[Redacted] Returns This Week In Nightwing #18

If there’s one thing I can say about Tim Seeley and Javier Fernandez’s current run on Nightwing, it’s that no story arc is like the one that preceded it. Having started out with a spy-like tale very reminiscent of the Grayson series, the next arc sent Dick to Bludhaven, a city that longtime fans of the character have been familiar with, yet was somehow never a part of the New 52.

The latest arc, “Nightwing Must Die,” is undoubtedly the craziest, most ambitious one yet. After Dick’s possibly pregnant girlfriend, Shawn, finds herself kidnapped, he and Robin (Damian Wayne) embark on a quest to find her. Along the way, they run into a new take on Deathwing, who’s accompanied by a twisted reflection of Robin.

As it turns out, the two tragic figures are but Dollotrons by way of Professor Pyg. But here’s the kicker: He’s not the mastermind behind what’s been going on of late. No. The man behind the curtain should’ve been obvious, but none of us saw him coming – Dr. Simon Hurt.

That’s right, Bruce Wayne’s devil worshiping ancestor who served as the main antagonist during the Batman RIP days has finally made his return. Having last been seen at the end of the Batman and Robin Must Die! (unless you’re counting Convergence, which we’re really not), we all should’ve taken the title “Nightwing Must Die” as our biggest hint.

Factoring in that Nightwing and Robin are riding around in the same Batmobile from when the former took up the mantle of Batman, this really is starting to feel like a spiritual sequel, and I, for one, can’t wait to see where the creative team takes us. After all, it could be argued that Hurt is as much of a villain for Dick Grayson as he is for Bruce Wayne.

Nightwing #18 is now available in comic shops.