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NIGHTWING Becomes a Fascist Enforcer in THE NEW ORDER Series

NIGHTWING Becomes a Fascist Enforcer in THE NEW ORDER Series

In recent months, Marvel Comics has run into a fair bit of controversy and backlash with the reveal that Captain America is in fact a secret agent of the fascistic organization HYDRA. This turn of events forms the backbone of the current event series, Secret Empire, and to say some fans are not pleased with the development is an understatement. This is especially true given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe ties the HYDRA organization to Nazi Germany (something not true in the comics). Some fans have even taken to burning their copies of Secret Empire #1.

In any event, it’s now DC Comics‘ turn to do the whole “fascist superhero” story, and it’s coming with the release Nightwing: The New Order, a brand-new miniseries coming from DC this August. The creative team behind this take on Nightwing is The New York Times best-selling Batman: Gates of Gotham duo of writer Kyle Higgins and artist Trevor McCarthy.

According to the official description from DC, in this story “Dick Grayson leads a terrifying new regime against superheroes. This series introduces an authoritarian future in an alternate universe in which superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Grayson, the former vigilante Nightwing. But what happens when the system he has created targets his family as the next threat?”

“Now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders, Grayson’s priorities are to hunt the remaining Supers and repress anyone who works outside the law. But when events transpire that turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, he must turn against the very system he created, with aid from the very people he’s been hunting for years—the last metahumans of the DC Universe.”

“My all-time favorite DC books throw characters we know and love into future worlds that are equal parts familiar and terrifying, laced with moral issues that aren’t black and white or easily solved,” says Higgins. “Ultimately, these stories say something about our world. And that’s what we are aiming to do with this Nightwing series, through the lens of a future generation of heroes.”

So is this new take on Nightwing a good thing or a bad thing? First off, before fans get into righteous indignation mode and start screaming bloody murder on social media, they should read the fine print. Clearly, Nightwing: The New Order is an alternate universe story, what DC used to call an “Elseworlds” back in the day. This is not the mainstream DCU or mainstream Dick Grayson. This mini-series no more makes the Nightwing we know and love a fascist than Superman: Red Son made Clark Kent a Russian communist.

Secondly, just based on the description given by DC, this seems to be a story about how someone can full under the spell of what fascism promises, only to realize it’s the wrong path to go down. Considering our current political climate, maybe this is a story that needs to be told right now. There should definitely not be any book burnings here. Actually, there never should be — if you’re against fascism and are burning books you don’t like, well…I really don’t know what to tell you.

Yes, on occasion, some Elseworlds/alternate future stories have become so popular, that aspects of those stories have bled into the mainstream versions of these heroes. After Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the mainstream Batman became more of a hard ass. And when Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come became a sensation, the mainstream Wonder Woman started carrying a sword all the time, much like her Elseworlds counterpart. But those examples aside, it’s highly unlikely that DC is going to turn one of their oldest and most beloved characters into a fascist jerk full time. Not going to happen folks.

“If you’re against fascism and are burning books you don’t like, well…I really don’t know what to tell you.”

Also, as a Nightwing fan, it’s nice to see DC realizing the character’s potential. Dick Grayson is an iconic hero, going back nearly 80 years, and he deserves as many interpretations as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman have had over the years. Between this news, together with the announcement of a Nightwing movie and a Nightwing-led Titans TV series, it’s a good time to be a fan of the former Boy Wonder.

Nightwing: The New Order arrives in comic shops on August 23rd. You can check out three preview pages down below in our gallery.

Are you intrigued or offended by the prospect of a fascist Nightwing? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.

Images: DC Comics

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