Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows

Death of the Family Crossover

Spoiler alert! You have been warned!

Kyle Higgins is on board to be the next Scott Snyder. His scripting is that of a seasoned comic book writing veteran. And this issue, along with the regular artist Kyle Higgins turning in yet another stellar performance, is no exception to that rule. Poor Dick Grayson’s life is just getting worse and worse as the Joker takes over Haly’s Circus and immediately traps Nightwing in a room full of dead bodies, presumably all of the circus people, both past and present. He then fills the room with gas and the true revenge begins. But the greatest part of this issue is not simply the art or the dialogue. It’s the fact that both of these creators truly seem to understand the motivations of both of these characters. And it shows in every single frame.

Nightwing 16 Picture 2

Whether you want to refer to it as a dream sequence, a nightmare sequence, or a drug-induced hallucination sequence, it’s all the same. It’s a great way to tell a horrifying story about the Joker and his jealousy. Nightwing was the one of the Bat family who actually grew up, changed, and left the Bat’s side. But he makes him weak because he always comes back. And Joker hates that more than he hates being one-upped. He hates the fact that Batman is becoming weak in his mind, yes, but he hates the idea that Batman might actually eventually forget him even more. The concept that he might move on… Might not need him anymore. So he torments Nightwing and knocks him unconscious, just before threatening that, even though he is going to probably kill him, he’s going to ruin his life first. To prove a point.

And then we get that final page that we’ve been getting in all of the Bat family titles this month. You know, the one where Joker is dressed up in his purple Sunday best and getting ready to open up the fly-covered bloody platter? Yeah. That teaser is not getting old. Not yet. I simply can’t wait for the finale in Batman and to be back here again in a month for the inevitable fallout for the rest of the family. Who else has the Joker taken away from Dick Grayson? And just how far is this going to push Nightwing into the abyss that will make him finally become what he fears the most? Will this be the breaking point that truly makes him the real heir to Batman? Or worse? It’s going to be amusing and terrifying and shocking to see just what point the Clown Prince of Crime is trying to make, and why the original Boy Wonder seems to be getting it the worst of all of the family members.