Dick Grayson has been brought back into the world of being a super spy as Huntress has recruited him to figure out what is going on with Spyral. The adventure has so far taken Dick back into a life he thought he left behind. But now as the adventure has gone on we are seeing how even though he is back as Nightwing that it may have not been best to leave Spyral for Tiger to rule over. At least that is what it looked like until we found out their was a second Tiger, who has now taken control of Spyral. What is this new Tiger’s motivation for taking over Spyral? Let’s find that out with Nightwing #28.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Javier Fernandez and Miguel Mendonca
Inker: Javier Fernandez and Diana Egea
Colorist: Chris Sotomayor
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Surprised to see another Tiger, Nightwing attacks the one calling himself the new Tiger King. “Tiger King” counters with an electric attack that stuns Nightwing and reveals he is really Mr. Minos.
Outside Spyral HQ, Huntress and the Skullgirls are unable to get inside. Minos suddenly appears much to Huntress’ surprise, as she thought she killed him. Minos reveals that Huntress only killed one of his many copies. Minos then release mustard gas that quickly fills the room.
One of the Skullgirls is able to find a door that is open, leading into a hallway. They all run through the hall and when they reach the end they are surprised to find Lotti Duff. Lotti reveals that after she helped the rest of the Skullgirls out of Spyral HQ Minos tagged her and made her work for him. Huntress asks Lotti what Minos is after. Lotti says that Minos wants Nightwing.
In Bludhaven, Mouse has snuck her way inside the Marcus Casino and makes it into Roland Desmond’s room. Before Mouse can attempt to kill Roland, Shawn, in her Defacer costume, shows up telling her she can’t do it.
Roland suddenly wakes up and transforms into Blockbuster. Shawn quickly blinds Blockbuster with a spray can and flies herself and mouse out of the casino, all as Pigeon watches from the casino’s rooftop.
Back inside Spyral HQ, Minos has strapped Nightwing up to his Zeus Machine. Minos reveals that he used the machine to learn everything he could from Tiger’s mind but was surprised to find out that he couldn’t get information on Nightwing or Batman from Tiger.
Nightwing realizes that Minos wants his memories to have a file on the secret identities of all the superheroes. Minos says he does but first wants to make Nightwing suffer for getting in his way when in Spyral and now stopping his plans to sell older tech to criminals in Bludhaven.
As Minos begins punishing him, Nightwing gets contacted by Huntress. Huntress says she only has a second but will be uploading information into his brain to use.
Huntress thanks Lotti for assisting her. Lotti apologizes for the short window. Huntress says it was enough to put an idea in Nightwing’s head.
Nightwing questions if Minos even knows why he is doing all of this. Minos says Nightwing will die before knowing. Nightwing gets in Minos head by saying Minos doesn’t even know because all he knows is what he is programmed to do, not why he does it.
Minos takes off his Zeus Machine and reveals he is Hyperion 1.0, whoe was created by Project Cadmus alongside Checkmate Business Solutions.
As he says this Lotti is able to use the time Nightwing bout her to hack into Minos’ system and upload a worm into his system.
Meanwhile, Minos realizes that Nightwing has tricked him so Lotti can infect his system. Minos proceeds to attack Huntress and the Skullgirls with copies of Tiger.
Minos tells Nightwing that he will kill him. The real Tiger King suddenly recovers and attaches two cables to Minos’ head that fry his system, causing the Tiger clones to disappear.
As Minos begins to fade, Minos questions Nightwing if there is anything after death. Nightwing says he does not much to Minos horror, who does not want to know that he only existed to disappear into darkness. Minos body then complete fades away into dust.
Back in Bludhaven, Mouse says she just wanted someone pay for Giz’s death. Shawn talks to Stallion and mentions that Desmond did not see who they were. She then reflects on how Mouse almost threw away her life because she didn’t know how to focus her anger, just like she has been doing lately.
The next day, at the St. Hadrian’s School for Girls Lotti tells Nightwing that Minos’ back door into Spyral tech has been taken out. Lotti mentions that her new Pure Damn Brilliant 2.0 device will be renamed “The Gizmo” in honor of Giz, who gave his life to help her against Minos AI.
The Spyral agents that Minos was controlling then apologize to Nightwing for what happened and thanks him for saving them.
Huntress then says her goodbyes to the Skullgirls because she is not Spyral anymore. Huntress and Nightwing then take off in a Spyral helicopter they are borrowing.
As they fly back to Bludhaven, Huntress talks about how she has never been comfortable with being a Spyral agent and even now working as a superhero in Gotham City. She then says the only time she is comfortable is when she is with Nightwing.
Thirteen hours later Shawn is flying through Bludhaven and working on what she is going to say to Dick Grayson in order to repair their relationship and possibly get back together. When she gets to Dick’s apartment she is stunned and angered to find Dick and Helena in the middle of having sex.
Later that night as Dick and Helena are resting after having sex Tiger leaves Dick a voicemail where he reveals that Minos released Raptor. End of issue.
The Good: Nightwing #28 is a tale of two stories. On one end we have Nightwing’s portion that further built out the new world that Dick Grayson has found himself in. On the other we have a story of Shawn Tseng’s unknown journey back into her former life as Defacer. As the two stories go on simultaneously the former is strong enough not to be brought down by the weaker sub-plot involving Shawn’s character development.
With each passing story arc we are seeing how Tim Seeley is building an entire world around Nightwing. Though the character has been around almost as long as Batman and Superman, the one thing he has not had is a dedicated corner of the DC Universe to himself. Though his previous ongoings have done a good job in establishing Nightwing as a solo superhero he still has always been part of Batman’s larger world.
Now with Seeley’s run we are seeing how Nightwing is able to build a life that is his own. This latest arc that brings Spyral back into the fold is a great example of this. There is never a point that this does not feel like anything other than a Nightwing story. Seeley makes sure to emphasize how even though Nightwing has left his super spy life behind him that Spyral is an organization that is a permanent part of his life.
By bringing in Spyral back into Nightwing’s world Seeley is able to spotlight how important the character is to the greater DC Universe. As someone that has been able to bring friendships with just about every DCU hero Nightwing is a valuable mind of information for villains to get. Dropping in the revelation that Minos was created by Checkmate and Project Cadmus was a great way to show that importance as both names are important to the DCU landscape.
At the same time, we got to see how Nightwing operates compared to his peers. Through the battle with Minos we were able to see the way Nightwing is able to get in his opponent’s head is by talking. Getting Minos to the point that he was so annoyed by Nightwing’s words that it caused him to take off the Zeus Machine off and leave himself open to an attack to his systems.
And while Nightwing was able to take Minos down it was good to see that Minos’ attack will have more lasting effects on the series. Using Minos to bring Raptor back into the fold now sets things up to get even worse for Nightwing. Raptor was already a dangerous foe to fight without extreme motivation to take him down. Now Raptor is going to be returning with a drive to destroy Nightwing, which should be interesting to see how the villain goes about doing so with everything going on in Bludhaven.
As much as this story was about Nightwing, it was also about Huntress. Given his past writing the character in Grayson, it is not surprising for Seeley to know how to make Huntress a strong character. He did a good job making this story just as much about Huntress coming to terms with having put her Spyral life behind her. At the same time, Seeley shows that Huntress is still a flawed character for as strong as she wants others to see her as. Huntress mentioning this to Nightwing showed that there is much more to Huntress current adventures than what she has been letting the Birds of Prey and Nightwing know.
The Skullgirls were also a fun addition to the story. They were always an interesting cast of characters and focusing some attention on Lotti Duff by showing off her specialized skills as a hacker. Learning that Giz actually helped her out and that she named her new program after him was a nice way to honor a character that was killed out of nowhere. It at least gave the character’s some sense of meaning, even if the Run-Offs don’t know it.
Javier Fernandez and Miguel Mendonca did a good job mixing their art styles together to make sure Nightwing #28 had a consistent look. With Nightwing #28 be almost all just talking heads they were did a very good job keeping the story moving by making each facial reaction compliment the character’s dialogue. Fernandez and Mendonca did an especially good job getting across how crazy Minos was while also making him look like a robot who did not know who he was once that reveal happened.
The Bad: Shawn Tseng’s, and by extension the Run-Offs, part of Nightwing #28 continued to be the weakest part of this story arc. For a character that was once an interesting new addition to Nightwing’s life it is shame to see how Shawn has become the opposite of that now. Seeing her go back and forth between wanting to be better to thinking about being a villain again has not helped her character development.
That fact made the ending with her anger over seeing Dick and Helena in the middle of having sex not make you feel for her. Instead it is just one of those moments where you just want to ask Shawn what she expected Dick to do when she broke up with him. It at least makes you wonder what Shawn is actually looking for since she isn’t going about it like the way she tells others to act.
Shawn’s lack of intriguing character development also makes Pigeon’s sub-plot not that intriguing. The character just returning to her old ways does not make her a villain that I want to see have a dedicated story arc. Which is not a good thing considering Pigeon is a new villain in the DC Universe.
Overall: Nightwing #28 does a lot of things to create further interest in the future of this series. Tim Seeley’s understanding of Nightwing and Huntress’ characters made this a strong ending as the two are great compliments for one another. The strength in their dynamic helped cover up the eye rolling character development Shawn Tseng has gone through during this story arc. That said, we now have a lot to look forward to as Raptor is set to make his big return to Nightwing’s life.