[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Nightwing arrives on the most recent murder scene much to dismay of the officer in charge, Detective Svoboda. Nightwing attempts to convince the detective that Shawn Tsang and Gorilla Grimm have been framed for these two murders. He finishes the evening with a visit to Mr. Nice, with the promise of clearing their names.
Upon leaving his day job at the The Haven Community Center, Dick meets Cherry Annabel from the Convention and Tourism Bureau who pitches a Bruce Wayne Donation to Dick. The conversation turns to Shawn Tsang, also an employee at the Community Center. This leads Dick directly to a meeting with the Run-Offs as he pledges his support to their efforts to leave their pasts in the past and to clear their friends. The Run-Offs aren’t content with sitting on the sidelines as they demand to be included in Nightwing’s investigation. Perhaps, this will be the foundation for a new Outsiders.
Nightwing breaks out some old fashioned detective work that leads them to Forsyth Construction. Nightwing has determined that it appears all the victims so far were involved in a group of “business” men who had attempted to recruit Grimm for his expertise in gun running. Nightwing’s concludes that Forsyth may trying to get rid of his partners.
Nightwing and the Run-Offs find Forsyth, but realize that he’s in the cross-hairs as well. It’s not long before former Run-Off Orca shows up attempting to eliminate Forsyth. A skirmish ensues and Orca comes around to her senses, but not before Forsyth gets away and is cut down by a new player with a False Face.
The characterization is very strong as all the characters get a bit of depth. In the Run-Off’s exposition they become real characters and not simply ex-villains. It’s satisfying to see Nightwing doing some detecting of his own. This is an element of the character that should always be highlighted. Nightwing’s relationship with the Run-Offs is very intriguing. In this issue they tell him he is now one of them, because he’s also left Gotham and is willing to help them. The complexity shown in his understanding of the Run-Offs elevates this story line above any simple hero/ villain motif and treats all the characters as people. This is a very welcoming and humanizing element that seems unique but appropriate for Dick Grayson. It is shown expressly in the scene in which he explains what he sees in someone’s eyes and face that allows him to determine their sincerity.
Once again, it is hard to find fault with this book. It’s not only good, but different. Yet it is also familiar in all the right ways.
Tim Seeley continues to work on Dick Grayson’s character in satisfying ways. With this arc Dick is attempting to figure himself out, and whether he realizes it or not, he is! Dick is once again in a position where he has to trust others for whom he may have reservations. Although, he may have found the essential ingredient that allows him to understand others’ sincerity.