HOLY AWESOME! This is, by far, my favorite issue in the Death of the Family story line so far. The Joker gets into the head of Nightwing, in this issue, and all hell breaks loose, as Nightwing tries to regain control.
I'm going to post some small spoilers here, and they'll be blacked out, but I want to warn you beforehand. Nightwing follows the Joker's trail to Haly's Circus. We get this typical "Joker lures the good guy to a place, in order to trap them" bit, but when you flip to the next page, you are treated with one of the creepiest scenes to come out of a DC book in years. This issue packs shocking moment after shocking moment, and this is just the first as we see hundreds of dead bodies stood up in the center of the of the circus. What an amazing two pages. Just as the twists and turns keep coming, the Joker does something that will change this book forever. I'm not spoiling it in any way. Read it.
At one point, Nightwing finally gets his mitts on the Joker and puts a brutal beat down on him, which is something I know so many fans have been waiting for in this story line. The action sequences in this issue are unrelenting. They are incredibly brutal and have no remorse. They are disturbing, and I love every moment of them in some bizarre and sick way. Writer Kyle Higgins makes me question whether or not I am a secretly a sociopath.
Eddy Barrows' art on NIGHTWING 16 is ridiculously awesome. From page one, we are treated to some stunning art, along with fantastic inking from Eber Ferreira and great color work from Rod Reis. Artwise, everything about this issue is an A+. Barrows breaks away, numerous times, from traditional page layouts and paneling to give the reader a new perspective on the story and it's characters. The pacing and layouts become more chaotic as the story gets a bit more crazy. It becomes more confusing and as characters become more confused. It's a great reflection of what is going on, an that final page is eerily beautiful.
My only complaint is the same with every Death of the Family story line. I don't like the Joker's new look. Sure, it's creepy, but I'm just not a fan.
The Verdict - Pick of the Week!
This issue blew me away. Not only was this story incredibly brilliant and a great read, it was disturbing in some new and fantastic ways. NIGHTWING 16 is incredibly shocking, but doesn't just rely on "oh look, your friends are dead" to get that effect.
The art here is wonderful, and the violence is brutal. Once again, this is my favorite issue in the Death of the Family story line thus far. I demand you read this issue. It was brilliant in every way.