Sunday, September 10, 2017

Nightwing: The New Order #1

Where the hell has Kyle Higgins been? Writing for a better comic book company or playing too much Overwatch?

Everybody likes to think that they never let their emotions cloud their intellectual decisions. Obviously most people are wrong about this because most people aren't robots disguised as humans or cars or comic book bloggers. I've come up with a good test to know if you're one of those people who make bad decisions based on your stupid human feelings. Not a lot of people will get the chance to take this test unless MTV decides to pick it up and make it into a hidden camera show. Here's how it works. Most people have friends (I say most people because I post my commentaries on Tumblr as well as Blogger and I don't want anybody responding with "How dare erase people who don't like to make friends!" Although I suspect people who say things like that are just justifying the reason they have no friends because they say things like that) and they would do anything to defend their friends from physical assault. They've got their friend's back or whatever nomenclature the cool kids use. I would know but a cool kid has never once spoken to me. Anyway, most people (see previous parenthetical reference) also have that one friend who deserves to get punched because they're a provoking asshole. Now here's how you can tell if you're a reasonable person or not. If that asshole friend gets punched in the face by some stranger, do you get up and help them or do you shrug and continue your inane conversation about Joss Whedon (feminist or chronic virtue signaler? (that's your inane conversation and not mine. Remember that I'm a writer, dum-dum))? If you defend your friend even though you know they deserve it, you're the kind of person who would make excuses and apologize for a terribly stupid person in power (who I won't name because if your in the United Kingdom, that gives you an opportunity to think maybe I'm talking about one of your dumb people in power like May or Johnson or Farage (does he still have any power? It's hard to stay connected when all of your panel shows are on hiatus or unavailable on YouTube)). But if you let your friend take a punch or two (you can step in if it goes much further because, remember, you're supposed to be a reasonable person), it shows you are a perceptive and thoughtful person who is able to see all sides of an issue. Sometimes your asshole friend deserves to get punched in the face. Maybe they'll learn something.

I have a feeling that Nightwing might be punching some assholes in the face in this series. Although I'm also feeling a bit of trepidation about reading this book. I've had enough of comic book stories about groups of people who rally around a leader that wants to destroy a particular group of people simply because they're different. You might think I say that because I'm tired of the real world but I don't care about what's happening in the real world when I say that. I'm just sick of reading this story over and over again in my fucking comic books. Didn't the X-men say it well enough fifty years ago? Do we have to keep revisiting this shit? How about superhero comic books stop holding up a mirror to our real world prejudices just to show how one hero stands up for what's right and maybe show a whole world of people who choose to do what's right rather than acting like scared, idiotic children? How about being truly uplifting rather than depressing and, well, repetitive?

This issue begins with a scene from twelve years ago where Dick has murdered the Justice League and Doomsday and Captain Cold and Cheetah and, I think, Gorilla Grodd. I guess everybody with superpowers. I don't remember that happening twelve years ago so this comic book must take place in the future. Superman is all, "Dick! Why did you kill me and Hawkman? Well, I mean, I get why you killed Hawkman. What a provoking asshole! But why me?! I gave you your name, you ungrateful cocktease!" And Dick is all, "I had to save the world." That's really what he says in the comic book. The Superman stuff I mostly made up. Surprising, right?

So there you have it! A story about how normal people feel people with super powers are a threat to the world instead of a being the inspiration they were meant to be! It really is the worst take on the superhero genre. I don't want to be reminded that most people have negligible self-esteem and a sense of inadequacy so dense only Stephen Hawking could truly describe it to a layman.

The narrator mentions parents so the story will probably be told from Nightwing's kid's point of view, since this takes place in the future's future. Nightwing's kid is probably a closeted superhero who can't be their true self because their father is a fascist asshole. Why Nightwing, of all the heroes in the DC Universe, would become a person who thinks superheroes are dangerous, I have no idea. I'm sure I'll find out though if I keep reading! I bet he lost somebody he loved or at least respected as a father figure who couldn't quite give him the love he needed because he was aloof and dressed as a bat.

According to Nightwing's kid (who is almost certainly a lesbian. It's like those television court shows. If the judge is a white female, the bailiff must be a black man. So Nightwing has the hetero white male covered. That means his kid needs to be the opposite. Although is lesbian the opposite of that? Or is gay male the opposite? Maybe an asexual would be the opposite of Nightwing because I bet he gets so much pussy!), Nightwing saved the world in 2028. That means, according to my calculator (which is on my watch because I'm fancy), this story takes place in 2050. I mean 2040! Stupid fat fingers and tiny buttons.

Really, Nightwing? I figure we allow the people we care about the most to make their own decisions, even if we disagree? But then, that's just me. I guess in the eyes of The New Order, I'm just an apathetic apologist!

That quote will come back to haunt Nightwing because Nightwing's kid is going to be, "I really care about my dad! I care so much about him that I have to make the hard decision of punching him in the face while his friends stand by and think, 'Yeah. He deserved that.'" Basically in 2040, the pendulum has swung back and Dick Grayson is, once again, the worst character in the DC Universe. Marv Wolfman would be proud.

The story is about how good people can come to believe in terrible things. I'm pretty perceptive to have figured that out so quickly. Also the kid says, "Eventually, I learned how even good people can come to believe in really terrible things." It's kind of like that time I found out that my friend Doom Bunny liked Ally McBeal. I should have written a comic book about that.

In 2040, cities don't have police. They have Wings! It's not as delicious as it sounds unless you enjoy night sticks and super power suppressants.

He's talking about the original Dr. Light. Who cares about his light powers! Maybe worry more about keeping him away from kids?

After dealing with work and celebrity life and ignoring how he's become an asshole, Dick heads back home to Wayne Manor where Alfred is making dinner with his son Jake. I know Jake isn't a lesbian but that's because this is probably a red herring. There's no way a kid Jake's age develops the voice that the narrator is using. That kind of bitter disappointment in one's parents only really comes from an adult perspective (or late teen, most likely. Since she'll probably be leading the Teen Titans against this fascist police state Grayson has set up. I bet she's the child of Dick and Helena). Jake is like twelve.

See? Lesbian daughter! How dare you doubt a Grandmaster Comic Book Reader?

Since nobody says "daughter" or "sister" in the entire conversation (just the pronoun "she"), that bit is probably another red herring to make the reader think he's talking about Jake's mother and the voice is still Jake's. But I don't fall for red herrings! Herring is gross.

Alfred tries to point out that Richard is being an asshole. I would have said "being a dick" but he has that stupid name and it would have sounded like I was punning. But Dick is all, "I have to put people like Superman and Wonder Woman in stasis! It's the only way to make everybody safe! Safety first! Freedom worst!" But Alfred is all, "Bruce's death may have turned you into a fascist fuckmonster but I will never agree with you! Or respect you! Or make you waffles!"

Okay fine! I was wrong about the lesbian daughter! The narrator is Jake! It's just it's Jake from even further in the future than 2040. And his mother wasn't Helena because, apparently, she was hurt by Dick Grayson's anti-meta(l)-gene bomb that took away most of the powers. I guess she's the "she" he and Alfred were talking about. I'm not shocked that I was wrong. I'm just shocked that Kyle Higgins would give a white male superhero a white male son to rebel against him. What year is this? Nineteen-whitety-white?

Oh! I hope Jake's mother was Starfire! I mean, he's not brown and doesn't have green eyes or red hair and his boobs are pretty small. But maybe?!

I figured it out when I read the cover! Except for the lesbian daughter part. Based on DC's apparent mission statement, I should have known it was about a son dealing with his daddy issues.

So it turns out that in 2040, Jake gained super powers. That's why the narrator sounds like an adult because he's speaking from the future future's future. He probably, as I said earlier about the lesbian daughter who apparently doesn't exist (dammit), founded a new group of Teen Titans to bust his father's ass. I still don't know who Jake's mother is though. Jake's power manifests as red eyes that make red squiggly lines. So maybe Jake's mother was Darkseid? I mean Grail!

What Did We Learn?
I feel when I read something, I should learn something. And if I'm going to write about things and make stupid jokes (like the joke about how I thought Dick had a lesbian daughter which you totally fell for. As if I really thought something that was eventually proven to be wrong. Ha ha! You're so gullible! Also credulous! And naive!), I should probably walk away a little wiser than I began. It's tough to learn things from every issue of a comic book you read though because the story takes a few issues to finish. How am I supposed to know the lesson I should learn after just the first issue? Well, that's another benefit of comics! They really fucking telegraph where they're going. Maybe it's because we, the audience, are idiots and they don't want to lose any of us. Or maybe it's just that no matter how hard comic book writers try to make a good book, an editor will walk over and stick a dick in their notepad and be all, "Write it this way, dum-dum!" Anyway, here's what we're going to learn from this title (I'm telling you so you can save twenty bucks): prejudice cannot survive in the face of love of family! Dick might feel a little bit bad that he's hurting people with his terrible laws but he won't really understand how badly he's harming them until he has to punish his own son for simply being who he is. At the end of the book, Dick's son apologizes to Dick for having superpowers. See? Dick should already feel awful that he caused his son to feel shame simply for being who he is! Dick will try to get his son to go on the inhibitor medication but his son will rebel. They'll battle in the good ole Oedipal way which will end in the collapse of Dick's police state and the freedom of everybody! But Dick will not be allowed to live after this transgression. He'll die in his son's arms as he repents his sins. Also Jake's mother will appear at some point and hug Jake.

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