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Graphic Novel Review: "Nightwing: The New Order" by Kyle Higgins

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

"Nightwing: The New Order" graphic novel cover.

"Nightwing: The New Order" graphic novel cover.

Quick Info

Author: Kyle Higgins
Publisher: DC Comics
Published: May 8, 2018
Page Count: 152 pages
Availability: In print, buy on Amazon or your local bookstore, read on DCUniverseInfinite streaming service

Story Summary

In 2040 after the death of Batman, superheroes and people who are metahumans must suppress their powers or be detained by the government. It is a world without superheroes. Dick Grayson is no longer Nightwing, instead, he works for the task force that prevents metahumans from being active.

His son Jacob “Jake” Grayson also has a secret, one that could upset everything about the status quo of a world without superheroes.

The Story Is Interesting And is a Unique Elseworlds Story

While the story in Nightwing: The New Order isn’t too unique as a superhero story, it is a unique story for a DC Comics property. The plot of this story is similar but not a copy of the Pixar movie The Incredibles (2004) but the premise that superheroes, in the case of this story, metahumans, are forced to suppress their powers rather than just hide them from other people.

It does make the story interesting because this situation doesn’t usually happen to the superheroes in DC Comics.

The story is unique coming from DC Comics but it has been told in different ways elsewhere but it is a very fun story to read.

Doctor Light tries to fight the Crusaders.

Doctor Light tries to fight the Crusaders.

The Art Is Good but Not Amazing

Trevor McArthy’s art is good but it didn’t blow me away. While characters do look good, the art is not amazing to me. It still looks nice and I don’t think it’s ugly.

The designs are a little weird when it comes to the main characters but the art is good enough that I do enjoy looking at it while I read the story.

If you’re looking for amazing artwork, Nightwing: The New Order doesn’t have the best art but it’s good enough that you won’t be distracted by how it looks. I still think it’s good even if it’s not my favorite art style. If you don’t like the art from the panels I’ve shown you probably won’t like the rest of the art for the graphic novel.

The Characters Do Seem Out of Character

I’ve noticed some readers have complained about certain characters being out of character when it came to writing. It didn’t bother me much because the story is an alternate universe where different things happened that made Nightwing want to stop metahumans and superheroes from using their powers but I understand why people don’t like this version of Dick Grayson.

Because Dick Grayson doesn’t act like he normally does he feels out of character for a lot of fans, I didn’t mind but some fans don’t like this version of the character, and it’s completely understandable to dislike this version of Dick Grayson/Nightwing.

Should you buy this comic if you don’t like how they wrote this version of Dick Grayson? The answer is no, if you don’t like this version of the character you can happily skip this Elseworlds story and read the mainstream Nightwing comics where they don’t have this version of the character.

The Story Had Some Controversy

While the story itself doesn’t mention it by name, the way that characters talk about superheroes and superpowers is very similar to how people talk about guns and gun control. And some readers initially thought the story was going to be a badly written parable about how “gun control is good and guns are bad” using the metaphor of superpowers and superheroes.

It’s hard not to think of superpowers being a gun metaphor when the story’s written in a similar way to how people write about gun control, mostly writing about being pro-gun control. But the story does play out similar to the Pixar movie The Incredibles (2004) rather than being a parable about guns being good or bad.

While the story wasn’t controversial when it came out, the speculation that this was going to be a preachy metaphor for gun control and the author’s views on guns, whether pro-gun control or not, didn’t help much when it came to whether or not people were excited to buy the comic.

In the end, it wasn’t a preachy metaphor about guns, it just happened to have similar rhetoric for superpowers to similar rhetoric about guns when they are pro-gun control.

Reader Poll

What's left of the Teen Titans confront Dick Grayson.

What's left of the Teen Titans confront Dick Grayson.

If You Are Familiar With Superhero Tropes You Can Predict This Story

I watch a lot of superhero movies and read superhero comics regularly. I was able to predict some of the things that happen in the story because I’m very familiar with the tropes used in the superhero genre.

While I wasn’t able to predict the ending of Nightwing: The New Order, I figured that the villain would be a certain supervillain because of the story and the setting. I won’t spoil it for people that want to read the story but if you have a decent amount of knowledge of the characters in DC Comics you could see this coming before it happened.

I Recommend Reading “Nightwing: The New Order” Before You Decide if You Want to Buy It

Nightwing: The New Order is a graphic novel that fans will either love or hate the story. But what should you do if you want to read the story without buying the graphic novel? You should either borrow it from your local library if it is in their library system or if you are subscribed to the streaming service DCUniverseInfinite.

I had heard a lot about this graphic novel and since I’m subscribed to DCUniverseInfinite I decided to read it and I enjoyed the graphic novel.

It is worth your time to read it if it’s something that interests you.

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

This is a unique and interesting story in an alternate universe

Some of the characters feel very out-of-character when it comes to the character writing.

The artwork is good

The controversy about how the story read like a parable about gun-control didn't help interest in the book before it came out

You can predict the story if you know your superhero tropes and DC Comics' characters

My Grade: B-

Nightwing: The New Order is an entertaining graphic novel with an interesting future for superheroes. It does not appeal to all fans of Nightwing because of a drastically different character portrayal compared to his Prime Earth counterpart.

Is Nightwing: The New Order worth your time and money? Maybe. I won’t be buying a physical copy of the graphic novel because I don’t have the physical space for it and I’m subscribed to DCUniverseInfinite so I can read it whenever I want.

I do recommend Nightwing: The New Order, but only if you’re willing to accept that Dick Grayson/Nightwing is not the same character that he is in the main timeline.

Not all fans of Nightwing enjoy this version of the character and I can understand why, because he’s not as likable as he is in his ongoing series. The limited series is an enjoyable read but it’s very divisive when it comes to the characterization of Dick Grayson/Nightwing.

I recommend borrowing Nightwing: The New Order from your local library or read it on DCUniverseInfinite or Comixology Unlimited if you’re subscribed to Kindle Unlimited.

Nightwing: The New Order is worth your time and money if you’re willing to put up with the characterization of the protagonist and if you’re interested in a unique future for DC Comics’ superheroes.

The graphic novel is a little expensive so you can save some money by borrowing it from your local library or using a streaming service. I don’t feel I have to own this graphic novel but I did find it to be an enjoyable read. It was worth my time but I’m not spending extra money on it. I would recommend you read it before you decide if you want to buy it for yourself or not.

My Rating

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