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Written By: Tim Seeley Art By: Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: November 2, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Alright all you Nightwing fans, it's time to end our Rise of The Raptor arc and get on with what this series can possibly be. Yeah, that's a little negative right off the bat, but I've just been tired of reading about this strange ass character and his "do whatever I need it to do" gauntlet that I still don't understand. Raptor just hasn't been that interesting to me and I hate the way that Nightwing acts around him and now hopefully since Raptor kidnapped Bruce Wayne in the previous issue, we can get Dick Grayson back to being the hero we all know and love with him possibly parting ways with his short term partner. Let's jump into this issue and see the final conflict between Nightwing and Raptor and find out what drives Raptor to do the things he does. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with a little backstory about how Dick's father John wasn't too happy to have his wife Mary's friend hanging around the circus or his sons and you guessed it, this old friend is Raptor, who we saw in the previous issue had photos and newspaper clippings of Dick Grayson throughout his life and we find out here from a memory that Dick just has out of nowhere, about his parents arguing about a strange man, that Raptor's been in Dick's life for quite some time. So yeah, Raptor has Bruce Wayne and we discover that since Bruce surrendered to a mask man at the Gotham press conference that this act to save lives has inspired the people and has made Wayne Enterprises' stocks soar, but it also leads into Raptor's death trap that is set to jam a silver spoon into Bruce's throat the second that the stock rises to $200 because Raptor's all about bitching about the one percenters.
After we find out what Bruce's fate will be, Dick shows up and just starts beating the shit out of Raptor, while the villain tells Dick all about how he was a poor dirty boy in the circus, who the French didn't like and when he got leprosy, he was cast out of the circus and left on his own with the disease that caused him to stop feeling pain. Eventually though, a girl came to see him that could see past how dirty and gross he was and the two of them stole antibiotics to help him and he swore that day that he would always be there for her......... We're talking about Dick's mother Mary of course and when she died at the hands of Tony Zucco, Raptor made sure to always watch Dick Grayson, especially because a wealthy asshole that reminded him of the French that denied him medical attention took the boy in. For some reason though, Raptor waited until now to try and get Dick on his side and show him how terrible it is to be rich, but now is too late and Dick gets Raptor to lose focus during their fight by telling him that he failed Mary and became a monster because of the pain that welled up inside of him and easily takes Raptor down by breaking his bones to the point that Raptor couldn't even stand.
In the end, after Raptor was incapacitated, Nightwing rescues Bruce from his deathtrap and all's well that ends well. Dick calls up Tiger and Spyral takes custody of Raptor and Bruce and Dick have themselves a nice moment putting a pin in this arc.
That's it for this issue of Nightwing and while I'm not the biggest fan of what we've gotten with Raptor, I do have to say that I enjoyed the amount of dialog we got from Dick explaining why Raptor was wrong in his way of thinking about Bruce Wayne because it really made for a touching scene, even though it was all during a fight scene. Yeah, Raptor is done and his reasons for doing what he was doing weren't great, but overall I didn't mind this issue and even found myself enjoying the art to a degree........... which is something new for me. Overall, we got some touching moments, but nothing that spectacular and the ending seemed a bit anticlimactic for all the buildup we had about the mystery of Raptor. Now that this is over though, I look forward to seeing what else we'll get from this series because I want to see something new and fresh that just doesn't remind me of the Grayson title, only weaker.
Bits and Pieces:
This ending is a bit lackluster, but we do get some decently touching scenes out of our hero and a pretty kick ass fight. Ultimately though, this story arc wasn't great and Raptor's motivations were a little underwhelming for all the buildup we got, but I was at least happy that I enjoyed the art for the most part.