With Paragon standing over him, Dick listens as he tells the rest of the Republic of Tomorrow that in order to save Gotham, the one who killed their brothers (Dick, supposedly) has to die. Well, Dick isn't into that, and pulls out a trick that has become increasingly more present in video games, the electrocuting escrima sticks, and starts whooping some ass.
All goes well until the RoT guys start shooting, forcing Dick to take cover behind a slab of cement, while Paragon goes on about how they must destroy the false idols who attract death. With the cement slowly chipping away, Dick comes up with an idea, and shoots a sonic device onto the near by clock, creating a sound so loud, it disables many of the RoT members... that is, until Paragon uses his whip things to completely knock the clock face off the tower, falling to the streets below. Needing to save the civilians below, Dick jumps out after it, fires a few explosives on it, and blows it up into a bunch of small, harmless pieces. Of course, this gives Paragon and the RoT the time to make their escape.
Having a better idea of what he's dealing with, Dick wonders who would try and mess with them? Better go to the cop who is known for trying to frame Batman. Confronting Detective Nie, as he walks to his car, Dick uses his cowl's scanners to try and get a lock on his cellphone. While that's happening, Dick distracts him, by doing what he does best, talking. The two exchange jabs, Dick with his innocence, Nie with his vigilantes are doing more harm than good, schtick. Once Dick gets the phone tracked, he makes his exit, leaving Nie to yell at him, as he swings away.
In a sewer, or some equally nondescript location, some of the RoT members speak with Paragon about the whole situation, and how things are just going to get worse if they continue. Paragon asks the more vocal one why he joined, reminding him that Batman's past actions inadvertently caused his sister to go to the hospital. He continues, believing Nightwing did kill those men, and questioning his men's dedication to the cause. They bring up the fact that Paragon did just almost kill a bunch of civilians, which leaves Paragon to end the conversation by straight up massacring all his men.
The next morning, Sonia Zucco shows up to Dick's apartment, as he hastily tries to clear away parts of his costume he left laying around. She's got some bad news, the bank heads voted against his loan application, citing that the recent events (Haly's show) make the investment too risky. Dick, reasonably stressed out, starts to get angry with Sonia, claiming the real reason why she said no to the loan was because working with him would be too embarrassing, due to who her father was. Sonia begins to gather her things, as she tells Dick: "I voted yes." Reavealing that she was the only one who wanted to go through with it, but the bank outvoted her. As she slams the front door on her exit, all Dick can say is "I'm sorry..."
Later in the Batcave, Damian shows up, finding "Grayson" to be a bit "off," letting him know he'll hold back on his promise to beat him (Batman and Robin plot) asking what's up with him. Dick's tracking Nie, and tells Damian he needed a change of scenery... also the Batcave's computer is faster. Dick then asks Damian if he's ever had one of those weeks. "No" replies Damian (of course), but he attempts to cheer Dick up a little bit (while still being a tad condescending) telling him that it's not "entirely unimpressive" that he's still around after everything that's recently happened to him and what he was supposed to be (a Talon). Dick tells Damian he's not running, and Damian delivers this gem in response:
"Good. As the foremost authority on disregarding ancestors' wishes for bloodthirsty killing, I think it's important to make statements like that... You think I wear yellow and green for fun, Grayson?"Something lights up in Dick's head. He tells Damian "it's all about making a statement." He then starts Goldbluming a bit, talking to Damian, sorta, but more talking to himself. Bringing up the picture of the brothers murdered, that was taken two days before their deaths, with no sign of the RoT tattoo, that was found on them when their bodies were discovered, yet in all the other pictures of them, they had the tattoo... meaning they had removed it prior to their deaths. Now Dick begins to think Nie actually wasn't involved with their deaths, and has a better idea of who may be trying to frame him...
Meanwhile, while that scene plays out, one with Nie, Gordon and Deputy Mayor Kavanaugh plays out, as Gordon ties to take Nie off the case. Nie straight up yells he's not trying to frame Nightwing, while the Deputy Mayor asks him why he's so obsessed then. Let's go back to issue #1. Remember those two cops Saiko killed? Turns out one of those cops was Nie's boyfriend, and thus he blames Nightwing for the death of the man he loved. Nie again pleads with Gordon not to take him off the case, and leaves with Gordon telling him he's in too deep.
Later that night, at Nie's apartment, he's looking at a picture of his boyfriend, when Paragon appears in the room, telling Nie "Do I have a case for you."
Sooooo, what did I predict? Nie was Paragon or something? Rookie mistake. I was fooled on that one. Anyways, solid issue, with a bunch of nice character moments. The scene where Sonia puts Dick back in his place, was great. Damian was priceless. And thankfully Nie isn't just some dickhole cop, like the one Finch had in Batman: The Dark Knight for awhile. The title continues to be fleshed out with a true supporting cast, and like I said last month, it just feels as if the book is starting anew. The one story element I was sort of hesitant about was Nie's motivation of wanting to bring Nightwing in, it just sits dangerously close to that "I'm blaming you for things committed by others, but you inadvertently caused" motivation that Saiko also had. It's not a big deal for me, but, I just had that thought cross my mind while reading.
The one big negative... the art. I'm not a fan of Andres Guilnaldo, I'll say that. I thought his art was passable at best on Gotham City Sirens, and here, man it's just really inconsistent. There are a few good looking panels, but for every one where Nightwing looks good, there are two where he just looks weird. It's as if Dick's head/face is made of putty, and the shape just keeps shifting, sometimes on the same page. If you have the issue, go to page 9. Panel where Dick is going back up to the tower, looks good, but the panel where he's looking back over his shoulder, wtf happened to his face? Added to all that, there is a wild inconsistency with the gauntlet spikes on Dick's costume. Sometimes they're in the correct position, off to the sides of his forearms. In other panels, they're on the top of his forearms. Hell, I'm pretty sure there are a few panels where you just straight up can't see any. That kind of shit bugs me tremendously.
In the end, it's a good issue, bogged down by inconsistent art... so, first time doing this, I'm going to say if the art wasn't a factor, the score would be one point higher...