Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Nightwing #20 is another wonderful issue, which is not a surprise since Tim Seeley’s Nightwing Rebirth run has been one of the strongest for the character in his very long history. Nightwing #20 concludes the Nightwing Must Die storyline that has been for all intent and purpose a sequel to Grant Morrison’s Batman & Robin in the post Batman RIP era. So far over the course of the story Dick has had a reunion with Damian, the duo then stole their Batmobile so they could take on Professor Pyg and his twisted Deathwing and Robin Dollotron’s to save Dick’s kidnapped girlfriend, Shawn Tsang. But that was just an opening for the true villain of the story, Dr. Hurt, who could be anything from the devil to Bruce Wayne’s twisted brother but into matter who he truly is he believes in making people better through living and reliving their worst tragedies. In this case its Dicks fear of losing his current Shawn, but more importantly their baby.
Nightwing #20 deals with possibilities, both positive and negative. At the conclusion of last issue Dr. Hurt cut Nightwing with the Blade of Nothing and as we open this issue he is lost in a nightmare created by the magic of that blade. Dick is reliving the future, where he lost Shawn and the ‘baby’ as well as being responsible for the death of Damian. In his dream Dick has become Deathwing, and is not out for justice but Revenge. But his dream is interrupted by another Nightwing, Dick’s heir, the adult Damian who shows Dick who he really is and how he can never be beat by tragedy since that is not the foundation Dick Grayson heroics have ever been built upon.
Tim Seeley has a mastery of what makes Dick Grayson a hero and he shows it with this issue and this arc as a whole as we’ve seen Dick scramble to stop his world from crumbling into yet another tragedy. Dr. Hurt was an excellent choice of a villain as he toyed so brilliantly with Bruce Wayne during Grant Morrison’s legendary run and attempts to do the same here. But what not everyone gets about Dick is that he may be Bruce’s heir apparent but what motivates Dick is not the anger of his tragedies but rather by the belief that being a hero is the right thing to do. It was also a joy to see Damian and Dick back together since these two are an excellent dynamic duo and I’ve missed their partnership since their time as Batman & Robin. The Dick and Damian scenes in this issue are some of the best parts of Nightwing #20 and some of the finest in the history of their relationship. By the end of the issue I just wanted more, more Nightwing, more Damian and his pompous attitude but more importantly I wanted more Dick and Damian.
Verdict: If you love great stories, fantastic art, and a deep respect for Nightwing and his history then this is an absolute BUY! Tim Seeley is telling some of the finest Nightwing and Dick Grayson stories since Marv Wolfman and Chuck Dixon. Nightwing is one of the standout Rebirth titles and Nightwing #20 is yet another outstanding issue. This title has been outstanding and I’m hoping it only gets better.