It looks like the recent events in Forever Evil still haven't hit the Nightwing solo title for the moment but if Higgins continues the strong form that he's in with this series I'm not going to complain about the shakeup of Dick Grayson's status quo. This issue picks up from the arrival of the Mad Hatter in 27, and sees Mad Hatter using mind control on people, including Michael, to attack Dick. This promptly sees a truce between Nightwing and Marionette as they team up to escape. It's an action packed and fun issue, that continues the strong form of the Nightwing storyarc ever since Higgins chose to move the character to Chicago.
There's some interesting development with Dick's new life in his apartment as well - as we spend a portion of this issue looking at Dick interacting with his friends in his civilian identity, Joey and Jen (who first appeared last issue) in particular. The characters are getting fleshed out more and hopefully they won't be removed from his life as soon as Forever Evil hits in April - for example something happens in this issue that signifies Jen having to play a larger role in future events. On that subject it'll be interesting to see how Marionette crops up in future issues as well - I liked what I saw when these two characters teamed up in each issue and I'm hoping that we will see more of her in future issues.
On the villain front, the inclusion of the Mad Hatter was fun as well. He's a character who I have never encountered before in comics but am familiar with in the Arkham games so I was quite intrigued to see how this played out and it does so very well indeed. However, what Nightwing needs in Chicago isn't to bring old Bat villains with him but to have a new rogues gallery - something that truly sets him apart from the rest of the Batfamily because there aren't really any distinctively memorable Nightwing villains that this series has given us yet. Saiko came close early on, I guess, but I'm struggling to remember any standouts from before, and I even had to name-check the Prankster who had the spotlight in the previous arc. Hopefully that's going to change in future issues.
The artwork by Will Conrad is pretty solid. It's not especially groundbreaking but I'm starting to get more and more used to it and with Cliff Richards also handling artistic duties the book is shaping up to finally having a stable artistic/writing team. On the colours is Pete Pantazis and he has some pretty decent moments but again, nothing especially great.
On the whole, this issue of Nightwing #27 is a pretty solid comic. It's not pick of the week worthy but if you're looking for something that's very fun and very entertaining with little flaws then I can strongly recommend you pick this book up. Just don't expect to stay like it is forever though, because come April, the status quo for Dick Grayson will change. And I'm very nervous - because as of right now, Nightwing is my favourite DC Superhero (Green Arrow a close second) so it'll be interesting to see how they handle him. However, I've not yet been disappointed in a Kyle Higgins issue yet, so I'm hoping for good things here.