This week from DC comics we get the final showdown between Nightwing and the heart stealer. Nightwing 81 not only gives Dick a chance at Heartless, but it also shows where the true heart of the city lies. It also drops a bombshell that, if true, changes the landscape of Bludhaven forever! Dick can take a lot, but I don’t think even he is ready for this.

Nightwing 81 – Solidifying Control

Blockbuster controls Bludhaven and has for some time. The previous mayor was a stooge, but when a stooge screws up and fails to provide the needed results, they can be replaced – easily. Nightwing 81 begins with Melinda Zucco, daughter of crime boss Tony Zucco, being sworn in as the new Mayor of Bludhaven. Of course, it goes from the swearing-in ceremony straight to an audience with Blockbuster and his gang. It’s not ‘how are you going to serve the city’, it’s ‘how are you going to serve me(Blockbuster)’. Welcome to the world of corrupt politics.

Then we come to the heart of the issue, or should I say Heartless. We knew this confrontation was coming, especially after Heartless killed the homeless father Dick attempted to help out, but this isn’t the Nightwing show anymore. Since returning from his amnesia, Dick now enjoys back-up from both Oracle and Robin. The streets now are more like Team Nightwing. I really like the way DC does this through all their titles right now. Many lesser characters that do not have titles of their own are seeing use and being featured. Characters like Oracle, Huntress, and Harley are making their presence known.

The fight is intense, but still, one-sided. Dick makes the mistake of thinking Heartless will be a push-over. Heartless contains plenty of power, but he lacks training and focus. The minute Dick realizes this, the fight is all but over. Or is it? Heartless may be untrained in the ways of combat, but he knows Nightwing’s weakness. If you can’t hurt the one you’re fighting, hurt the innocent around him. Heartless triggers a bomb that traps a large number of children being shepherded away by Robin on a collapsing pier. It gives Heartless his out, but how do Nightwing and Robin save all those kids?

The solution is, how shall we say, historic. Much like the beaches at Dunkirk in WWII, Nightwing calls upon the civilian fleet of Bludhaven, and thankfully his faith is not misplaced. Nightwing always believed Bludhaven was a good city. It just had poor, corrupt leadership.

Nightwing 81 – Unraveling the Future

I love the little scene that comes next. It feels right to have Robin, Barbara, and Dick all together. Their shared pasts always made them feel like a tight-knit group/family, but it never really came across that way until now. Granted Robin confuses me. Pretty sure this Robin is Tim Drake, but he looks way younger than he should. He also comes up with a new identity for Haley – Bitewing!

Of course, leave it to Dick to push too hard. He just returned from being shot in the head by KGBeast. He suffered a concussion with Heartless, but will he take it easy? Of course not. Barbara shares some intel on the new mayor, Mayor Zucco. It’s bad enough the city’s actions have him hungering to end the corruption more than ever, the name doesn’t help. Zucco. Daughter of the man who killed his parents. This fight keeps becoming more and more personal.

Both Barbara and Robin tell him to rest, so of course, Dick will charge off to investigate Mayor Zucco. Who could sleep when a woman with ties to every single crime syndicate now runs his city? Dick needs information and needs to find out what he’s up against. Besides, what could go wrong? Concussion of day number 2. Babs tried to warn him. Dick finds himself tied up when he regains consciousness, but not very well. The ropes may break easily enough, but what comes next cannot be so easily undone.

Nightwing 81 – SPOILERS! The Game Just Changed!

Nightwing wakes up with one startling realization. Being tied up aside, he no longer wore his mask. His secret identity falling into the hands of his enemies could undo everything he was trying to fix. He looks up to see Mayor Zucco staring straight back at him, mask in hand. Worse yet, she recognizes him! The mayor knows who he is. If there were any questions about how personal this was becoming for Dick, this scene clears it all up. He explodes through his ropes and shoves Zucco back against the wall. He shouts “I know you, too!” Dick screams her profile back at her, listing the who’s who of crime families, but what comes next just changed the game – big time!

While Zucco admits she used to think this, she recently found out it’s not true. She learned her true father was none other than John GRAYSON! Dick Grayson has a sister! First off we would be wise to doubt. Crime syndicates love to send in imposters, claiming they are family to our heroes. They infiltrate the good guys and learn what they need to know to bring them down, but could this be true? If she truly is Dick’s sister, he has family outside of the Bat-family again. Could she be the lead he needs to take down Blockbuster and the rest of the criminals of Bludhaven? or does she now pose a greater problem. How does Dick protect her from the coming war if she lives point-blank in the center of the conflict?!

I guess we have to see what the future holds. What did you think of Nightwing 81? Is what she said true? Head over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and tell us where you think this leads.