Iz Explains Stuff So You Don’t Have to: The Nightwing Debacle.
Hey guys! As promised, here’s a write up of what’s currently making waves in the DC/comic fandom today. Given that this subject somewhat related to the Hydra-cap nonsense, I thought it should be something I cover as well, just to sorta give non-comics fans/DC comics readers who might see this and want some context.
1. Who is Nightwing?
You guys know Robin, Batman’s sidekick who they almost always leave out of movies? This is the first (yes there’s more than one, but that’s a topic for another day) and possibly most iconic one to pop-culture. Named Richard “Dick” Grayson, Dick is the son of the flying Grayson’s , two circus acrobats who died due to mob interference during a show (he also has Romani heritage (which the comics often ignore) This will be important later). Bruce took Dick in and the rest is well history.
Dick probably has the most screen time over any Robin in film/tv adaptations, including Teen Titans, Young Justice, The Lego Batman movie, the original Adam West series, and Batman Forever. He’s arguably the best known Robin to non-comic’s readers.
Because time does pass in comics occasionally, Dick grew up and after a series of events that have been retconned so many times it’s not worth getting into, ditched the Robin mantle. He would later take up the title of Nightwing.
2. Why the name Nightwing?
Dick is a HUGE fan of Superman (no really, Superman is pretty much his uncle) and after he ditched the Robin title, Superman and him had a talk where Superman told him of two legendary kryptonian heroes Nightwing and Flamebird. Inspired by the story, Dick would take on the name of the former (the latter name has a much more varied history).
3. Okay, so what’s the big deal besides the Robin thing?
To compress a lot of history into a paragraph, Nightwing is the one DC hero that like almost every other DC hero trusts and likes. Most of the Justice League has known Dick since he was a little kid and trust him implicitly for both his general good nature and reputation of being like, a really fucking good guy. Like a really good guy. A good enough guy that when Batman was told to let his own world die to let a better more “ideal” world survive, he asked if Richard Grayson was in it to make his choice on if it actually was a better world. (Dick was not in this world, which made Batman hard pass on that shit. Really. This is a thing that happened.)
Dick has also led multiple successful superhero teams, worked on the league himself, and donned the Batman title for awhile.
4. Okay, got it. So what’s going on?
Today DC announced a new six issue limited series in an elseworld (which is a world that takes place outside of canon. Think an AU.) This is the summary:
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.
5. OH NO IS THIS HYDRA CAP ALL OVER AGAIN?
Yes and no. So far, it’s safe to say that this series does echo Hydra Cap in a paragon for good and justice becoming the figurehead of a fascist regime. However, everything else is kind of more murky.
For one, this series is an elseworld, which means unlike Hydra Cap, it doesn’t take place in the regular DC universe. This is not the fate of the Dick Grayson we know and love, nor is it him; it’s a version of him in a different universe. It’s also a limited run, so we got an enddate on this sucker off the bat.
Second, this is more general fascism instead of nazi brand fascism. The first cover echoes other fascist/oppressive regimes but it applies to multiple besides the Nazi party. In the DC universe, metahumans aren’t coded as a minority group (though smaller subsets are, like the Superfamily being coded Jewish), so it’s more sci-fi than an allegory for real life oppression (though if depending on the details of this event, that remains to be seen. The writer took to Twitter to state there is absolutely no genocide here in this book but the first few pages imply otherwise and long story short, I’m not convinced). The group Dick works with is also entirely new and unlike Hydra has no link in history to the Nazi party, making the claim that they’re a general “evil fascist villain” hold water.
Third, unlike Hydra Cap, this book is branded as Dick learning the error of his choices rather than a long saga to try to convince us he has a point. I doubt we’ll see the same extent of “we should feel bad for Dick oppressing all these people” that we see in Hydra cap. However, this also remains to be seen. Long story short, it’s never gonna try to get us to root for the bad guy.
6. So it’s fine?
Now I wouldn’t say that. Making an iconic character a fascist is still something to side eye, and a lot of my above caveats can change if the story itself decides to make those connections (i.e if there are prison camps for example). It’s also important to note, that making a Romani character a fascist, and one under the label of “crusader” is in terrible taste, considering the Romani people’s history with both.
The writer is also someone I don’t have a ton of faith in when it comes to nuance. (though to his credit, he is assuring and validating concerns on twitter rather than laughing us all off as SJWs).
What I’m saying is that it’s gonna be hard to figure out exactly this is going to play out until I see the first issue. I think the storyline and the advertising is something we should be critical of, but a lot still depends on how the book approaches it. This isn’t to say you should “give it a chance” only that we might want to hold off from saying DC is promoting fascism until we see if they’re gonna take this from a “feel bad for Dick angle, not all fascists are bad” or a “Dick fucked up hard” angle. We can just say this storyline is at the very least insensitive given current events and Dick’s ethnic roots.
Plus, Dick turning on Superman is just weird, and the preview pages are not helping my concerns.
So be critical of the concept but be careful not to declare what the narrative is trying to say until we know what the narrative is.
7. And if it does come out to be “feel bad for Dick, not all fascists, narrative supports the fascist regime for just wanting the best for us” angle?
Then go crazy guys. Though even if it does go that way, it still won’t be as Hydra cap. Because at least it’s still only a elseworld. Which is like the worst consolation prize ever.
The Lost Special: The One Way to Tie Up Every Loose Thread
In the last month this corner of the Sherlock fandom has thrown out a multitude of ideas for a narrative that could potentially resolve every last inconsistency in Sherlock series 4. Not knowing it, this community has debated different readings – all perfectly valid with only minor holes in logic – but have missed how they might all fit together into an intricate puzzle, each reading validating the other.
I have found one way to connect every loose thread.
Topics resolved include:
– EMP Theory vs “TFP as John’s TAB”: why both readings are meant to be exposed to the viewer (but we just found them too early) – Benedict’s insanely long monologue they mentioned him having in Series 4. – How another episode would only be comprised of a few new scenes – Mary’s character development drifting far from her original plotline – Moffat’s Doctor Who narrative that includes Toby Jones as a Dream Lord and what that means for Amy in “Amy’s Choice” and Sherlock in The Lost Special. – How POVs intertwine in TFP, and how TPLOSH inspired the way The Lost Special would end. – The entire bizarre nature of Series 4 – Breaking the 4th Wall – The focus in The Six Thatchers on “The Duplicate Man”, “Twins”, “Two places at once”, and “Dead AND alive”. – Three Garridebs – Benedict claiming “Love conquers all” while Steven Moffat facepalms.
So if you want to know the one way this could all work, check out the rest of this post. But hear me out until the end, suspend your disbelief until you’ve finished, because regardless of whether or not you believe we’re getting The Lost Special, this reading which combines everything we’ve talked about for the last year is definitely arguable and until something else gets proposed, it is the one I’m sticking with til the bitter end.
“They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for. Inej,” Kaz said, gesturing out to the harbor with the head of his cane, “look.”
She raised the long glass and peered back down at the harbor, at the passengers disembarking, but the image was blurry. Reluctantly, she released his hand. It felt like a promise, and she didn’t want to let go. She adjusted the lens, and her gaze caught on two figures moving down the gangplank. Their steps were graceful, their posture straight as knife blades. They moved like Suli acrobats.
lit meme | 4/10 books or series: six of crows duology by leigh bardugo
“No mourners, no funerals. Another way of saying good luck. But it was something more. A dark wink to the fact that there would be no expensive burials for people like them, no marble markers to remember their names, no wreaths of myrtle and rose.”
The Eternal Problem: A Meditation on Mortality in Sherlock S4
When asked about S4 during the promotional lead-up, Moftiss repeatedly
said this new series would be about one thing: consequences. Now that we stand on the other side of S4,
what do we think they meant? It
obviously wasn’t legal consequences for shooting Magnussen, or physical
consequences of overdosing on drugs.
In this meta, I argue that TAB and S4 are above all about the moral,
metaphysical, and narrative consequences of Sherlock faking his death during
the Reichenbach Fall—an act which continues to reverberate through the story
two series later, both for the characters and, significantly, for the writers.
There was a
rather desperately thrown-together piece about the new casting on Victoria
Derbyshire this morning, and she read out the above quote. And I thought, well, yes, he was, but he was
created as an elderly male character as portrayed by William Hartnell. He certainly wasn’t created as the cosmic
hobo played by Patrick Troughton, or the kung-fu daredevil played by Jon
Pertwee – none of the Doctor’s subsequent portrayals fit the character’s
He wasn’t created
as a Time Lord – in the original concept document he’s human, and he’s not
revealed as a Time Lord until 1969, six years into the series.
created as someone who fights monsters – Sidney Newman, the show’s creator, was
emphatic that there would be “no bug-eyed monsters” and was appalled by the
Daleks. (He later admitted that he was
wrong, and that Verity Lambert – the first, female, producer of the show – was absolutely
right to put her foot down about them.)
even conceived as a hero – “anti-hero” is the stock phrase to describe the
First Doctor in his early episodes; he is selfish and even spiteful at times.
has thrived on change; if it had stuck rigidly to the format originally devised
for it, there is no way on Earth it would have lasted over half a century. The core of the Doctor is not anything that
was laid down at the start in 1963, but those aspects of his character that
have been honed and developed through so many writers, producers and actors –
he is brave, kind, clever and funny; never cruel or cowardly. Nothing that is vital to the Doctor will be
in any way eroded by “he” becoming “she”.