The DC Universe will be getting one more alternate future this summer, when Dick Grayson, the first Robin, decides that it’s time for normal, baseline human beings to be in charge of saving the world.
Screenrant revealed the new six-issue miniseries — written by Kyle Higgins, with art by Trevor McCarthy, Dean White and Clayton Cowles — today. Higgins and McCarthy are both no strangers to Dick Grayson, having worked together before on the character’s New 52 relaunch book, Nightwing. Nightwing: The New Order will take place at least a decade into the possible future of the DC universe, in a setting where having superpowers, especially using them to commit, prevent or avenge crimes, is illegal.
Preview pages released by DC to Screenrant give us just a hint as to how the DCU could have gotten to this point, and it looks an awful lot like it part of it involves Nightwing single-handedly taking out the Justice League and several big supervillains.
The majority of the events of the comic take place twelve years after this moment. Here’s the official summary:
NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER is the story of a future world without “weapons”—where superpowers have been eliminated and outlawed. The man responsible? None other than Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Nightwing, now leader of a government task force called the Crusaders who are charged with hunting the remaining Supers. But when events transpire which turn the Crusaders’ aim toward Grayson’s own family, the former Boy Wonder must turn against the very system he helped create, with help from the very people he’s been hunting for years—the last metahumans of the DC Universe.
Other preview pages depict Dick Grayson, unmasked, in a police-like uniform hunting down Arthur Light (otherwise known as the supervillain “Doctor Light”), aided by heavily armed, Batman-masked soldiers. You can see all the pages and two covers at Screenrant.
The announcement of Nightwing: The New Order immediately drew comparisons between its plot line and Marvel’s summer crossover event of Captain America turning evil and destroying the Avengers in a fascist government takeover. But there are a few major reasons why DC may not catch the kind of flack that Marvel has.
For one, there’s the absence of Hydra or another longtime-comic-book-stand-in-for-Nazis in Nightwing: The New Order. For another, the miniseries is set in an alternate future of the DC Universe, not its main setting. And finally, where Marvel preserved the secrecy of the “twist” ending on its story until last week, even The New Order’s very first official summary makes it clear that it will be a story about Dick Grayson realizing that he was wrong and what happens next, rather than Grayson doing wrong things.
The hint that Grayson’s turn against the superhuman ban will be motivated by his family coming under fire immediately conjures images of the rest of the Bat-Family — the other Robins and former Robins, Batgirl and other characters — but we might actually want to look somewhere more mundane.
“In my opinion, Dick Grayson is the heart and soul of the DCU,” Higgins explained on his Twitter account, adding that that the story will be framed by Dick Grayson’s relationship with his own son, who is struggling to reconcile the superhero his father used to be with who he is now.
In other words, who wants to bet that the Dick Grayson of The New Order has a son with superpowers?