Rebirth claims to have turned back the clock to a more hopeful time in DC Comics. Well, Nightwing is certainly achieving it in tone, style, and substance. Set across the globe with a cast from the past, Tim Seeley’s Nightwing #19 continues to be one of the best DC books out there right now.
Now that Dick Grayson has learnt of Dr Hurt’s return and Damian’s kidnapping, he and Shawn Tsang head off to Egypt to find the little runt. As expected, having Shawn along proves to be a distraction for Dick, as he still doesn’t know if he’s about to become a father or not. She also doesn’t help matters much by saying things such as he’d make an excellent father. Tim, you’re killing us here, dude; just tell us if there’s a little Grayson on the way or not!
Inside the hidden temple, Deathwing appears, wanting another round with Dick. This time, though, the former Boy Wonder is the one who lays the smackdown, unlocking his nemesis’s third eye and forcing him into excruciating mental pain. With Deathwing defeated, Dick rushes to save Damain from Dr Hurt’s sinister plans, but it appears as if he might be too late to save his former partner.
As mentioned before, there’s an old-school vibe to Nightwing #19. In many ways, it reminds me of the times when Batman and Robin would have globetrotting adventures in Detective Comics. Being an international reader, it’s nice to see the characters go outside of the US every so often. Additionally, it’s a welcome surprise to see a different villain brought into this title. Sure, Dr Hurt might be known for his history with Batman, but there are many angles and tangents to explore here as well.
Once again, Javier Fernandez and Minkyu Jung’s art complements Seeley’s storytelling, as they continue their formidable run here. The synergy between artists and writer grows stronger with each passing issue, and it’s a partnership that DC would be wise to keep intact.
Part of me is excited to see how this arc ends, while the other half doesn’t want it to. “Nightwing Must Die” contains all the hooks and crooks that make it an instant classic, but I don’t want Dick to go back to Blüdhaven or Damian to the Titans just yet. There’s something incredibly powerful to this tale and Seeley would do well to explore further adventures between these two protagonists.