Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Art: Trevor McCarthy, Dean White and Clayton Cowles
Release Date: 23rd November 2017
Relationships are the basis for this latest issue of Nightwing: The New Order. Kyle Higgins continues his unique look into the classic DC characters by bringing the Teen Titans of old back into the mix, with new dynamics and new history shedding a fresh light on this new world. Last issue ended with Dick being rescued by Wally West and a de-powered Starfire after a rough fight with John Stewart, aka the Green Lantern, who is now under the employment of the Regime.
Understandably, there’s some tension between the former leader Dick and his old team, something which is likely to tug at your heartstrings after seeing so much of the old Grayson last issue. It seems that Dick is simply out for his son in all of this and has no intention of undoing the work he has done. So, while he’s still conflicted, it’s only in light of the fact that he’s missing his family and wanting them back. Higgins’ narrative really plays on the development of the characters in this unique world, and we see the old team (with a White Lantern Lois Lane replacing Raven) defending what we believe to be right against the years of internal conflict in Nightwing. It’s not about him, though. It never has been. It’s about his responsibilities as a superhero to do what he thinks is right and his responsibility a father to keep his son safe.
On the opposite side of this coin we see Batwoman continuing to serve as the surprising villain of this piece, and like Dick she believes that she’s doing the right thing. This contrast perfectly highlights the inconsistent nature of superhero. Sure, they believe they’re doing the right thing, but ethically that means something different depending on who you ask, and how far will they let those ideals lead them away from what is truly just?
The core relationship discussed in this issue is between Kori and Dick. Last issue I likened these issues to The Dark Knight Returns, and that comparison still fits beautifully here. While not in a romantic sense, Millar showed the contrast between the blind patriotism of Superman and the cold, hard logic of Batman and how that contrast tore their friendship in two. Here some aspects of that conflict remain but the roles have reversed, and we see that love doesn’t necessarily conquer all and that even an alien can see when the world hasn’t changed for the better. Dick falls on the side of emotion, love for his family and his innate sense of justice while Kori has to sacrifice her love in order to protect others.
I’ve honestly barely scratched the surface of the sheer depth contained within this issue and what the different portrayals and discussions raised from the panels are, but suffice to say that this series feels like one for a long-term fan. We’re seeing a continued progression of our childhood dealing with adult issues. It makes you think, it makes you reminisce, it keeps you uncomfortable but fascinated all at the same time. And while the action takes another step up like it has done in the past, this latest issue once again sets you up to rush out and buy the next.
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The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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