears a pig mask and uses unconventional instruments to adhere doll masks to his mind altered creations. But where is Shawn?
Who is Dr. Hurt? Well, he has claimed to be everything
The Verdict: At this point in time, it would most definitely be helpful to have read some of the previous issues to fully understand what's going on in this one. I like the reintroduction of some of DC's obscure characters from the past, brought in to be more than just an interim fill in between other story arcs. Also good is a possible tie in with the Batman cross-title event, “Dark Nights: Metal” coming with a chance of Dr. Hurts reappearance and something big. Building on Rebirth, this summer event is planned to push characters beyond their potential to a place where their courage is tested and persevere in the face of evil as Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo reunite to further transform the DC universe. If you're a fan of any of the Batman titles, you really can't go wrong with Nightwing.