Nightwing: New Order #1 (DC Comics)
Dystopian futures aren’t unique to comics (or fiction in general), but it is unique to see it focused around a character like Nightwing. Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Trevor McCarthy’s new miniseries Nightwing: New Order features a futuristic DC universe where all super powered beings are kept in check by a special medicine, and patrolled by a group called “The Crusaders”, lead by Dick Grayson. Grayson has long given up being Nightwing after a mysterious event in Metropolis, and is now a celebrity figure. But something big is coming to shake up Dick Grayson’s life and family, and it will change everything he knows about the world around him.
Kyle Higgins is well known for writing Nightwing during the New 52 era of the character, so he’s got a lot of knowledge of how Dick Grayson thinks and acts. But even then I have a hard time buying that Dick Grayson would be the one behind this new world order. While Dick has always been a little more hot headed and emotional than Batman, I can’t see him going to the lengths that Higgins hints at in this opening issue. Of course, there’s still plenty of time to find out just what occurred to get Dick Grayson into this position (just like I’m sure we’ll discover the identity of his son Jake’s mother), but New Order seems like an alternate universe story that would be better suited for a character like Superman, Green Arrow, or even Green Lantern than Nightwing.
At least the art does a great job of building up the world and the story. Trevor McCarthy’s style is able to walk between being loose but also remaining just realistic enough to be believable. There’s a great sense of mood and scope to his panels, and it works wonders when Higgins uses him to set up the world that Dick Grayson has created around him. Some of the action looks a little muddled under McCarthy’s pencils, but it’s not so bad that you can’t figure out what’s happening.
So far New Order has more in common with Kyle Higgins’ C.O.W.L. Image series than his original run on Nightwing, but I’m willing to stick it out for a few more issues to see where the overall story is going. I’ll admit to being thrown off guard by the subject matter of the series, but every now and again it’s good to shake up these characters and place them in a different scenario. Nightwing hasn’t had too many of those, so it’s probably good that he’s gotten a new one to play around with.