In the year 2040, nothing is more dangerous than a rogue metahuman, but will a tragic loss move Nightwing to the side of the powered ones?  Your Major Spoilers review of Nightwing: The New Order #3 awaits!

NIGHTWING: THE NEW ORDER #3

Writer:  Kyle Higgins
Artist: Trevor McCarthy
Colorist: Dean White
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Nightwing: The New Order: “After an unthinkable tragedy strikes the Grayson family, Dick finds himself a prisoner of the very system he helped create – with his son’s life hanging in the balance.  With nowhere else to turn, Grayson seeks out an old friend for help… but some mistakes are impossible to forgive.”

UNCERTAIN OF THIS PREMISE

Having discovered that his son is an illegal metahuman, Dick Grayson was shocked when his own Crusaders task force swept in, resulting in his son’s disappearance and the murder of Alfred Pennyworth.  Dick’s second-in-command, Kathy Kane, orders that he be detained, but Nightwing learned much from his adoptive dad, and makes a very Batman escape.  Taking a public tour (!!) of the defunct Batcave, Dick avails himself of its weaponry (with a little help from retired dad Tim Drake) and makes a run for it.  He is confronted by John Stewart, working for the Crusaders, and nearly beaten when John is taken down by a little help from old friends: A Flash (whom I’m presuming is Wally West, but can’t confirm it) and his extremely unhappy ex-wife, Starfire…

FASCINATING VISUAL STORYTELLING, BUT UNCLEAR NARRATIVE

It took a few pages to realize that this issue was narrated in the past tense, by Nightwing’s son, a strange device that isn’t effective for me as a reader.  (For one thing, I wonder who he’s talking to, but more importantly, the history of first-person narration in Bat-books makes it seems like Dick is talking, at first.)  There’s a lot of brutality in this issue’s battles, and the idea that Nightwing could overpower a Green Lantern seems ludicrous on the face of it, but he beats John bloody because Batman, I guess.  Visually, the issue is stunning, with a two-page spread of Nightwing’s escape followed immediately by a kinetic sequence where he somersaults down multiple stories of building in vertiginously beautiful spread.  Sadly, the premise of the book comes out of the same playbook as ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’, taking the worst instincts and most fascistic aspects of costumed folks and putting it front and center, with as much blood and thunder as we can get.

THE BOTTOM LINE: IN THE ‘INJUSTICE’ VEIN, WITH SIMILAR FLAWS

That said, if you like Injustice, this is a visually solid representation of that sort of story, featuring some lovely sequences (especially in the Bat-cave) and a dystopian crapsack future that seems to have more thought put into it that some.  Nightwing: The New Order #3 is narratively confusing and darker than I care for, but strong art helps greatly, to earn a right-down-the-middle 2.5 out of 5 stars overall.  I like the depiction of an older Dick and Kate, and the ending gives me hope that what we’re seeing is actually a “smash the terrible authoritarian nonsense” story in the vein of ‘The Hunger Games’ than the solicitations would have us believe…

[taq_review]

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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