First and foremost, I hadn't heard of artist Russell Dauterman, who worked on BOOM!'s SUPERBIA prior to this, but this guy is fantastic. This guy had me mezmorized from page one, which is a beautiful splash page of "Batgirl" and Nightwing falling towards the pavement, from high above. His second page, and quite a few other pages within the issue, are laid out in the most peculiar manner, and it works oh so well. The panels are a bit skewed, and he leaves a nice chuck of empty space between panels, which we don't see too much anymore. Dauterman is a very contemporary artist that pays homage to classic comic book style in a way others aren't. On top of everything else, his close ups are downright brilliant. I haven't been floored with how an artist weaves a writer's story in... well ever. Also, the colors of Pete Pantazis add a ton of depth to Dauterman's work. His shading work is seemless, and this creative team is fantastic.
As far as the story goes, we're slowly coming to a close where Nightwing has been taken by the Crime Syndicate, but before we get to that, writer Kyle Higgins has some fun along the way. The book opens up with a fantastic fight scene between Nightwing and Spinebender. From there, Higgins slowly starts to tie up some loose ends in a very natural way. Sadly, this book is on borrowed time, but Higgins does a fine job at making this book feel like the clock isn't ticking away. It's a very smooth read. Higgins is making the best out of a rough situation as Nightwing is busy being DC's whipping post in FOREVER EVIL. There's a lot of Dick dealing with his relationships and building friendships, while off in Chicago, something I would have loved to see continue into the future.
The final page of this book not only looks fantastic, but it will get the reader super-pumped for the next issue. Obviously, since we know about where Dick was before he got captured in FOREVER EVIL, it deals with Mr Zsasz. Why Nightwing is hunting him is what really makes this final scene fantastic, which we will not spoil here.
No real complaints about the issue other than it's coming to an end soon and it was never really given much of a chance to grow, but when it found its own voice, it was cancelled. The Nightwing fanboy in me is screaming at the top of my lungs.
While it's a huge bummer that this book is coming to a close very soon, Kyle Higgins is taking it out in style. We have a very solid issue here that is a ton of fun to read, which starts to wrap up all the loose ends. It's a very satisfying read. Dauterman's work is someone of the best we've seen in this series, which is saying a lot since this book has, for the most part, had top notch artists involved. While it sucks to see NIGHTWING go, I can't wait to see how Higgins and Dauterman close this one out. I highly recommend this issue.