Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
(Minor spoilers ahead)
Nightwing: The New Order is a tasty little Elseworlds tale. Taking place in the future (2040), where superpowers and superheroes are illegal, Dick Grayson is high on the justice ladder, having helped take out the country’s Justice League and its members. However, he’s landed smack dab in the middle of a predicament: his son has abilities.
This issue is mainly all emotion. We get a wonderful intro bringing us up to speed on this new world where DC’s finest are extinct and rumblings of new powers are distinguished immediately. Dick’s son, Jake, is the narrator going through the history of this new world, and drops that bombshell on us a few pages in. The opening is really impressive and engaging. Though Dick had a major hand in getting rid of these heroes, he still comes across true to character and likable. I still haven’t found out how writer Kyle Higgins did that.
After he and a doctor figure out Jake’s abilities are growing, the Graysons return home, where the ever faithful Alfred awaits. His connection with Jake is written clearly and effectively, bringing us in just enough to surprise us with a bang (literally). The Grayson house gets attacked, with Alfred getting the worst, and the other two taken away.
While Jake is the star of this issue, Higgins works the character beats to perfection. We feel for Dick and Alfred too. A strength is how so much is said in so few words. For example: Jake asks Alfred what happened between him and Dick. Alfred simply says: “Your father and I have had our differences over the years.” One can only imagine how much has really happened in that one sentence, yet it hits home. I’ve always loved the Alfred and Dick bond and you can feel it hit here in a nostalgic, yet also sad way. The story from here kicked into high gear and has me looking forward to the next issue.
While story is clearly important, the look of the book is what’ll draw eyes in stores. Trevor McCarthy does a superb job with every panel here. The pages are detailed and display a darker world. Not too dark to be gothic, but enough to feel unsettling on how this new world operates. McCarthy does a great job with settings, notably the opening pages and the history of this new world. I loved each page he drew and look forward to the remaining issues.
I didn’t have high expectations for Nightwing: The New Order. However, Kyle Higgins and Trevor McCarthy have crafted an intriguing premise with plenty of action and a lot of heart. Two issues in and this is a must own series.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment