Review: Nightwing #13

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

Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor

Nightwing and the Run-Offs arrive too late to save Forsyth, but they do manage to get Forsyth to tell them the last member of his group and probable next victim- Mayor Madrigal! Unfortunately, the Run-Offs decide they don’t want to be involved anymore. They feel like they’ve been set up on this murder as well. Forsyth was killed with Thrill Devil’s motorcycle and they decide they just don’t have the stomach for anymore.

Meanwhile, at police headquarters, Detective Svodoba in her interrogation of Shawn Tsang has noticed a commonality in these murders and murders from an older previously solved case. Nightwing manages to make it to the mayor’s office to save him from his attacker – a guy in a lame Nightwing disguise. In the fight, the knock off ‘Wing pushes the Mayor out the window. Surprisingly, Shawn flies by to grab him aided by some homemade rocket boots.

The fake Nightwing’s mask comes off in the tussle and it turns out to be Jimmy Nice!  After seeing the Mayor secured by Shawn, Dick turns to face the fake Nightwing, but the Police, under orders to apprehend the real Nightwing, force Dick to leap out the window himself.  On the ground he finds Shawn, but he is surprised to see Detective Svodoba put a gun in his face and is apparently set up by Shawn which suggests Svodoba may be part of the problem in Bludhaven.

This was a quick moving action oriented issue.  The knock off Nightwing was reminiscent of Nite-Wing from Dick’s ’90’s Nightwing ongoing series.  It was also great to see Shawn jump into action to assist Dick.

It was disappointing to see the Run-Offs give up so quickly.  It was also disheartening that Dick didn’t give them an inspiring ‘rah-rah’ speech to motivate them to pull themselves up and join him in his fight.  As the issue progressed Jimmy Nice felt telegraphed, although I hope his backstory for his motivation turns out to be interesting.  If Shawn has truly betrayed Dick and Detective Svodoba is in league with the bad guys, then this arc has gone very sideways from the feel-good/redemptive nature of the first half of the story line.

Despite moving the story along, this issue felt like a misstep.  It failed to present much character work that has been so strong in this arc.  The Run-Offs could’ve helped save the day here instead of bailing on Dick.  Additionally, Dick once again seems all alone in his fight without a friend to turn to.

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