After dealing with some intense personal moments Dick Grayson is going to get a chance to focus in on being just Nightwing as he deals with the events from Dark Nights: Metal alongside the Batman Family, Suicide Squad and Green Arrow. We have already seen how Nightwing got directly involved with Batman’s plan to discover the mysteries behind the Metals of the universe and Dark Multiverse. Now Nightwing will have to deal with the fallout of Batman’s discovery as he battles the threats that have come from the Dark Multiverse. Will the Dark Knights prove to be too much for the Batman Family and their allies to deal with? Let’s find out with a look at Nightwing #29.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Paul Pelletier
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Andriano Lucas
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Two days after Challengers Mountain appeared the Batman Who Laughs visits Arkham Asylum and meets Mr. Freeze. Batman Who Laughs hands Mr. Freeze a card to give him more power.
In the present Nightwing, Robin, Green Arrow, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc battle one of Mr. Freeze’s ice monsters. The four are able to work together to force the ice monster to get destroyed by an oncoming train.
Robin confronts Nightwing for leaving him behind in his search for Batman. Robin notices Nightwing’s the head wound Deathwing caused has opened back up. Nightwing reveals that it opened up after leaving the Justice League in the Amazon and it drew him towards the mountain.
Nightwing goes on to say he has been following a special sphere inside the ice monster, which ends up shooting out to an unknown location. Nightwing then thanks Green Arrow for watching out for Robin.
Elsewhere the Teen Titans are doing their best to protect the citizens from beasts laying waste to the city. They end up getting some help from the Suicide Squad.
After saving people the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad deal with their uneasy alliance as a Dark Multiverse Robin watches on.
Back in Gotham, Nightwing leads his team to Newhouse Park, the location his wound is taking him to. Nightwing finds a Court of Owl statue that looks to be new.
Suddenly a powered up Mr. Freeze shows up and he creates even more ice monsters.
Outside Riddler’s Labyrinth the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad continue to disagree about working together. They are suddenly attacked by an army of Dark Multiver Robins. The Dark Robins quickly overwhelm the two teams with their supernatural powers.
Back at Newhouse Park, Nightwing has Killer Croc hit the Court of Owl statue, which opens up a secret door. Nightwing, Robin, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Green Arrow all head inside and lock the door behind it.
Inside they find a storage facility filled with weapons. Nightwing reveals that the weapons are made of Metal that is connected to Barbatos that the Court of Owls made to combat him.
Robin gets frustrated with Nightwing and says they can’t continue to go along with his decisions in dealing with Batman missing. Nightwing calms Robin down by reminding him that they will figure a way out and find Batman as a family.
Now armed with special Metal weapons, Nightwing, Robin, Harley Quinn, Green Arrow and Killer Croc fight off all of Mr. Freeze’s ice monsters. Robin and Green Arrow are able to reach Mr. Freeze and use their weapons to knock him out.
Green Arrow finds the card Batman Who Laughs gave Mr. Freeze but a metal sphere quickly takes it from Green Arrow’s hand.
Nightwing suddenly starts having dark visions and the word Barbatos repeating in his head calling out to him.
Elsewhere the Dark Robin finishes transforming the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad into demonic versions of themselves. End of issue.
The Good: Nightwing #29 does exactly what it needed to do in expanding the narrative created by Dark Nights: Metal. In continuing the story of the Batman Family’s adventures we are able to see how past story arcs like Batman RIP, Court of Owls and Nightwing Must Die tie into DC’s big event.
The connections to these past events is what made Nightwing #29 such a strong companion comic. Tim Seeley especially did a good job in keeping Nightwing and Robin at the center of the story. It only makes sense that we would see these two have a major role in leading the Green Arrow, Teen Titans and Suicide Squad against the Dark Multiverse since they have the most experience with Barbatos. That experience made the characters maintain a sense of importance and allowed them to have their own sub-plots that could be a major focal point for Dark Nights: Metal.
The most interesting part of these sub-plots is Nightwing’s connection to Barbatos continuously being brought up. The cut he received from Deathwing using Dr. Hurt’s blade was unexpected but made sense. It is a revelation that makes the “Nightwing Must Die” story arc even more important and makes you wonder what exactly Nightwing’s role in Dark Nights: Metal will be.
Adding to Nightwing’s unknown role in Dark Nights: Metal is how Seeley brought the Court of Owls into the story. Given the fact that Scott Snyder established that Nightwing’s family has a deep history with the Court of Owls it would not be surprising to see the character play an important role in the main story. This is one of those sub-plots that feels like Snyder will come back to.
Seeley also did a great job using Nightwing #29 as another spotlight on Nightwing and Robin’s brotherly relationship. Throughout the issue we get to see how Nightwing is continuously the only one that can keep Robin at check emotionally. The final interaction before the big fight showed how Nightwing understands how Robin is feeling about Batman’s disappearance and knew exactly how to calm his brother down in his emotional distress.
Though not playing a big role it was fun to have Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and Green Arrow around as supporting cast. Green Arrow being happy to have Nightwing around was a nice continuation of the Teen Titans issue where Green Arrow felt like a babysitter. Similarly, having Killer Croc and Harley Quinn around was nice side story of how these two interacted with one another as there was clear beauty and the beast thing going with them.
On the other side of things, it’ll be interesting to see where the rest of this crossover tie-in goes with the Dark Robins now taking over the rest of the Teen Titans and Suicide Squad. This hook ending does create a lot of questions as to what the Dark Knights will be doing on Earth. At the same time, we may get some clues into how they can be taken down by the Metals if Nightwing and company can figure out a way to save their friends and teammates.
With how action heavy Nightwing #29 was Paul Pelletier delivered on every level. He kept the action moving both in the middle of Gotham City and over near Riddler’s Labyrinth. Both locations had a different setting to them and Pelletier got over how our heroes had to battle the environment in each location.
The Bad: For those not interested in Dark Nights: Metal than Nightwing #29 will be an issue that you should pass on. Even with the connection to “Nightwing Must Die” there isn’t a lot here for those just looking for a continuation of Nightwing’s ongoing adventures in Bludhaven. There are also some details in this issue relating to the last Dark Nights: Metal issue that if you aren’t reading could lose you.
Overall: Nightwing #29 is a great tie-in issue that adds depth to what is going on in Dark Nights: Metal. Tim Seeley did a great job bringing past Batman and Nightwing stories into this issue. That history is elevated by the strong character interactions we get throughout Nightwing #29. So if you are reading Dark Nights: Metal I highly recommend picking this crossover tie-in story up.