Someone’s decided that “Nightwing Must Die!,” and after finishing the twisted and tense NIGHTWING #18, we now know who it is!
You remember Professor Pyg, right? He’s the seriously disturbed (and disturbing) former Spyral agent who wrecked his own mind and has now become obsessed with artistic perfection. That’s a real problem considering his preferred medium is humanity. Pyg is one of the most disturbing villains Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne ever had to deal with during their stint as Batman and Robin, which makes it extra distressing that he’s the person who kidnapped Dick’s possibly pregnant girlfriend Shawn.
Our heroes learned this after they were attacked by a “Dollotron” version of Nightwing—who goes by “Deathwing”—and Robin created by Pyg. The two doppelgangers were easily defeated, in part because the “Robintron” doesn’t seem to be as set in his sinister ways as his partner. In fact, he genuinely seems to want to help…
Nightwing and Robin hunt down Pyg, who is all set to turn Shawn into his latest masterpiece. As the heroes struggle against Pyg and his Dollotrons, a much different moment plays out between the two doppelgangers away from the battle.
Meanwhile, Nightwing frees Shawn, who helps him take down Professor Pyg with a spray from one of her trusty paint cans. As the couple shares a tender moment, Damian grapples up to where they left the Dollotron clones and makes a shocking discovery: Deathwing has brutally murdered Robintron! He’d tricked the Robin clone into thinking he’d overcome Pyg’s programming, and then strangled him after he got the boy to set him free.
Needless to say, this angers Robin, but it becomes clear that Deathwing and even Professor Pyg are just pieces in a much larger game when this happens…
Holy Zur-En-Arrh, Batman! Dr. Hurt is back! For those of you unfamiliar with him, you need to go read Grant Morrison’s run on Batman right now. Seriously, go read it. Once you have, you’ll realize how serious the return of Simon Hurt is for Dick Grayson.
Of course, it’s arguably even more serious for Damian Wayne, who seems to have been shot in the back. Will Robin really die at dawn? Will this story get any more awesome? We don’t know how that’s even possible, but you’d better believe we’ll be there for the next chapter of Nightwing in two weeks to find out!