Nightwing: The New Order #6 review
Nightwing: The New Order #6 marks Kyle Higgins’s conclusion to a possible future of the titular hero. Like many others, this mini-series offers an interesting world and it started off strong but unfortunately didn’t quite stick the landing. The finale picks up where the last issue left off with Dick Grayson cutting a deal with Kate Kane, delivering the Titans in exchange for escaping with his son. Grayson succeeds, but after an admittedly powerful conversation with Jake (son of Nightwing and Starfire), has a change of heart and decides to fight alongside with the Titans to hopefully fix what he had broken.
The problem with this ending is that it feels incredibly rushed and unfulfilled. Without going into too much detail, Lex Luthor, who was introduced in the previous issue as a seemingly reformed ally, ends up becoming the villain inexplicably with a bomb that threatens to blow up Metropolis. This, in turn, requires all the heroes to put aside their differences and work together. Afterwards, superpowers are restored and the comic kind of just ends with a somewhat happily-ever-after wrap up. This is classic example of telling, not showing.
It was revealed in the last issue that Superman, whilst under mind control, killed Batman, which then compelled Dick Grayson to eradicate superpowers. It would make sense to have these two characters interact at some point; Dick Grayson, who based his Nightwing persona on Superman as well as Batman, would have complicated feelings towards Clark, but they never share any dialogue. Jake, throughout the series, is quite dismissive to his mother, Starfire, only referring to her as “Kory”, yet, in his wrap-up narration, they seemed to have reconciled with no explanation.
Other elements of the story after the last battle are dropped entirely. There’s never a follow up on what happened to the Titans or if Grayson made up with his old friends. There are a lot of missed emotional opportunities, for example, tender moments between Nightwing and Flash, who butted heads for the majority of the series.
Despite being the main character, it doesn’t feel as though anything new was learned about Nightwing’s character; there was definitely potential in exploring his insecurities and fears, how he became a broken man like Bruce. Books like The Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come uses their speculative futures to touch on themes of morality, justice, and relativity of superheroes in the modern world. The New Order tries to bring up these ideas but it's more of an afterthought and doesn’t define clearly whether or not the world is better off without superheroes. The world this comic presents is interesting enough engage the reader, but does little to explain how certain elements happened such as how Lois Lane became a Blue Lantern. This story would’ve really benefited from being split up into two parts, letting the narrative breathe more. Nightwing The New Order is a somewhat entertaining, albeit shallow, mini-series with a lackluster ending. It was a fun read, for the most part, but nothing worth further exploration.