By: Matthew Rapier
One of the clowns at Haley’s Circus, Jimmy, holds a note which looks to be from a lover years ago. Raya breaks his moment of reminiscing to ask what’s bothering him. He shuffles around the truth while another member of the circus, Marc, tells Raya to go ask Dick if pouring cement on the soft ground to help get better tension is okay.
Dick keeps having the same dream of the last time he saw his parents alive and is awaken by Raya’s request. She tries to dodge a request from Grayson to talk out whatever is bothering her over dinner, but eventually gives in. Later that night as the circus event unfolds; Dick can tell that Jimmy is obviously worried about something that he keeps denying. The Spirit Acheron, who was summered earlier by a woman named Zohna arrives and kidnaps Jimmy with Nightwing on his tail.
It’s revealed that Jimmy and Zohna were once lovers and she is distraught over their going separate ways. She has conjured the mystical beast so he can bind their souls together as she once thought would happen. Nightwing battles Acheron and Zohna and defeats them with little difficulty, freeing Jimmy in the process. An end reveal gives a good look at what lies ahead for Dick, as Raya is seen willingly in an alliance with Raymond, the Saiko killer.
Nightwing spouts a line in this issue which sums up my feelings accurately, “This is so out of my wheelhouse it’s not even funny.” For me this whole issue just felt a little out of place in what has been going on since day one of the new Nightwing title. It’s not a terrible story by any means, but it feels really rushed and just thrown together for the sake of making the month’s deadline. The art is the strongest part of the issue without question. Eddy Barrows has been so consistent with this title and every time I think of Nightwing, his art immediately pops in my head. The twist at the end is good to save this issue from being a complete loss and we’ll see how Raya and Raymond will fit in with the upcoming Night of Owls crossover.
Overall Grade: 6/10