Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Javier Fernandez
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Which Wing Are You?
Opening five years after Robin’s death, we see Deathwing kill Pyg in vengeance for his friend. Wait…Deathwing, and Robin dead…must be a mind spell. The cut from the ancient knife has Dick Greyson torturing himself with a world that could have been, if he had gone down a different path. In the dream-like state, a Deathwing Dick faces a Nightwing Damian. Anger and pain is what made Batman the man he is, and that legacy will be inherited to Damian. But anger and pain will no longer define Dick, because he is the first Robin and he has his own legacy to pass down. With this burst of self-actualization, Dick emerges from his trance and punches Dr. Hurt square in the jaw. Suddenly a reconciled Deathwing jumps out of no where and attacks Dr. Hurt, and they are sent…well we don’t know where they are sent. At the end of the day Dick, Damian, and Shawn make it out alive and well. It is also revealed that Dick will not be wearing the cowl of fatherhood, at least not yet.
Since Nightwing went to Bludhaven, it’s been a rollercoaster of ratings for each issue. Nightwing has been dealing with this inner conflict with himself and his possible selves, it adds some profoundness to his character, more so then usual. Another really great aspect is getting a closer look at Dick and Damien’s relationship. They’ve always had this brother dynamic between them, but here we see Dick having more of a father presence. Seeley also touches on the subject of who will become Batman, because even Batman has to retire someday…right? Anyway, most assume it’s only natural that Dick takes over. But since Bruce now has a blood son, Damian feels that being the next Bat, is his and his alone. For the first time, as far as I know, Dick acknowledges that the cowl will not be his nor does he really want it.
To my relief, Shawn finds out that she is not pregnant. Seeley does a wonderful job of making the character of Shawn likable, compassionate, and charming. Despite all her endearing qualities, she just doesn’t captivate me as a commanding lead, who is able to stand her own with Nightwing. That role will always be reserved for Barbra Gordon, at least it is in my book. Nightwing seemed timidly excited for fatherhood, but since that role wasn’t fulfilled, is he maybe going to be more present in young Damian’s life?
Will Nightwing’s experiences in Bludhaven fundamentally reshape his character? He dealt with the possibility of being a father, redefining himself apart from past tragedies, and embraced his legacy. Now, his world is getting a lot more expansive and his role in it will be important. He’s helping the Bird’s of Prey track down Blackbird, and the Lazarus Contract is just around the corner. Seeley was playing with a fine line between confusing or imaginative in this issue, in the end, the layers of complexity hindered it from being awesome. There’s also been a specific tone set for Nightwing for this entire arc that worked decently well, but I’m looking forward to a change of pace. Tim is a great writer and I’m excited for what will come next.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✬ ✩ ✩ 7.5/10
Ariel DuPey | NCR