Dick Grayson, the first person to bear the Robin mantle and the current reigning Nightwing, is looking to create a world without superheroes in DC’s upcoming mini-series Nightwing: The New Order. Jumping over a decade into the future of the DC Universe, Nightwing will lead an army of highly skilled soldiers in hunting down the remaining superheroes. As one of DC’s most beloved characters, most fans seem, uh, a little upset about this new storyline.
The official synopsis, as reported by Screen Rant, is:
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.
Despite the synopsis reassuring that Dick will come to his senses, eventually, and “turn against the very system he helped create,” Twitter reacted rather strongly to the news of a potentially fascist Nightwing.
Series writer Kyle Higgins responded to a fan comment that Nightwing would be getting the “Red Son” treatment with “good comparison” on Twitter. Superman: Red Son was a three-issue prestige comic, taking place in DC’s Elseworlds imprint in 2003 that asked the question, “What if Superman had been raised in the Soviet Union?” It was a totally hypothetical situation that challenged fans’ ideas of a popular hero, and although New Order seems to be falling into the same line — between Higgins’s reply and the official synopsis — it’s not enough to calm the storm.
The reasoning behind the strong reaction seems to have a lot to do with Marvel’s current Secret Empire storyline, which a lot of people are comparing New Order to already.
See, Marvel is currently toting a Nazified version of Steve Rogers’s Captain America, with writer Nick Spencer changing the Cap storyline so that he was a Hydra sleeper agent all along, after all these years of fighting off Nazis. The HydraCap storyline is taking place within Marvel Universe continuity, and people are really not cool with it. New Order doesn’t seem to be doing that — either taking place in a separate continuity or taking place so far in the future that time travel will solve all the problems Dick potentially creates.
But that’s not stopping people from throwing around the words “Nazi” and “fascist,” as well as using “Secret Empire” as a verb and “Nick Spencer” as an adjective.
Nightwing: The New Order will be released on August 23.