Tyrannical futures aren't new to comics, but Nightwing: The New Order continues to subvert the tropes most commonly associated with the genre.
Spoilers incoming for Nightwing: The New Order #4, so if you haven't read the issue yet you've been warned.
The New Order differs from other books of its kind from the initial premise, something that continues to show itself in issue #4. This isn't a crazed Nightwing killing his friends and taking over for power, but an completely mad situation that needed a solution -- and found one in Nightwing's actions, drastic as they were.
That rears its head once more when he meets the members of the small resistance group that continues to plague his former agency, which happens to be some former friends of his, including his ex-wife.
The dynamic between Nightwing and Kory is handled expertly by writer Kyle Higgins, as it's anything but a black-and-white issue. The baggage between is nuanced but messy, something any couple can identify with, even with the more fantastical elements of the story attached.
This is summed up brilliantly with Kory's words to Dick as she explains her feelings. "But feelings are feelings for a reason," Kory says. "Logic rarely has any effect on them. I cannot give you a list of how and why and when exactly things changed between us. All I can do is be honest about how I feel, and how I now feel."
Their discussion continues to introduce new layers to their relationship, Nightwing's role in it falling apart (i.e. he's not all to blame), and his decision in Metropolis, keeping what could be a formulaic narrative from becoming so.
Trevor McCarthy and Dean White deliver some lovely visuals, with characters and expressions that make the weight of their task and current situation tangible. Nightwing wears the weight of his son's survival on his face, and the pair delivers some hard-hitting moments in unexpected ways, like the one seen page 13.
Nightwing: The New Order continues to defy expectations, and whether you're a fan of Dick Grayson, the Titans, or Elseworld-like tales in general, you owe it to yourself to give the series a shot.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Nightwing: The New World Order #4 is in stores now.