Ten years ago, scientists discovered an element called Kanium, and mixing that with Carbon and Oxygen ended up creating a pretty strong anti-psychotic drug, being tested (and stolen) in Chicago. Who's stealing it? Well, remember that mimic lady from the first Chicago issue, Mali? The one who talks to herself and could use an anti-psychotic... Yeah, her! And her good pal Nightwing is waiting for her on the roof of a hospital as she emerges from her latest heist. '
Mali is going by a new name now, Marionette, and once again, uses Dick's athleticism against him, making him give chase. Dick does manage to get the bag of Kanium, but Marionette escapes in the process. So back to Dick's new-new apartment that he, Joey and Michael all now share (upgrade to three bedroom). But oh no! The window is locked, so he has to be a normal fucking person and use a door! When Dick finally gets inside, he finds Joey at the table with a young girl named Jen who she's keeping an eye on.
Elsewhere, Marionette gets back to her apartment where she's met by her landlord and some thugs. The landlord thinks she's a druggie, and is trying to get his money from her, but she goes a bit crazy, with her second personality telling her to kill them, while cops are pounding at the door. Before the cops get in, Marionette manages to get a syringe, inject herself and escape to the roof.
Later that day, seems like Michael got Dick a job bar tending. Michael introduces Dick to the cop who hates masks and has Michael spin stories about them a certain way. Mask-Hater mentions something to Michael about a perp, who we know to be the Marionette, and the attack at the apartment complex, the thefts, all that. Turns out there's only one place left for Kanium to be nabbed, so that gives Dick a good idea where to try and find Marionette next.
Sure enough, Dick finds Marionette sneaking around the facility where the Kanium is kept, but there are cops outside as well, who all get some phone calls which make them go into a trance of sorts. As Dick confronts Marionette again, trying to talk her into helping herself, a bunch of cops open fire on the building, and a voice Marionette recognizes calls out to her. It's Mad Hatter, and he's looking for his very favorite Alice.
I knew Mad Hatter was coming based on the solicits, but was unsure on how. I got to say I do like the twist with the Marionette character. Don't know if this was always planned from the start, (let's be honest, probably not) but I think it certainly fits well, and gives a good enough reason to get a Gotham rogue out of Gotham. So overall, I thought it was pretty fun.
Just some logic stuff... cop just talking about all these open cases out in public, in front of a bartender he just met. I know it's not exactly the first time something like that's happened in fictional stories as a whole, but it's just one of those little "...well that doesn't seem like a great idea, does it?" moments.
Then there was some art inconsistency, which you know me, I have to mention. I thought Cliff Richards did a better job blending with Conrad last issue, here, not so much.
The Bottom Line:
I honesty had thought that this Marionette character had been dropped as everything started to focus around the Prankster in the first Chicago arc, but I'm glad she's back. She's a weird character, whose abilities and multiple personalities make her pretty entertaining to read, and that twist that ties her to the Mad Hatter seems pretty fitting, so I'm willing and interested to see where that goes. There's a lot of unanswered questions about Nightwing in the near future, but for now, this story has gotten off to a fun start.