Image: DC Comics

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but a beloved comic book hero is going to turn into a jackbooted thug for a government attempting to impose fascist rule in a new series. At least with this new one, we’re being told from the get-go that they’ll come to realize the error of their ways.

Revealed by Screen Rant today, Nightwing: The New Order—by Kyle Higgins and Trevor McCarthy—is set in a future version of the DC Universe where, after an as-yet-undisclosed revelatory event, Dick Grayson himself will turn on the metahuman heroes of the DC world, helping the Government establish a militaristic regime called the Crusaders to hunt down and eliminate powered individuals. No specific comment was provided on whether or not New Order takes place in the canon timeline of the DC Universe or if it is an “elseworlds” story, but considering the series apparently opens with Dick critically maiming Superman around 12 years before the main events of the book, it seems unlikely that New Order is meant to be as “canonical” as, say, other currently available comic series about superheroes-turned-fascist-rulers.

Also unlike those other stories, New Order has been explicitly revealed from the get-go as a series that will chronicle Dick’s discovery that being a fascist isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, and seeing him team up with the remaining metahumans of the DC universe to fight back against the regime he helped bring about. Instead of, for example, other comics publishers only hesitantly saying that in the wake of mass backlash while also chastising readers for not being patient to invest hundreds of dollars into a series before rendering judgment.

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But all that aside, heroes becoming fascist authoritarian forces is an idea that’s seemingly all the rage in this summer’s comics. I wonder why that is? Nightwing: The New Order begins this August.