WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Nightwing: The New Order #6 by Kyle Higgins and Trevor McCarthy, in stores now.
In Nightwing: The New Order, readers have been plunged into a DC Universe that wasn’t the one they knew. The year is 2040, and metahumans are now kept in check and incarcerated. This Orwellian-like future came to be when Dick Grayson used a device of Apokolipsian origin to wipe most of the world’s superpowers away. Now, a military strike team called the Crusaders, led by Dick, is in charge of the world’s safety, and it’s their job to hunt down any metahuman on the loose.
Soon after the series began, it wasn’t long before Dick found himself on the run from his own forces once his son Jake started exhibiting superpowers. The two of them found safety in the care of Dick’s former allies, the Titans, where relationships of the past were quite uneasy. All of these threads come to a head in the final issue of the miniseries, an explosive and touching finale that goes full-on Civil War.
In the final chapter of the story, Dick leaves his old Titan friends behind. Taking Jake with him, we learn that Dick has cut a deal with Kate Kane, the former Batwoman and current military head of the Crusaders. He gets safe passage out of the country, and in return, Kate gets the Titans, a group of rebels on her most wanted list. But as it turns out, Kate doesn’t just have an army of Batman-like soldiers at her beck and call. In her corner, she also has Green Lantern John Stewart, Red Tornado, Captain Atom, Azrael and a new female Captain Cold.
With her army ready, Kate launches a full scale attack on the Titans’ compound, and what follows is a battle of heroes evokes the feeling of Marvel’s famous Civil War event, where two factions of superheroes battle each other for the fate of superheroes themselves. Starfire, Wally West, Superman and a Blue Lantern-powered Lois Lane are joined by a legion of reformed Lex Luthor robots to even the playing field. Eventually, Dick sees the error of his ways and joins the fray, fighting side-by-side with the Titans.
In such a battle, there are no clear winners, because everyone is fighting for something they believe in, and no one is 100% right or wrong. The fight only comes to a halt when Lex Luthor gets what he was after and betrays the Titans — as well as his friend, the newly-re-powered Superman. Lex hatches a scheme to give the entire world superpowers by way of a bomb, a bomb that would destroy most of Metropolis. Before, they were at each other’s throats, but now the warring superheroes must put their differences aside to save the city.
Pooling their efforts, Superman, Green Lantern, Red Tornado, Captain Atom, Lois Lane and Dick’s son Jake manage to lift the entire facility from the ground, taking it to the skies where it can detonate with minimal damage. The sequence is appropriately epic, and it just might remind readers of a similar sequence from the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Nightwing: The New Order took readers to a bleak future, but it ended things on a bright note. It introduced new characters and gave us different and twisted takes on heroes and villains we love. More than anything, however, it gave us a new alternate reality we hope to see a whole lot more of.
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