Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Art: Trevor McCarthy, Dean White and Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 27th September 2017
Kyle Higgins’ story takes an interesting turn in the latest issue of Nightwing: The New Order, but that was somewhat to be expected after the events of issue two. At the end of last issue we saw Dick truly on his own, his son now under the custody of The Regime and him now in handcuffs about to suffer the consequences he had dealt out to so many. His whole world is turning upside down in the culmination of years of internal conflict about one single decision.
Higgins has penned an issue under the theme of repercussions. He has shifted from the first two issues – issues which gave context for what is the ‘real’ story – and now that the world of outlawed superpowers has been explained we’re seeing just how Nightwing fits into it. But it’s not just the political effect which we are seeing from Dick’s decision but of the physical effects of time.
I mentioned that last issue Trevor McCarthy purposefully draws the characters with a classic pre-New 52 look, an approach which pays off in emphasising the true contrast of these characters in this time. Decades have passed and they have certainly caught up to Grayson. While he does pretty much what would expect him to do – making a dramatic escape to rescue his son – his age means he’s slipping. He makes mistakes, falling from a building takes an actual toll on his bones, he’s never been Batman but Nightwing has always gone into battle with a smile. Now the smile is gone and there’s only one focus – saving his child by any means necessary.
While this issue is mainly focused on progressing the story, Higgins is brilliant at teasing you with little titbits of past events. What I like so much about it is that it doesn’t feel like a cheap flashback that you’d get in so many other stories. Through the narration of Dick’s son you get insights which add depth to the plot and provide a whole new insight into the dynamics of the Bat Family that we’ve never seen before. We see Red Robin settling down with a new family and Batwoman returning to her military past, now leading the charge against a fugitive Nightwing.
Higgins also shows that the relationship between Nightwing and Batwoman was always a purely professional one. We tend to think of the Bat Family as just that, a family, but in this issue we’re reminded that Kate is her own character with motivations and views different from the Bat-based crime fighters she fought alongside with. Yes, the political and social themes are still present in the story, but they seem to have taken a backseat which is perfectly fine because we get some of those juicy updates of our characters teased from issue one.
McCarthy is still on form creating brilliant fast paced action scenes as well as some new renditions of classic environments (just wait until you see the state of the Batcave!). While I won’t spoil it too much for you, I’m sure you’ve already seen the preview art circulating of Superman in this series – well, he’s not the only update I can assure you.
I loved this issue, reading it felt very nostalgic but at the same time fresh and exciting. Could this end up being the Nightwing version of The Dark Knight Returns? It’s certainly starting to feel like it.
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The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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