Appearing in "Butterfly Effects"
- Nightwing (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Butterfly Effects"
Now, he is embroiled in a battle with a shape-shifting thug called Spinebender, a crook he and Batgirl had faced some time ago, and Nightwing had been forced to use his suit's electric jolt to turn his liquid form to glass, trapping him in his own body. As it turns out, Spinebender has sought him out for the sole purpose of getting revenge, given that the doctors didn't buy him much time. He will die soon, and it will be Nightwing's fault.
Spinebender transforms into a myriad collection of Nightwing's friends and foes to torture him. As Spinebender's fluid coils wrap around him and squeeze, Dick is forced to unleash the same electric jolt that wronged Spinebender in the first place, and the power of the current causes him to harden into glass and shatter'.
Meanwhile, Sonia Branch visits her father, Tony Zucco, in prison, after he had finally turned himself in for his numerous crimes. For an hour, he goes on about why he faked his own death to escape Nightwing's constant pursuit, and how he grew to love the family he built as his cover. He tells of how he still loves her and hopes to see more of her when he gets out of prison. To his surprise, Sonia explains that she intends to see that he stays in prison. After all, the one thing he didn't acknowledge in the whole of their conversation was the real reason he's in prison. He killed John and Mary Grayson.
Considering the encounter with Spinebender a flawed success, Dick returns to his apartment to see Cheryl and Greg picking up their daughter Jen from her babysitting appointment with Dick's roommate Joey. Unfortunately, Joey recently became unemployed, and she bored Jen with job-searching for the duration of the visit. As they take their leave, Jen gives Dick a suspicious look. Unbeknownst to him, she had found his Nightwing uniform in his room recently.
At work at the bar, Dick and Michael go over some cellphone footage of the battle between Nightwing and Spinebender that had been uploaded to YouTube, marvelling at the quality of the video. Michael regrets taking the high-road and alienating Detective Mawell Morgan, who had given him access to scenes like this, to advance his career. Dick tries to remind him of why he did it, but his attention is drawn away when Sonia walks through the door, demanding a minute of his time. She explains that Alfred and Lucius gave up his hiding spot to her, but only so that she could apologize. She had lied about her father, and for that, she is sorry.
Awkwardly, she prepares to leave, admitting that she was let go from her job at the bank, thanks to the media circus surrounding her father's incarceration. After she's gone, Dick wonders that he never really considered what bringing Tony Zucco to justice would do to her.
When he returns home from work, at last, he finds Joey crying at the kitchen table. She explains through her tears that Cheryl and Greg were both murdered in a mugging. Soon, the police bring Jen to stay with them, without any next of kin to handle it. While Michael and Joey are full of questions for the police about what Jen might have seen, or who did it, Dick's only concern is Jen's well-being. When he approaches her, though, she immediately admits that she knows who he is, and how she came to learn it. She knows that he lost his parents too. She saw who killed her parents, and she knows where he is - but she wants to help Nightwing get her justice, like Batman helped him get justice. Uncomfortably, he excuses himself to get her a glass of water, but when he returns from the kitchen, she is gone, and nobody knows where she went.
When Dick admits that Jen told him she wanted to go after the man who killed her parents, Joey is filled with horror. The police had got a visual on the killer already. It was Victor Zsasz.
- This book was first published on February 12, 2014.
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