This issue opens up with Dr Hurt inducing what seems to be a hallucination on Nightwing (Dick Grayson), where he blames himself for the death of Robin (Damien Wayne). Meanwhile Deathwing, a dollotron modeled after Nightwing, and Shawn Tsang formerly known as Defacer look to be held captive though its hard to tell. Deathwing and Shawn form a bond while they are together realizing they actually have a small amount in common, Shawn even stops Deathwing from killing himself. Robin has been fatally stabbed and lies on an altar at the feet of the evil Dr Hurt who is holding the knife of nothing high above his head ready to strike and finish off the heir to the mantle of the Batman.
Will Nightwing be able to break the hold that Dr Hurt has over him and save robin?
This is not a good issue to jump on board if you haven’t read any issues before this one. The story of this issue was insanely confusing, there was giant lack of explanation of what exactly was happening. At the beginning of the story your are not entirely sure if Nightwing is hallucinating or not, I don’t know if that was the point but I highly doubt it, because the story flipped back and forth a few times from the hallucinations to reality. (spoilers) Then it moves to Deathwing and Shaun Tsang sitting on the floor and Deathwing is having a hard time remembering anything, you can’t tell if they have been captured or not but it seems that way.
Nightwing then suddenly snaps out of his trance and hits Dr Hurt. Tsang shows up out of nowhere and sees Robin is still alive, which makes me think she wasn’t a prisoner at all. Then Deathwing stabs Dr Hurt they disappear, robin is miraculously fine with a weak explanation and its over. The ending felt very rushed and forced with no explanation what so ever as to what happened to Deathwing and Dr Hurt.
The only saving grace of this issue was the artwork. Javier Fernandez did a beautiful job with the sequential art telling the story that was given to him very well, no matter how bad the story actually was. He drew the characters the way they should be, you could plainly tell who everyone was. His splash pages were dynamic and gorgeous his original cover for this issue was better than the variant, which is usually not the case. There really is only one positive thing I can say about the story and that was at the end of the book the exchange between Robin and Nightwing, was heartfelt and made more since then the entire rest of the issue.
I give this book 2 out of 5 stars. The art was excellent but the story was inconsistent and hard to follow and seemed very rushed at the end.
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Javier Fernandez and Chris Sotomayor
Published by DC Comics
Variant Cover- Casey Jones