First off, for the odd few who didn’t catch that Nightwing was running around Gotham City in the last issue, well it’s clearly pointed out to you on the first page. Anyways, we start just where we left off, with Dick seeming in some deep trouble. That it until it is revealed the built in stun-gun into his glove from his last Nightwing outfit was incorporated into his new one. Well actually, it sounds like the entire suit is now, even if it didn’t appear to be (does he have control at what point sends out a discharge?). By apparent luck/accident, the assassin blows up a car driving by causing Nightwing to give the save and comment that Gotham can still throw him curveballs.
Skip ahead an hour, Raya (the red head girl from the circus) shows up telling Dick he’s taking her to Atlantic City. Dick’s response is basically the same as mine: WTF?! Dick though being the Casanova of the DC Universe that he is decides to help her not by a car but private jet. Oh, and on the trip we find out Mr. Haly wanted to see Dick for he’s dying. Poor guy apparently has a tumor and cancer – hence his sudden rush to talk to Dick. A few things happen here, first being he gives Dick the deed to everything the circus owns; that cuts out Nightwing Volume 1 having him buy the circus, but that doesn’t affect much really. The next is Mr. Haly knows of Dick’s superhero life, apparently for recognizing Dick’s movements while in superhero garb. And the third is he states he was going to give the deed to Dick’s parents had they not… you know, died. Oh, not to mention a slight guilt trip that Dick should not be a hero but be with the circus again.
Back on the plane Dick has sex with Raya. Good new DC, throwing sex all over the place it seems but at least its mostly skipped over unlike the one in Catwoman #1 which actually follows over to Catwoman #2. Luckily after she falls asleep Dick gets a call from Saiko – the would be assassin. Apparently he followed Dick and then questioned Mr. Haly afterwards so found out exactly who Dick is. Due to this, Dick heads back and round two starts between Saiko and Nightwing.
This time Dick is taking things a bit more personally and so isn’t bantering around like usual. The fight seems a bit more even this time and we see some more equipment. Besides wondering just where he keeps those eskrima sticks of his, we also get to see him use a grapple gun. I think. In the picture it appears he’s holding something around his fingers, but the device could also just be coming out of his glove like it did in his old Nightwing outfit. If it is the first one, well that again leaves the question of where did he store it for I haven’t seen pouches anywhere on him yet. Eventually the building starts to collapse ending the fight. Dick rushes out with Mr. Haly and no sign of Saiko is seen, though I’m sure he escaped too.
Watching the fire, Mr. Haly whispers something that seems rather cryptic: “…it’s all my fault… They’re trying to kill us because of the secret… About what the circus… really is.” With that said, Haly dies in the issue ends there. Kind of makes me wonder just what is going on here. With Haly knowing who Dick was and insisting his life should be with the circus to those dying words really makes me wonder if the circus is perhaps a front for something else. It could help tie into the reason why Saiko is out to kill him, too.
Higgins does a great job with the story here and Barrows art is again wonderful. There are just a couple big things I wonder (besides where Nightwing keeps his gear). One is Saiko finds out that his target Dick Grayson is Nightwing who last issue Saiko apparently thought was just a hero out to save lives. Does he not see the contradiction here though? I mean, he’s out to kill Grayson because he supposedly is some horrible killer, yet he views (or use to) Nightwing as a hero out to save lives. He also commented during the second fight that Nightwing wasn’t really fighting like the fiercest killer in Gotham should act and that should help put into his mind he is wrong about Dick. The other issue is actually from Batgirl #2. It ended with “NEXT: Nightwing” making me believe she was going to make an appearance in this issue of Nightwing. Apparently that was not the case though, which really just makes me wonder why Batgirl ended with that tag.
And for a final note, having the scene where Dick pulls Haly from the burning building with a giant bat-symbol behind them probably does not help those like Lebeau who see him as “Batman-lite” and the same of course goes for the Batman symbol on the front cover. Come on Barrows, Nightwing is suppose to be Dick’s own hero here that he created himself, not someone under Batman’s control. Could you not use the Nightwing symbol instead, or at least leave Batman’s symbol out?