|First Published:||August 15, 2012|
|Previous Issue:||Nightwing #11|
|Next Issue:||Nightwing #13|
Nightwing was across the river when the Gotham City Police Department was called to a sewer tunnel where eight members of the Republic of Tomorrow were murdered. Now, all he can do is watch from the outside - though he shouldn't, given that the investigating officer is Detective Travis Nie, who has been convinced for some time that it was Nightwing who beat the Strayhorn Brothers to death with his escrima sticks.
At the scene, Nightwing takes Nie aside and warns that it was Paragon - the leader of the Republic of Tomorrow - who killed his own men, along with the Strayhorns. Nie surprises him by admitting that it was Paragon himself who tipped them off to the scene. They know it was him. This is at first confusing for Nightwing, until he realizes that the crime scene was just bait for him.
Paragon appears, and separates Nightwing from the police by causing a cave-in. Angrily, Nie does his best to get out of tunnel and to the other side, because he'll be damned if anyone else gets this collar.
Facing down Paragon, Nightwing admits that he finally recognized the Strayhorn brothers. They were driving a car that he rescued from an explosion several months ago. His having saved their lives set in motion the whole set of events. The Strayhorns had been members of the Republic of Tomorrow - an organization dedicated to taking down those who take the law into their own hands like Nightwing.
Then, to be saved by one such person; the Strayhorns could no longer justify being part of that group, and had their tattoos removed. So, Paragon, who had been in the car with them, killed them with one of Nightwing's lost escrima sticks, and burned off their tattoos, to make it look like they were killed because of their association with the Republic. The whole thing acted as a rallying cry for the remains of the group. Unmasking himself, Paragon explains that in order to take down a false idol, he had become one himself.
Dodging Paragon's blades, Nightwing thrusts them both into the water of the sewer, and they are both washed out into the bay. As they recover their footing, they find Nie and his men surrounding them. Quickly, Nightwing knocks Paragon unconscious and then drops his weapons. Surprisingly, Nie lets him escape.
Later, Dick recovers from his injuries and his cold at home, taking a business call from Lucius Fox. Taking a risk, Dick suggests that he might try investing his entire trust fund into Amusement Mile as a show of his dedication to the rejuvenation project, after Sonia Branch had told him he was too big a risk to partner with. The bank intends to match his investment.
Meanwhile, at the Iceberg Casino, Penguin grows agitated with the knowledge that Lady Shiva is on her way to Gotham to kill off organized crime.
Later, Dick surprises Sonia Branch outside her own apartment, and reveals his plan to convince her board by investing all of his money. She warns him not to do it, because in truth, she had lied about their refusal. She had lied because she actually did feel guilt about the sins of her father Tony Zucco - the man who was responsible for Dick's parents' deaths. Working with him closely would be a reminded of the life she had tried to distance herself from.
Uncomfortably, Dick explains that her board has already approved the deal, and that they are stuck in a partnership. Resigned, she kisses him on the cheek, and agrees to make the most of it.
- Travis Nie
- Detective Brook
- Republic of Tomorrow
- Logan Strayhorn (In Flashback Only)
- Miles Strayhorn (In Flashback Only)
- Zeke (In Flashback Only)
- Lucius Fox
- The Penguin
- Mr. Combustible
- Sonia Branch
- Escrima sticks