How many Nightwings does it take for one Joker to strike to get to the real one? Four Nightwings. And that’s not even the punchline-how will Ric interact with the Joker when he’s not quite sure which one of his two memories is the real one…and exactly how dangerous this clown standing before him is?
A helicopter is experiencing drag that's throwing it off its balance, a moment later the drags gone and the helicopter has returned to normal. Bellow Ric leaps from the underside of the helicopter swinging and leaping his way across rooftops as an inner monologue plays in his head. He thinks of the mess his mind has been the last several months, of how there seems to be two separate memories at conflict in his mind, one where he was groomed by the Talon and the other raised by Bruce Wayne. Even though he feels the memories with Bruce are his true memories, they appear fragmented, while the ones with Talon appear clear. The reason being that the brain trauma specialist Haas, who helped him recover from being shot in the head by an assassin called KGBeast, was really a member of the Court of Owls whose goal was to mold him into one of their assassins, a Talon. Ric looks down at the memory crystal that Haas had used with drugs and advanced psyche techniques to nearly turn him into a Talon, before he was able to take the crystal and stop the process. With a new determination in his eyes Ric leaps off the roof to find his true self.
Zak is lying in a hospital bed with Hutch beside him, when Colleen who is sitting behind them announces that she's done being a Nigthwing. She’s realized that after Talon nearly killed Zak, then wiped the floor with the rest of the Nightwings, it's clear they’re not cut out to be vigilantes, but Hutch continues to argue that Bludhaven needs the Nightwings. Zak voices his agreeance with his sister, adding on that the Talon that took care of the rest of the Nightwing’s was actually the Cabbie and Hutch clarifies that the Cabbie was brainwashed and fought the first Talon after clearing his head. Hutch continues explaining that the first Talon ended up in the river, but wasn't found and that Sap, feeling responsible for forming the Nightwings, was out searching for Talon.
Sap hears on the police radio reports of a stabbings and heads to the location assuming it has a connection to Talon and finds 2 corpses outside the building. Entering the building he calls out to Talon only for Joker to emerge behind Sap, smash Sap’s face against a hot stove and tell him he’s not the real Nightwing.
Ric leaps across buildings thinking of how Beu, a person he met after being shot, is the only one he can trust, when he spots a man being held at gunpoint in the alley below. Dropping silently down behind the gunman he hits him in the small of the back, kicks the gun out of his hand, punches his gut and roundhouse kicks him into a trash bin, all while saying witty things about taxes and deductibles. The man who was being held up runs away, while Ric faces yet another headache because of his conflicting memories.
The man that Ric just saved runs gun in hand into a figure hiding in the shadows, that asks for his name and of the person that saved him. The fleeing man says his name’s Slappy and that it was probably one of the Nightwings that saved him. A purple gloved hand fits a cigarette into Slappy’s mouth, lights it and tells him there’s only 1 Nightwing. Then the purple gloved figure, Joker, walks away as the man’s head explodes.
Bea is mopping the basement of her closed bar when she hears a noise upstairs and grabs a bat, telling the intruder she’s called the cops as she heads up the stairs. She opens the door to find Ric in his costume, gloves and mask off on the floor, a hand to his head and a pained look across his face. Ric explains the pains from his conflicting memories, that he’s still not free from her control and that now she’s dead without having fixed him. He hangs the crystal from a chair and heads downstairs with Bea, who offers to contact his friend Barbara, which he declines, stating one moment it feels like he can trust her and the next moment he can't.
After they’ve left the room, the window slides open and Joker steps into the room. He grabs the crystal from the chair and comments, a grin on his face, how it'll make the batsy bash more interesting.
List of covers and their creators:
|Reg||Regular Cover||Mike D. Perkins & Jason Wright||1|
|Var||Variant Cover||Alan Quah||2|
|2nd||Second Printing Variant Cover||Mike D. Perkins & Jason Wright||3|