Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer and Jay Leisten
I've been loving Tomasi's Nightwing, mostly because I'm a fan of the character and his book hasn't been this good since it launched, but this is definitely the weakest issue of the run so far. I'm not sure if it's because he's trying to avoid spoiling Batman RIP while still keeping it as a "tie-in" (this takes place after it, as Two-Face comments on Nightwing escaping Arkham), but there's a disjoint feeling as the story jumps around and it never really comes to any sort of conclusion.
To start, last issue ended with Nightwing shot and a rather large pool of blood forming with the implication he was at least out of commission. This issue ignores that completely and has him grab the girl with one hand and hold onto his glider, with his gun shot riddled arm and carrying her, and flies her to the nearest safe house. I know these are comic books, but there's some things that still stretch my sense of disbelief and this is one of those instances.
After dropping Two-Face's old flame off at the safe house, Nightwing puts the glider on autopilot and ends up at the Batcave, where Alfred quickly patches him up. In fact, he's up and gone in less than a day.
There was a strange sequence of events with Alfred after Nightwing passes out post-bullet removal that seemed odd. I'm not sure if it was the art or not, but it looked like Alfred may have been happy about Nightwing's troubles and even slaps his bloody glove against the Robin display case. However, he comes back shortly after and sits by Nightwing for the night, holding his hand, which brings me back to the art and whether this sequence of events was just the art making it seem more sinister or if it's just me or if this is actually part of that wacky rumour of Alfred being the Black Glove from his old Silver Age split personality, Outsider, days.
The remainder of the issue has Nightwing meeting back up with the girl, the two of them talking to Two-Face, who is the only one the "mysterious" shooter could have been, and Alfred calling to tell Nightwing the bullets were laced with Scarecrow's fear toxin, just as Nightwing swings into a trap, which shows all the Batman rogues gallery waiting for him. This is obviously the nerve toxin's work, but we'll see where it goes next month.
Verdict - Check It. It wasn't something that will make you want to run out and buy all of Tomasi's run, but I don't think fans of the book or character will hate it, so I'll leave it as a check it. Art was a little subpar this month though.