Warning: Spoilers for Future State: Nightwing #2!
Nightwing has always been a member of the Bat-Family that holds the strongest ties to his mentor and father figure, Batman. From starting out as the original Robin, to moving on to his current (and best) alter ego, to even taking up the Batman mantle only to come back to the role he was always destined to play, Nightwing has taken the lessons learned from The Dark Knight and utilized them to their fullest and Batman’s penchant for making wonderful gadgets was not lost on the one-time Boy Wonder either.
And now, in DC Comics’ near future, Nightwing has just one upped Batman in his tech game by basically stealing Black Lighting’s thunder (pun entirely intended) and imbuing his own gadgets with a little extra power. Black Lightning and Batman might be at the top of their respective superhero games, but that doesn’t mean Nightwing isn’t hot on their heels, ready to match them at every level.
Seen in the finale to Future State: Nightwing by Andrew Constant and Nicola Scott, this issue picks up with Nightwing and the new Batman, Tim Fox, stuck between a rock and a hard place as the fascist forces of The Magistrate bear down on them with their full power. Having sniffed out the hiding place of Nightwing – inside the abandoned ruins of Arkham Asylum – where he coordinates the ragtag group of heroes and ex-villains that make up his Resistance, the Magistrate are ready to take Nightwing down by whatever means necessary.
Teaming up with Tim as the new and improved Future State version of the Dynamic Duo, Nightwing and Batman gear up and get ready to face their foes together. And it’s here, as Nightwing makes his last stand and as his Resistance forces show up seemingly out of nowhere to join the fray, that the power of Black Lightning is revealed, and, boy, would it make him proud.
Finally squaring up with Peacekeeper-06, the commander of The Magistrate forces spearheading the attack, Nightwing pulls out his usual weapon of choice – his escrima sticks – but with a huge twist stolen right from Black Lightning’s playbook. Not only are his sticks electrified, but Nightwing has boosted their power so much that the electric tendrils crackling uncontrollably around his weapons form a tether that connect both sticks together, and thus, stun-chucks are born, immediately proving their worth by easily helping Nightwing take down the Peacekeeper once and for all.
So while Black Lightning has quite literally become the living embodiment of lightning in this mysterious new future, Nightwing has taken a cue from his power set and imbued his favorite weapons with a stopping power that can fry any enemy on sight. To put a further point on it, Black Lightning might have even given Nightwing a tip or two considering the overlap in Resistance fighters and other groups like the Outsiders, so although this is a future without the original Batman, Nightwing proves that he doesn’t need The Dark Knight to be a successful – and reimgful – hero.