Since learning that Tony Zucco is still alive, Nightwing has come to Chicago to find him. Unfortunately, the city seems to have a policy against masked vigilantes. Currently, the city is being plagued by someone called the Prankster, who disabled New Western Station, and it is only just being reopened by the mayor when Dick arrives. The mayor has a plan called "closure" which he hopes will bring an end to the disturbances caused by masked vigilantes.
After the announcement, Dick meets with a young man named Mike, who was covering the event as a member of the press. Mike is subletting a room out while his room-mate is out of town, and given Dick's current financial destitution, the offer was welcome. Unfortunately, the noise from the trains going through the recently re-opened station could be a problem. Rather, it would be if Dick weren't planning to use that to his advantage.
That night, a man named Cory Hutchinson meets with Johnny Spade, a man who trades in information. Cory owes him money, and in exchange, he wants information. Accompanying him is a blond woman calling herself Lisa, but when the deal goes awry, she reveals herself to be something quite different - and insane. Nightwing arrives in time to stop her from killing Johnny, but she manages to escape anyway. Johnny explains that she is called Mali, and that she is something of a mimic, and was unexpectedly crazy.
Nightwing has been looking for Johnny because he has heard that the man has some acuity with finding certain information. In this case, he hopes Johnny will help him find Tony Zucco. Noting that it is dangerous for a man to wear a mask in Chicago, Johnny suggests that Nightwing's payment for his services could be made by revealing his identity. There is no time to discuss it further, though, as the police have been tipped to Nightwing's appearance in Chicago, and begin chasing him down. Though Dick was hoping to keep his visit low-key, his attempts to evade the police lead to the destruction of a helicopter, and the near-death (if not for his help) of its pilots.
Elsewhere, the mayor is briefed on the fact that it was the Prankster who alerted police to Nightwing's presence. He learns that Nightwing had asked Johnny Spade about Tony Zucco, and the mayor has the commissioner put some detectives on that case. However, the mayor already knows Zucco is living in Chicago, because he has hired the man as his driver.
At the Chicago Steel Works, an alderman named Anthony Laine intends to meet with the Prankster to pay off the hacker in order to keep him from revealing his political corruption and ties with child labour. However, the Prankster has other ideas. He has left Laine with only a lighter and his case full of money, at the mercy of an angry wolf. The Prankster explains that the police will arrive in one hour, and that while wolves are afraid of fire, there should be enough small bills in that case to burn until the police get there. However, if he failed to bring the money, he will be at the wolf's mercy.
- Mayor Wallace Cole (First Appearance)
- Mike Pearson (First Appearance)
- Johnny Spade (First Appearance)
- Cory Hutchinson (First Appearance)
- Mali (First Appearance)
- Marcus (First Appearance)
- Tony Zucco
- Anthony Laine (First Appearance)
- The Prankster
- Chicago Steelworks