“Nobody likes a knock-off.” Nightwing #15 introduces the coming death toll for “Death of a Family” and Dick is going have to clean up the trail of dead bodies.

PLOT: A “DEATH OF THE FAMILY” tie-in! The Joker strikes Haly’s Circus — and Nightwing can’t stop a devastating murder.

RATING: Enjoyable Issue, sets up the issue for the next.

REACTION: Well, Kyle Higgins (writer of Nightwing) is back! This is absolutely great since he took a two issue break from Nightwing. He’s back nightwing-015-06with a fresh new story that begins with “Death of a Family.” Higgins has promised in many interviews that there will be a death toll in Nightwing’s crossover, which from the first few pages of the issue shows the beginning of the bodies piling up. In Issue #15, Joker is exploring how many bodies it takes to break Dick down.

PRAISES: It starts off with a death because that’s where Higgins is trying to push for…a death toll. However, the death of a Jimmy in this issue signifies more than just a push for a story; it also establishes how Joker feels about Dick as Nightwing as a “knock-off.” Now, this is a big picture concept that can mean anything at this point. We all know that Nightwing was Batman awhile back in Scott Snyder’s Black Mirror, where Joker called him a fake. Could this mean that Joker really knows who Dick Grayson is? Joker pinned the sign “Nobody likes a knock-off” onto Jimmy’s body, which hung from the Amusement Mile sign. Could the Joker be stating that Haly Circus is fake because Dick is trying to bring joy and happiness to Gotham City. In this city, things like happiness and joy don’t exist because it’s a dream that will never come true in Gotham. Gotham City is nightwing-015-13doomed in its darkness and disarray. The meaning behind “Nobody likes a knock-off” is totally the concept for Nightwing’s crossover. So, we won’t know what it truly means until the next issue.

Eddy Barrows (artist of Nightwing) is also back, but unfortunately he will be leaving after Issue #16. Barrows shines well when it comes to full pages of artwork such as Dick Grayson swinging around Gotham City with Batgirl. Barrows even does well when it came to Dick’s guilty subconscious thoughts as he kissed Sonia Zucco. The most memorable part of Barrows’ work is when he illustrated Jimmy being hung from the Amusement Mile’s sign.

DISAPPOINTMENTS: One of the greatest disappointments in this issue is that Joker really didn’t have much of an appearance. Yes, we saw him from time to time; but it wasn’t a full on appearance by the Clown Prince of Crimes. The whole reason for this is that Joker doesn’t really take Nightwing seriously and instead has learned how inflict pain on Nightwing by indirectly hurting him. Since Joker calls him a “knock-off” it’s a deliberate move by Higgins to show Joker very little in this issue especially since it’s a set up. Barrows’ version of the Joker looked more sinister than scary, which doesn’t match up to Greg Capullo’s version of the Joker. But hey, to each his own right?

This issue is not a totally disappointment, Higgins stated that he was bringing death to Nightwing and he has. Basically, right now Higgins is trying to create a spin-off story for Nightwing in efforts to bring on a new story for the character to face in the New Year. So right now, enjoy the issue for it’s worth and stay tuned for more smiling death scenes.

Check out some of the panels that I thought were cool.

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