With Fear State coming to a close Nightwing and the rest of the Batman Family have there work cut out for them. Because while Batman is busy stopping Scarecrow and Peacekeeper-01 the rest of the Batman Family have not only the Magistrate but also Seer, who took over all of Oracle’s technology, to contend with. It could very well be said that the Batman Family have the most important mission in order for Gotham City to save from descending into the permanent chaos that Fear State has caused. Can Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, and the Batgirls put a stop to the Magistrate? Let’s find out with Nightwing #86.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Robbie Rodriguez
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Nightwing, Oracle, and Red Robin rush to the destroyed Clocktower to see if Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain survived the explosion. As they desperately dig through the rubble Stephanie contacts Oracle to let her know she and Cassandra escaped before the explosion while fighting the Peacekeepers.
Nightwing, Oracle, and Red Robin then go find and hug Stephanie and Cassandra, happy they are alive. After catching up on what happened, including Red Robin dropping the fact Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon kissed, they discuss how to reach the Magistrate’s Skybase to stop Seer and the Magistrate. Nightwing comes up with a plan to use the Magistrate’s own soldiers technology against them.
A little later Red Robin and Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) get a group of Peacekeepers to chase them into an alley. Nightwing, Oracle, and Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) then appear out of the shadows and help Red Robin and Batgirl defeat all of the Peacekeepers.
Nightwing then has everyone put on the Peacekeeper armor so they can use the suits authentication and jetpacks to quickly reach the Magistrate’s Skybase.
As soon as they get inside Skybase a digital version of Seer appears in front of them to reveal she alerted the Magistrate of their arrival. Nightwing tells the others to take off their helmets so they don’t end up fighting each other by accident.
As they fight all the Peacekeepers on their way to save the people the Magistrate kidnaped Seer mocks the Batman Family. Eventually they get to the kidnapped people and are able to break them free. Nightwing tells Red Robin and the Batgirls to evacuate the people off the Skybase while he and Oracle go finish the job at the command center.
At the command center Nightwing and Oracle quickly takes out Simon Saint’s guards. Oracle finds out that while whoever is Seer isn’t there she left a clue to her presence. Oracle then goes about downloading all the incriminating information about what the Magistrate were really doing. Simon Saint tries to stop her but Oracle knocks him out.
Making sure that Red Robin and the Batgirls evacuated everyone Oracle lets Nightwing do the honors of bringing down the Magistrate’s Skybase.
As the Magistrate’s Skybase sinks into Gotham City’s river Oracle thinks about how Seer got away. Nightwing says they were able to save Gotham City from the Magistrate and stop Seer’s plans at the same time. He goes on to say they’ll eventually find the real Seer and stop her for good.
Elsewhere the person who was Seer is shown in an alley changing into her Seer coat, revealing she was part of the group that was kidnapped by the Magistrate and saved by the Batman Family. End of issue.
The Good: Once again Tom Taylor and Robbi Rodriguez deliver the perfect compliment to the work James Tynion and Jorge Jimenez were doing on the Batman series with Nightwing #86. The story expands on the appearance of Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, and the Batgirls from Batman #117 while continuing the main plot thread this series has been following during Fear State.
The explosion at Oracle’s Clocktower that almost killed Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain was a good tone setter for this Nightwing #87. There was no time to waste for these five Batman Family members as they are constantly being targeted by the Magistrate. That along with how the Seer continues to manipulate everything to make things worse for the Batman Family added to the sense of urgency Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, and the Batgirls had to have with getting to the Magistrate’s Skybase.
At the same time, Taylor does is able to further develop how close of a relationship the Batman Family members have with one another. The reunion scene with Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Tim Drake finding Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain nicely sums up how they do all share a tight family relationship. The hugging going to Tim being the little brother by mentioning Dick and Barbara kiss from the previous issue, and Stephanie and Cassandra asking about more details, all works to quickly show how organic their interactions are.
It was a nice light scene that was quickly transitioned back into the urgency of stopping both the Magistrate and Seer at the same time. Nightwing having them steal Peacekeeper armor further showed how they needed to work as efficiently as possible. In the process Taylor still works in the different personalities of Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, and the Batgirls to make the entire scene enjoyable. It really did get over how the Batman Family are really stronger together rather than apart with how they were able to get it all done.
The strength of the Batman Family being able to get to and sink the Magistrate’s Skybase also highlighted how new of a villain that Seer is. Even though she manipulated the Batman Family to help her get out of the Magistrate’s clutches she did not accomplish her goal of taking them down. While she failed it did seem that Seer was using all of this chaos as a test run to see what else she needs to do to better take down the Batman Family in the future. Which sets her up nicely to be a major villain in the upcoming Batgirls series launching next month.
Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, and the Batgirls being the ones to actually take down the Magistrate while Batman was busy fighting Peacekeeper-01 and Scarecrow all felt appropriate. Especially given how we saw them all fight on the frontlines along with the rest of the Batman Family during Future State it is only right that they put an end to Magistrate. Both Oracle knocking Simon Saint out and Nightwing pushing the button to sink the Magistrate’s Skybase was very rewarding as a fan who did read what the Future State versions of the character went through in that DC Elseworld continuity.
Robbie Rodriguez delivered very solid artwork throughout Nightwing #86. Rodriguez art style is very much at home with the Gotham City setting. It has the ground, stylized book that fits well with showcasing the type of action the Batman Family get into. He also did a good job adding to the light hearted moments we get along with how much of a relief it was for Nightwing and Oracle to bring down the Magistrate while still being concerned about Seer.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Nightwing #86 delivers what you want from a tie-in to a big event. This issue expanded on the events that took place during Fear State by showing how important Nightwing, Oracle, Red Robin, and the Batgirls were to bringing down the Magistrate. In the process we got to see the Batman Family dynamic shine throughout Nightwing #86. It’s a win-win for all.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.