Nightwing: The New Order #4
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Colorist: Dean White
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover: Trevor McCarthy
Last time on Nightwing: The New Order: Dick Grayson escaped from his previous regime the Crusaders, only to get into a brutal brawl with John Stewart, losing rather handily. At the last moment he’s rescued by a truly bittersweet moment; Wally West bringing him to the side of the resistance, at Starfire’s side.
This time: A mysterious masked scientist observes the blood samples taken from Jake Grayson, finding an instant rejection of the meta-gene reductive isotope injected into him before. Jake shares a brief talk with Kate Kane, remembering well enough that she used to be Batwoman. She explains that the tranquilizers aren’t working on him; when he asks if he’s going to be put into stasis, she doesn’t have an answer yet, and she tries to remind him that she’s doing this for his own good. The rebel titans of Beast Boy, Starfire, Cyborg, Wally West, and the now Blue Lantern Lois Lane watch over the wounded Dick, Lois healing his arm in a cast from her hope energy. They explain that he’s not their captive, and Starfire quickly gets to the point, and asks Dick about what’s happening to their son. As the Titans lead Dick around their base, he realizes they’ve been hiding in plain sight; Bludhaven, this entire time. Lois gives Dick a gift of visions of his and Starfire’s happier past, breaking into their current cold, hard reality. Dick and Kory share another talk; Kory giving him the business that he gave her before, in that missing him does no one any good. He’s not the fan she fell in love with. Wally West leads the group on an assult on the crusaders; breaking into their facility to quickly grab Jake, but to a chilly reception. The cold, towering body of Mister Freeze greets the group; wounded, frozen, and in no shape for a battle.
Reed Strong’s Strong Read: This book has been a bit of an oddity; announced among so many other tales of superheroes gone fascist regimes, those who were familiar enough with Kyle Higgins figured they knew what to expect, but still anticipated some very different context. And that’s what we got, and are continuing to get especially as we get to the see some of the original New Teen Titans together in one of the first times since the New 52 began. But an elseworlds is an elseworlds, as we get more heartbreak, more backstory, and more suffering. And it’s some really heart-wrenching stuff here; seeing the point Starfire has gone to and remembering her alien roots really put her in an intimidating position, especially as Dick has to continuing exploring everything he’s really done. With an absolutely chilling design for Mister Freeze coming on the heels of a fantastic break-in, these next few issues are going to really help continue this crazy, crazy ride.