"Welcome to Gotham": After traveling around a lot, and a year-long stint as Batman, Dick Grayson is excited to be back on the streets of Gotham City as Nightwing. Unfortunately, the city has somehow become more violent, and he encounters yet another
- The city has thrown its worst at me. It's taken its best shot... twisted creations and all. But I'm still standing. I'm still here. Now, Gotham has nothing that can scare me.
- -- Dick Grayson
Appearing in "Welcome to Gotham"
- Saiko (1st appearance; unnamed)
Synopsis for "Welcome to Gotham"
After traveling around a lot, and a year-long stint as Batman, Dick Grayson is excited to be back on the streets of Gotham City as Nightwing. Unfortunately, the city has somehow become more violent, and he encounters yet another murderous psycho in an alley. With brutal precision, Dick takes the criminal down.
On his way home, Dick stops on a rooftop and observes the main tent at Haly's Circus, which is visiting Gotham for the first time since the Flying Graysons were murdered there by Tony Zucco. Dick can't yet bring himself to go down and see his old friends, but the irony is not lost on him that as soon as he finds a new start, his past has come back to haunt him.
At the Port Authority, a man wearing sunglasses at night gets off of a bus, and is soon harassed by a couple of thugs. They demand to be given his shades as a toll. Effortlessly, the man beats the thugs into submission, before commenting that he always did like Gotham.
Dick has found a crummy apartment in one of Gotham's more dangerous neighborhoods, noting that he and Bruce have never agreed on the fact that it makes sense to live in the place you're trying to save. He and Bruce have several differences, but in other ways they are the same. Like Bruce, Dick is letting his past come back to scare him. He decides, finally, to visit Haly's Circus.
Under the big top, Dick reunites with Bryan Haly, the current owner after his father stepped down. Jimmy the clown is as temperamental as ever. His old friend Raya is also back working at the circus on trapeze, with new catcher Marc. Raya convinces Dick to take a turn on the trapeze, for old times' sake. It feels great, but he has to pretend to be rusty, so nobody gets suspicious. In the air, he realizes that there were a lot of good memories about Haly's as well as the bad.
Dick walks back home, musing over a potential romance with the redheaded Raya, but suddenly an assassin (Saiko) equipped with deadly claws leaps down in front of him and attempts to kill him. Dick dodges, and uses a GCPD patrol car as a distraction while he escapes. Unfortunately, while Dick takes the time to put on his costume, the assassin manages to rip through the officers' throats.
The assassin is fast, and Dick chases him up a fire escape to the top of a roof. The assassin is after Dick Grayson in particular, for some reason, and isn't happy to be dealing with his 'protector', so he smashes through the water tower, and the water blasts Nightwing off of the roof and onto the ground below. The assassin leaps down, and readies a death blow.
- Pandora makes a brief cameo appearance to witness the events of this story, as she does all #1 issues published as part of The New 52. She can be seen inside Haly's Circus when Dick first walks into the building. This is following her first appearance in Flashpoint.
- This issue is part of the Traps and Trapezes storyline.
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