Review: Nightwing #18

[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Javier Fernandez & Minkyu Jung

Summary
Nightwing and Robin have just defeated Deathwing with the help of one Professor Pyg’s Dollotrons. This Dollotron, brainwashed to believe he is Robin, convinces Dick and Damian to stop arguing and focus on saving Nightwing’s girlfriend Shawn Tsang.

Shawn, who is possibly pregnant with Dick’s child, is being held captive by Pyg. As Nightwing and Robin face Pyg, “Robintron” attempts to break Pyg’s brainwashing on Deathwing.

Positives
The Robin Dollotron’s memories of his relationship with his real family makes for an interesting parallel with Dick and Damian’s relationship. In both cases, a father who is two busy to spend time with his sons forces the brothers to form a stronger bond with each other. This reminds Dick and Damian that they are brothers, not rivals.

Also, Robintron’s story seems to elicit a rare bit of empathy from Damian. Robin goes from suggesting that both Deathwing and Robintron should be killed to being horrified when Deathwing actually does kill Robintron. This shows a rarely seen sympathetic side to Damian.

Also, I liked the nod to a silver age classic story title when Deathwing utters the thread “Robin dies at dawn.”

Negatives
While Shawn’s possible pregnancy adds drama to the situation, it doesn’t seem to me to be very likely that she will actually have Dick’s child. I don’t know if she will turn out not to be pregnant, or if they will kill her and her unborn child off, but I find it hard to believe that Shawn will end up being the woman who Nightwing settles down with.

Verdict
There is great chemistry between Dick and Damian, hearkening back to their time as Batman and Robin. It will be interesting to see how his relationship with Shawn will develop.

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Derek McNeil

I have been an avid reader of DC Comics since the early 70s. My earliest exposure was to Batman and Superman comics, Batman (Adam West) reruns, and watching the Super-Friends every Saturday morning.