Nightwing: New Order #2
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Colorist: Dean White
Cover artist: Tervor McCarthy
Assistant Editor: Diego Lopez
Editor: Alex Antone
Group Editor: Marie Javins
In another world, when the world fell, Nightwing was there to pick up the pieces. Leader of an anti-meta-human regime, Dick lead a strong guiding hand to a safer world, with soldiers at every turn. With a son at his side, Dick’s life is fairly successful, still popular as the hero who saved the world despite what he had to do. But when he finds out his own son is a meta, the lines begin to blur as a hero’s duty isn’t always so clear.
Superpowers ruled the world, with no rhyme or reason. Superheroes and villains are powerful gods and monsters much like the regular stories we read, but it only ever takes one bad day for things to go wrong. As one thing lead to another, a massive war between all of the world’s biggest heroes and villains killed thousands, and average citizens in the streets were at each other’s throats over this nature versus nurture of immense power. On the fourth day after three days of slaughter, Nightwing did what he had to do; with the ultimate nullifying power of some incredible device, he stopped the war by wiping out 90% of the world’s superpowers. Jake’s mother, Starfire, being just another victim. Dick didn’t survive the incident unchanged, mere days lead to his secret identity being revealed, a parade by the president, and adoration from Gotham and the world over. Surviving an assassination attempt put him in the perfect position to lead what needed to be done; illegalizing all superpowers. As Nightwing observes his son in an isolated cell, he consults with Mister Terrific over exactly what happened. Terrific explains that he has powers very similar to his mother involving energy absorption, and Dick tries to anticipate the best way to deal with this. Beat the media to the punch, and get him on inhibitors as soon as possible. But his abilities don’t seem to end at energy, as Terrific informs Dick that he can already tell, the drugs won’t work. As Dick brings his son home, with Alfred, who grills him for acting innocent. He knows the stasis chambers the Crusaders would have to put Jake under when they find out his powers, and that once someone gets put under stasis, there aren’t a lot of chances for them to ever get out. Alfred tells Jake upstairs that him despite the differences him and Dick have, they both are going to protect him no matter once. This turns out to have to take place a lot sooner than anticipated, as the Crusaders lead a raid on Dick’s house, breaking in with a gas attack and immediately placing Dick under arrest. As one of Dick’s former men steps forward armed, he demands that Alfred puts down his arms. Bearing a bat, the butler steps forward in a final gesture of defense as he is shot down in front of Dick and his son, as Jake is taken under custody, and Dick is lead away in cuffs.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read:
Unlike Secret Empire, this is a book about fascism. It’s about dealing with Dick’s choices and the regime he’s lead, specifically what can happen when he becomes a victim himself. We continue to get just a really well-told elseworlds in this issue; finding out a bit more about what the hell happened, as well as getting another always heart-breaking loss of a beloved father figure. It’s easy to say that no one really knew what way this story was going to happen, but Dick getting taken down by his own regime is a turn that’s really pretty interesting. He’s paying the consequences for everything he did in a direct way, where in another story this may have simply been father versus son here we get a story that might be redemption, will be learning a lesson, and certainly will end up being about why facism is bad. Alfred helps add a lot of legitimacy to the discussions here of exactly what’s right and wrong, and Dick’s indifference to his past continues to be an emotional point of identification for a character who’s usually so sure of himself. It’s not a secret that this story is breaking expectations, and I’m really excited to see where it goes next.
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