- Richard John "Dick" Grayson is a fictional superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and illustrator Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940.
The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the "Flying Graysons," Dick watches a mafia boss kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them. Bruce Wayne, secretly the superhero Batman, takes him in as his legal ward, and eventually as his crime-fighting partner, Robin.
Throughout Dick's adolescence, Batman and Robin are inseparable. However, as Dick grows older and spends more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, he retires as Robin and takes on his own superhero identity as Nightwing to assert his independence (others would fill in as Robin). His Nightwing persona was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, and first appeared in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984). As Nightwing, Dick leads the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. Following the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, he temporarily replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman, beginning in Robin #0 (October 1994) and extending throughout the Batman: Prodigal storyline. In an eponymous series, launched in 1996 and continuing until 2009, he becomes the protector of Blüdhaven, Gotham's economically troubled neighboring city. Following the destruction of Blüdhaven, at the command of Deathstroke, Nightwing relocates to New York.
After the events of "Batman R.I.P." and Final Crisis, Dick moves operations to Gotham to protect the city following Bruce's apparent death. Despite Bruce's will instructing him not to, the chaos in Gotham following Bruce's disappearance prompts Dick to take up his mentor's identity once again as Batman.
As Robin, Dick Grayson has appeared in several other media adaptations of Batman, including the 1943 and 1949 fifteen chapter Batman serials in which he was played by Douglas Croft and Johnny Duncan, respectively, and the 1966–1968 live action Batman television series as well as its motion picture, where he was portrayed by Burt Ward. In the 1995 film Batman Forever and its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, he was played by Chris O'Donnell. In the 1990s' Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, he was voiced by Loren Lester. The latter series was the first adaptation to portray Grayson's evolution into Nightwing.
Main article: Publication history of Dick Grayson===Robin, The Boy Wonder=== The character was first introduced in Detective Comics #38 (1940) by Batman creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Robin's debut was an effort to make Batman a lighter, more sympathetic character. DC Comics also thought a teenaged superhero would appeal to young readers, being an effective audience surrogate. The name "Robin, The Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume are inspired by the legendary hero Robin Hood, as well as the red-breasted American Robin, which parallels the "winged" motif of Batman. Dick Grayson was born on the first day of spring, son of John and Mary Grayson, a young couple of aerialists.
In his first appearance, Dick is a circus acrobat, and with his parents make up the "Flying Graysons". While preparing for a performance, Dick overhears two gangsters attempting to extort protection money from the circus owner. The owner refuses, so the gangsters sabotage the trapeze wires with acid. During the next performance, the trapeze from which Dick's parents are swinging snaps, sending them to their deaths. Before he can go to the police, Batman appears to him and warns him that the two gangsters work for Tony Zucco, a very powerful crime boss, and that revealing his knowledge could lead to his death. When Batman recounts the murder of his own parents, Dick asks to become his aide. After extensive training, Dick becomes Robin. They start by disrupting Zucco's gambling and extortion rackets. They then successfully bait the riled Zucco into visiting a construction site, where they capture him.
Robin's origin has a thematic connection to Batman's in that both see their parents killed by criminals, creating an urge to battle the criminal element. Bruce sees a chance to direct the anger and rage that Dick feels in a way that he himself cannot, thus creating a father/son bond and understanding between the two. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, DC Comics portrayed Batman and Robin as a team, deeming them the "Dynamic Duo", rarely publishing a Batman story without his sidekick; stories entirely devoted to Robin appeared in Star-Spangled Comics from 1947 through 1952.
Dick Grayson in his original Nightwing costume. From Tales of the Teen Titans #59 (November 1985).1964's The Brave and the Bold #54 introduces a junior version of the Justice League of America; an all-star superhero team of which Batman was a part. This team is led by the modern-day Robin, residing on Earth-One, and was joined by two other teenage sidekicks, Aqualad (sidekick of Aquaman) and Kid Flash (sidekick of The Flash), to stop the menace of Mr. Twister.
Later, the three sidekicks join forces with Speedy and Wonder Girl in order to free their mentors in the JLA from mind-controlled thrall. They decide to become a real team: the Teen Titans. By virtue of the tactical skills gleaned from Batman, Robin is swiftly recognized as leader before the Titans disband some years later.
In 1969, still in the Pre-Crisis continuity, writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams return Batman to his darker roots. One part of this effort is writing Robin out of the series by sending Dick Grayson to Hudson University and into a separate strip in the back of Detective Comics. The by-now Teen Wonder appears only sporadically in Batman stories of the 1970s as well as a short lived revival of The Teen Titans.
In 1980, Grayson once again takes up the role of leader of the Teen Titans, now featured in the monthly series The New Teen Titans, which became one of DC Comics' most beloved series of the era.
In pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity, the maturing Dick Grayson grows weary of his role as Batman's young sidekick. He renames himself Nightwing, recalling his adventure in the Kryptonian city of Kandor, where he and Batman meet the local hero of the same name.
In the "Prodigal" story arc, Bruce Wayne, still recovering from his broken back, asks a reluctant Dick to substitute for him as Batman for a time.
Miniseries and ongoingEdit
Dick Grayson in his Nightwing costume from Nightwing #41 (March 2000). Pencils by Greg Land.In Nightwing: Alfred's Return #1 (1995), Grayson travels to England to find Alfred, who resigns from Bruce Wayne's service following the events of KnightSaga. Before returning to Gotham City together, they prevent an attempted coup d'état against the British government that involves destroying the "Channel Tunnel" under the English Channel.
Later on, with the Nightwing miniseries (September to December 1995, written by Dennis O'Neil with Greg Land as artist), Dick briefly considers retiring from being Nightwing forever before family papers uncovered by Alfred reveal a possible link between the murder of the Flying Graysons and the Crown Prince of Kravia. Journeying to Kravia, Nightwing helps to topple the murderous Kravian leader and prevent an ethnic cleansing, while learning his parents' true connection to the Prince.
In 1996, following the success of the miniseries, DC Comics launched a monthly solo series featuring Nightwing (written by Chuck Dixon, with art by Scott McDaniel), in which he patrols Gotham City's neighboring municipality of Blüdhaven.
During the battle of Metropolis, Grayson suffers a near-fatal injury from Alexander Luthor, Jr. when he shields Wayne from Luthor's attack. Originally, the editors at DC intended to have Grayson killed in Infinite Crisis as Newsarama revealed from the DC Panel at WizardWorld Philadelphia:
|“||It was again explained that Nightwing was originally intended to die in Infinite Crisis, and that you can see the arc that was supposed to end with his death in the series. After long discussions, the death edict was finally reversed, but the decision was made that, if they were going to be keeping him, he would have to be changed. The next arc of the ongoing series will further explain the changes, it was said.||”|
During the "Batman R.I.P." storyline, Nightwing is ambushed by the International Club of Villains. He is later seen being held in Arkham Asylum, where one of the surgeons, in reality also the civilian identity of ICoV member Le Bossu, arranged for Nightwing to be admitted under the name of Pierrot Lunaire (Another ICoV member) and be kept both heavily drugged and regularly beaten by staff to subdue him. Scheduled for an experimental lobotomy by Le Bossu himself, he manages to free himself and come to Batman's aid for the finale of the story arc. Dick Grayson as Batman. Promotional art of Batman & Robin #1 (June 2009). Art by Frank Quitely===Batman: Reborn=== Following the events of Batman's apparent death during the Final Crisis, Nightwing has closed down shop in New York so as to return to Gotham, where after the events of "Battle for the Cowl", he assumes the identity of Batman, with Damian, Bruce Wayne's biological son, as the new Robin.
The new team of Batman and Robin is the focus of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's Batman and Robin series. IGN Comics has done various interviews on the Batman and Robin team up. They have said that the dynamic between Dick's Batman and Damian's Robin will be reversed from the usual Batman/Robin relationship: Batman will be lighter, while Robin will be darker. However, Dick's experience as the Dark Knight would harden his personality as his mentor.
In Blackest Night, after discovering Bruce Wayne's body has been stolen from its unmarked grave, Batman and Robin take Bruce's parents' bodies to the Bat Bunker to try to keep them safe. Deadman feels pain as his body becomes a Black Lantern and seeks Batman's aid. After Deadman alerts Batman, John and Mary Grayson arise. After getting some weapons to deal with the new Black Lanterns, Batman and Robin head to Police Central, where they encounter the reanimated corpses of some of Batman's deceased enemies. Batman, Robin, and Deadman, along with a returned Tim Drake (as Red Robin), save Commissioner Gordon and Oracle. Robin gets the Gordons to safety while Batman and Red Robin go after their parents. With help from Deadman, Tim and Dick survive, with Batman vowing to continue the fight against the Black Lanterns.
Blackest Night: BatmanEdit
Rather than appearing in the actual Blackest Night crossover, Dick, with Bruce Wayne trapped in the distant past and presumed dead, instead appears in Blackest Night: Batman, a tie-in to Blackest Night similar to the Blackest Night: Superman tie-in.
Dick Grayson has had several romantic relationships with various female characters throughout his years fighting crime.
Starfire: Grayson fell in love with fellow Teen Titans teammate Starfire and nearly married her, but their wedding was interrupted by Raven (whose body was taken over by her evil side at the time). Raven murdered the priest before he could pronounce Dick and Kory husband and wife. The relationship was already on unsteady ground, with Kory fearing that Dick was rushing into marriage and also concerned by the anti-alien sentiments that sprang up in response to the news of the impending nuptials. When Grayson rejoined the JLA, it was stated that Dick had moved on.
In "Titans Tomorrow", a storyline of a potential future, Batwoman (Bette Kane) stated that Starfire would have a wonderful future with Nightwing. However, it is later implied during Infinite Crisis that Dick Grayson is deceased in this timeline. In the "Kingdom Come" alternate reality, Starfire marries Grayson and bears their daughter Mar'i Grayson.
Barbara Gordon: Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon shared a young love as Robin and Batgirl, and continued to have an on-and-off relationship after she was paralyzed in The Killing Joke. The two grew closer after the events of "No Man's Land", and became engaged before Infinite Crisis, but they later broke it off when Dick left to help Batman rediscover himself, with Barbara telling him they were not ready for marriage. Both still show feelings towards each other, but are no longer together.
Donna Troy: Dick grew up alongside Donna as fellow members of the Teen Titans, with her serving as his second-in-command. While the two are best friends and confidantes, and express that they love each other, their relationship has been portrayed as that of brother and sister. Dick gave Donna away at her wedding to her former husband Terry, and she in turn hosted his own (failed) wedding to Starfire. She even died (albeit not permanently) saving his life. Marv Wolfman, creator of the Nightwing persona and longtime Titans writer, indicated that there was once a Dick and Donna romance planned, but the idea was quashed by editorial mandate.
Donna personally recruited Dick (now Batman) into the latest incarnation of the Justice League. Though she angrily criticized his decision to follow Bruce in distancing himself from others, she trusts him completely as their new leader.
Catalina Flores: After Tarantula killed Blockbuster, she had sex with Nightwing on a rooftop. Nightwing's consent was dubious at the time as he was in shock from deep emotional trauma, prompting debate over whether he was raped. Writer Devin Grayson herself has given the statement, "For the record, I’ve never used the word 'rape', I just said it was non-consensual." This is further confused by the script for Nightwing #93 specifically mentioning (in parentheses) that this scene was a rape.
Skills, abilities, and resourcesEdit
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Dick Grayson possesses the peak athletic strength and endurance of a man in his mid-twenties who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. His martial arts skills rival those of Batman. He is a master of dozens of martial arts disciplines and was rigorously trained by his mentor in everything from escapology to criminology, fencing, stealth, disguise, and numerous other combat/non-combat disciplines. Dick Grayson is 5' 10" (1.78 m) and 175 lbs (79 kg).
Nightwing is a master of a half-dozen martial arts disciplines (including aikido, savate, judo, and capoeira) with an emphasis on aikido, as well as being armed with twin Eskrima sticks made from an unbreakable polymer. He also carries several dozen modified batarangs (called wing-dings) along with de-cel jumplines and gas capsules.
Grayson is a prodigious natural athlete, possessing a peak human level of agility/acrobatic skills. He is regarded as the greatest human acrobat in the DC Universe. He is the only human on Earth who can do the quadruple somersault (formerly one of three, the other two being his parents). Having had the finest education as Bruce Wayne's ward, he fluently speaks in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese and has some knowledge of Romany, the alien language of Tamaran, and American Sign Language. He is also a brilliant and experienced strategist with superlative leadership skills, having served as leader to the Titans, the Outsiders, and even the Justice League. Additionally, Dick's interpersonal skills and efforts to remain in contact with other heroes makes him a master at rallying, unifying, and inspiring the superhero community, a skill in which he has surpassed his mentor.
Besides his resources as Bruce Wayne's adopted son and heir apparent, Dick's parents also left him a trust fund which Lucius Fox turned into a small fortune. Although it is not comparable to Bruce Wayne's wealth, it has been enough to maintain his Nightwing equipment, purchase the rights to Haly's Circus (saving Dick's former home from financial troubles), and secretly buy his former Blüdhaven apartment building at 1013 Parkthorne Avenue.