|First Published:||July 10, 2013|
|Previous Issue:||Nightwing #21|
|Next Issue:||Nightwing #23|
In Chicago, Nightwing's roommate Michael, a reporter, has been given footage by a police detective who wants him to run a story focusing on the fact that the masked vigilante Nightwing was seen working together with the known criminal, the Prankster. Thought Michael is reluctant to cheat this way, he is not willing to give up the opportunity to become a success.
Meanwhile, Nightwing surprises the Mayor in his office in order to question him as to why he's protecting Tony Zucco, who is now going by the name Billy Lester. Though it could be a coincidence that Zucco and the Mayor's brother were in prison at the same time, or that he is now working for the mayor under an alias, Nightwing is not inclined to believe that it is. Even so, he assures the Mayor that he is not threatening, but promising, because so long as the Mayor hides Zucco from him, the longer Nightwing will stay in town and spend that time looking into the Mayor himself. Surreptitiously, he sneaks a bug onto the underside of the mayor's desk, and then disappears before the Mayor can utter a response.
Later, given that the Prankster hacked into his suit's electronics the previous night, Dick considers that he should take precautions against it happening again, and hopes he can convince his new roommate Joey - a cyber security specialist - to help. Unfortunately, the coding of his suit is an entirely different type of work than what she can do. However, she does suggest that if he wants to avoid having his "phone" hacked, he should just turn it off.
Meanwhile, at the offices of the Chicago Times, Michael's bosses are elated that the video of two masks at once that he brought them has gone viral. Despite it being a blurry video, they think he will go far - if he can pull it off again.
Elsewhere, the Prankster has gathered himself an army of followers who are sympathetic to his cause.
In Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Zucco is living his life as Billy Lester, a father and husband. When his son Brian takes another child's toy, he makes the boy return it, explaining that when adults make mistakes, they have to take responsibility for it. Despite promising they could stay at the pool for a while yet, he spots a news report of the two vigilantes warring in Chicago, and hurriedly urges his family to leave, because he needs to call Mayor Cole about something.
After eight hours of listening to the bug he planted in the Mayor's office, Dick finally hears Zucco calling in to complain of Nightwing hunting him. Still, all he can learn from the call is that Zucco is worried. Suddenly, Dick is distracted by the sight of the Prankster's face on every screen in the city. The Prankster claims that the Mayor is not who he appears to be, and has been harbouring wanted murderer Tony Zucco for three years. Additionally, the Mayor has embezzled nearly 52 million dollars from the city coffers. In order to convince the Mayor to pay back that money, he threatens that he will make the people of Chicago suffer until he does. To illustrate this, he derails a subway train, and hacks all of the police cruisers in the city, preventing them from responding to the disaster.
Horrified, Nightwing makes his way to the site of the crash, knowing that this is all his fault. If he had just let the police catch the Prankster, he would not have been free to commit these crimes. He meets resistance at the scene from the Prankster's army, and attempts to beat their leader's whereabouts out of them. Unfortunately, he tells them all different things, so none of them can give him a solid answer.
Meanwhile, the Prankster has taken a room full of policemen hostage, tying each one to the trigger of an automatic weapon, so that if they move, they will die. He explains that all of this carnage is merely in keeping with the precedent that the Mayor set: profiting while the innocent suffer. He explains that if the Mayor pays back the money he took, they will all live. If not, they will live for as long as they can stay still.
- Mike Pearson
- Maxwell Morgan
- Wallace Cole
- Ted (First Appearance)
- Jared (First Appearance)
- Tony Zucco
- Brian Lester
- Nancy Lester
- City Hall
- Wicker Park
- Millenium Park
- Lake Geneva