Dick Grayson, in his Nightwing costume,
from Nightwing #41 (March 2000).
Pencils by Greg Land.
|First appearance||As Robin:
Detective Comics #38
Tales of the New Teen Titans #44 (July 1984)
|Created by||As Robin:
|In story information|
|Alter ego||Richard “Dick” John Grayson|
|Team affiliations||Batman Family
|Notable aliases||Robin, Batman, The Target, Renegade, Robbie Malone, Freddy Loyd|
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 appears as Robin in Detective Comics #38 (May 1940).
The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the “Flying Graysons,” Dick watched a mafia boss kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them. Bruce Wayne, secretly the superhero Batman, took him in as his sidekick and legal ward after their deaths.
Throughout Dick’s adolescence, Batman and Robin were inseparable. However, as Dick grew older and spent more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, he decided to take on the identity of Nightwing to assert his independence (other teenaged heroes would later fill in the role of Robin). His Nightwing persona was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George PÃ©rez, and first appeared in Tales of the New Teen Titans #44 (July 1984). As Nightwing, Dick Grayson led the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. In an eponymous series, launched in 1996 and continuing at present, he becomes the protector of BlÃ¼dhaven, Gotham’s economically troubled neighboring city. Following the destruction of BlÃ¼dhaven, at the command of Deathstroke the Terminator, Nightwing relocated to New York.
As Robin, Dick Grayson has appeared in most other media adaptations of Batman. The Batman animated series of the 1990s is the first one to portray his evolution into Nightwing.
He 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 Pre-Crisis origin, Dick is an eight year-old circus acrobat, the youngest of a family act called “The Flying Graysons” of the Haly’s Circus. He joins the act at a very young age, having been trained in acrobatics while still a toddler. With his parents, Dick becomes the “Boy Wonder” of the circus and is expected to become an Olympic champion.
While preparing for a performance, Dick overhears Anthony “Boss” Zucco, a well-known and feared crime-lord, threaten the performers unless the circus’ owner pays extortion money. The owner refuses, and that night young Grayson watches in horror as his parents’ high wire snaps, sending them hurtling to their deaths, all while many of Gotham’s elite watched on. Dick felt responsible, because he hadn’t warned his parents in time.
Shortly after the tragedy, the millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne rescued Dick from an uncaring juvenile services system. Frustrated by the lack of attention from his new guardian and the mystery still surrounding his parents’ death, Grayson sneaks out of Wayne Manor one evening to solve the crime on his own – only to stumble into Batman, who is also investigating the murder. They succeed in revealing Zucco’s complicity, but he seemingly dies of a heart attack before his arrest (it was later revealed that he was still alive, but had been confined to a ventilator for decades.) Seeing a reflection of himself in Dick, Batman not only reveals his identity as Bruce Wayne to the boy, but also makes the young orphan the offer of a lifetime: the chance to become his crime-fighting partner. Dick chooses the name Robin, and his training begins.
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 can not, 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.
1964s 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, 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 the 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.
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.
Dick continues his adventures with Batman, and begins studying law at Hudson University. However, Robin loses interest in his studies and starts to take on solo missions, and finds himself to be a capable crime-fighter. Shortly afterward, the mysterious Raven summons Dick Grayson and several other young heroes to form a new group of Titans. Robin assumes leadership, and moves out of the shadow of his mentor.
Dick, now 19, realizes at that point that he has grown up: he no longer relies on Batman, and he and the Dark Knight disagree on crime-fighting methodology. Robin’s newfound independence and Titans’ duties in New York leave less time for his former commitments in Gotham. He also drops out of Hudson after only one semester. Dick also rediscovers his self-worth among the Titans. Batman, however, is less than pleased. He informs Grayson that if he no longer wants to be his partner, then Dick would have to retire as Robin. Furious, hurt, resigned, and confused, Dick Grayson left Wayne Manor–but not for the last time. Helping him through this difficult time are his fellow Titans, including Starfire, a beautiful alien that Dick eventually falls in love with. He hands over leadership of the Titans to Wonder Girl, and takes a leave of absence from the team.
(In pre-Crisis continuity, the “parting” between Dick and Batman is entirely amicable. Dick passes the mantle of Robin over to Jason Todd voluntarily, in a memorable scene wherein he states that “Robin will always be the second part of Batman and…” Bruce gives every impression of being pleased with his ward’s coming of age, and maintains this attitude until the post-Crisis retcon that rewrites the origin of Jason Todd and the circumstances of Dick’s departure from the role.)
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.
Nightwing: Secret Files & Origins #1 and Nightwing: Year One tell the full post-Crisis version of how Dick Grayson gives up his identity as Robin (having been “fired” by Batman). Uncertain what to do with his new-found independence, Dick considers giving up fighting crime to study law, but he couldn’t imagine his life in any other way. Turning to someone that he knows would understand, Dick asks Superman what he should be, if not Robin. In reply, Superman tells a tale of long ago on Krypton, about a man who was cast out of his family, just like Dick. He dreamt of a world ruled by justice, and set out to protect the helpless and victimized as Nightwing. Dick then decides to honor the legendary Kryptonian by renaming himself Nightwing. This tale retroactively erases the notion that anyone else before Grayson and Bette Kane ever held the titles of Nightwing and Flamebird, except for the birds and the legendary figures named after them.
In an adventure in which all of his Titans teammates are captured by Deathstroke the Terminator, and delivered to the H.I.V.E., Dick reveals his new identity of Nightwing and helps to free them with the help of Jericho. Grayson finally moves out of the shadow of the Bat, and would lead the Titans through some hard times. He endures brainwashing at the hands of Brother Blood, his relationship with Starfire would suffer due to her marriage of state and he would be deeply affected by the fact that Batman trained a new Robin (Jason Todd) only for him to be killed at the hands of the Joker (see also: “Batman: A Death in the Family”).
Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Dick’s origins and history, like Bruce Wayne’s, remain relatively unchanged, save for a few minor details. He is now a 12-year old acrobat who witnesses the murder of his parents, an event which is further expanded upon in later comics. Prior to the incident, he and his family meet a six year old Tim Drake, who would cross paths with him one day. In Legends of the Dark Knight #100, following the murder, Dick confronts the man who cut the ropes, only to be struck violently across the face. Batman, who is investigating the crime at that time, saves the boy and attacks the assassin. Dick gets a mild concussion and passes out. He is treated at the hospital and sent to a juvenile home, where he is abused by several inmates. After this injustice is discovered, he is moved to a Catholic orphanage, as explored in Batman: Year Three. He tries to escape but is stopped by Batman, who assures him he will not be there for long. Shortly afterwards, Bruce Wayne, now feeling sympathy for the boy, has Dick removed from social services and placed as his legal ward. Originally, he only adopts the boy as a legal charge, since Dick does not want to replace his deceased father. Shortly after meeting Bruce, Dick discovers Bruce’s playboy, womanizing image in Year One: Robin Annual, and he comes to conclude that his adoption was just to gain positive publicity for Wayne. The latter parts of Batman: Dark Victory revealed his discomfort and lack of belonging at Wayne Manor, as an investigating Bruce was never around much, leaving Alfred Pennyworth as the main caregiver and only confidante.
Dick runs off from Wayne Manor to seek his parents’ killer. Dark Victory reveals that he traces Zucco’s whereabouts, fights off his guards, and confronts them with force. Unfortunately, this causes him to receive a beating, prior to a rescue by Batman. Upon regaining his senses, Dick learns he is in the Batcave, Bruce Wayne then reveals his identity to the boy. Bruce offers him the job of being his sidekick. By a candlelight oath of justice and perseverance, Dick readily accepts the offer and begins his training under Batman.
Bruce teaches Dick fighting techniques and detective skills for a grueling three months, all the while helping him on the streets at night as Robin. Finally, he has to pass one final test: “The Gauntlet”. Dick has to elude The Dark Knight on the streets of Gotham for one full night without any outside help. He eventually succeeds, simultaneously bringing gangster Joe Minette to justice. Grayson takes to the streets as Batman’s full-fledged partner in crime-fighting: Robin, The Boy Wonder. Together, they stop Two-Face and The Hangman and bring Tony Zucco to justice. By the end of the case, Bruce officially adopts Dick as his son.
Dick enjoys his first year as Robin, regarding the job as an adventure until a confrontation with Two-Face serves as a rude awakening for the young hero. The villain captures Judge Lawrence Watkins and Batman, and has each suspended from a hangman’s noose in a “double gallows death-trap”. Robin, trying to save the judge, convinces Two-Face to flip his trademark coin on whether or not Watkins would hang. Robin wins the flip, but Two-Face “honors” the deal by drowning the judge instead. Robin is unable to prevent Watkins’ death, and receives a beating at the hands of Two-Face; a beating that Batman witnesses, still tied up on the platform. Eventually, Batman frees himself and apprehends the villain. This event, however, emotionally scars the young crime-fighter. Rather than see Dick be further endangered, Batman “fires” his partner, sidelining the 13-year-old Boy Wonder for a while, only to bring him back shortly afterwards. Four years later, when Dick is 17, he is shot in the shoulder by the Joker, which scares Batman into finally ending Robin’s career as his partner. Seeking emancipation, Dick moves out of the mansion and joins the Teen Titans full time.
One night, after Jason Todd has become the new Robin, he goes out alone to try and take down some drug dealers who have set up shop in a warehouse. He is discovered on the roof and knocked through the skylight. As the criminals are closing in on him, the thug who knocked him through the skylight is thrown through it as well. The drug dealers at first think it must be Batman, but it is Nightwing, who had been keeping an eye on the new Robin. After helping Robin defeat the crooks, Nightwing tells Robin to tell Bruce they need to talk. The next morning, Bruce tells Jason that Nightwing was the original Robin, but he had kept his true identity a secret from Jason because he felt it wasn’t his place to reveal Nightwing’s true identity. After Jason leaves for school, Nightwing shows up to talk to Bruce, and find out why he had been replaced. After several cover stories about how Jason had nowhere else to turn, and that Gotham had become too dangerous for him to continue fighting crime alone, Bruce finally tells Dick that it was because he missed him.
Later that night, Robin finds the same group of drug dealers where they have set up shop in a new location, and to his surprise, Nightwing is there waiting for him. Nightwing gives Jason his old Robin costume, and tells him he will grow into it eventually. They then agree to bust the criminals together, side-by-side.
Bruce and Dick remain at odds with each other for some time, due to feelings of hurt and betrayal. This increases after Jason’s death. While serving with the New Titans, he is searched out by a now-teenaged Tim Drake, who has only one goal on his mind: for Nightwing to reprise the role of Robin. Dick flatly refuses, as he feels he can’t take a step back to a position he has outgrown. It is Dick’s refusal to return to the role that starts Tim down the road toward becoming the new Robin. After weeks of persuading and proving his potential, Grayson returns to Batman to plead Tim’s case, with help from Alfred. Due to their arguments and the realization that Batman needs a Robin, Tim Drake becomes the third Boy Wonder.
Later on, various members of the Titans are abducted by a rogue Jericho and the Wildebeest Society. This adventure affects the team immensely. The group enters into tumultuous times, where members come and go. Longtime friends are maimed or destroyed, but Dick perseveres through it all, remaining as the heart and center of the team. After these events, Nightwing adopts his second costume.
However, his relationship with Starfire becomes strained, and problems in Gotham demand Nightwing’s attention. Impulsively, he proposes marriage to her. The two wed, but the ceremony is interrupted by Raven, now reborn as an evil avatar of her father, Trigon. Her brutal attack on Starfire triggers changes in Dick and Kory’s relationship. She is implanted with a demon “seed” which causes her to leave Earth and go on a spiritual journey.
Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne, (paralyzed after losing a brutal fight with Bane), leaves the mantle of Batman to the unstable Jean-Paul Valley (Azrael). Nightwing is angry and hurt that Bruce did not ask him to fill in while instead choosing the “nut job altar boy”, but Bruce claims to have chosen Valley because he figured Dick was now his own man and would not willingly take the responsibility. In truth, Bruce simply did not want Dick to have to face Bane. Dick intervenes with the new Robin, Tim Drake, and when Bruce returns to Gotham, he brings Valley down and once again takes up the mantle of Batman. When Grayson returns to the Titans, he finds it has changed. The government had interceded, placing Arsenal, the former Speedy, as leader of the team. Nightwing steps aside and leaves the Titans, concentrating on problems in Gotham City.
In the “Prodigal” arc, Bruce Wayne, still recovering from his broken back, asks a reluctant Dick to substitute for him as Batman for a time. He accepts. During this time, Dick is able to confront Two-Face and lay some demons to rest. He also establishes a friendship with Tim Drake, whom he later considers a little brother figure and friend. Bruce eventually heals and returns to Gotham to reclaim his role as Batman. For the first time in years, Bruce and Dick begin to repair their relationship. It is also at this point that Bruce begins to walk down the road to realizing that Dick is not only the most qualified person to one day succeed him as Batman, but also the person most deserving of it.
Based on Nightwing’s increasing popularity, DC Comics decided to test the character’s possibilities with a one-shot book and then a miniseries.
First, 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 a plot by British terrorists to destroy the undersea “Channel Tunnel” in the English Channel.
Later on, with the Nightwing miniseries (September 1995 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 (in his third and current costume) 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 BlÃ¼dhaven. This allows him to be close enough to Gotham to still be part of the Batman Family, and far enough as well to have his own city, adventures and enemies. He worked for a few years on the police force, as well as a bartender to provide him with information and rumors of criminal activity.
At Batman’s request, Dick journeys to this former whaling town-turned-industrial center to investigate a number of murders linked to Gotham City gangster Black Mask. Instead, he finds a city racked by police corruption and in the grips of organized crime consolidated by Roland Desmond, the gargantuan genius Blockbuster.
With a defenseless city to call his own, Nightwing decides to remain in BlÃ¼dhaven until Blockbuster’s cartel is broken. He takes a job as a bartender to keep his ear to the ground and worked closely with Oracle (Barbara Gordon) in an effort to clean up the town. Blockbuster places a sizable contract on Nightwing’s head shortly thereafter, while Grayson plies the unscrupulous BlÃ¼dhaven Police Inspector Dudley Soames for information on the kingpin’s dealings. Also during his time in BlÃ¼dhaven, Nightwing helps train a violent but enthusiastic street fighter called Nite-Wing.
After Nightwing settles in BlÃ¼dhaven, a galactic threat comes to Earth, reuniting former members of the Titans together to save their friend Cyborg, and prevent him from putting the Earth in jeopardy. They enter into conflict with their mentors and friends in the Justice League, but are able to come to a truce and save Cyborg while preserving the safety of the planet. After this adventure, the group decides to re-form, with Nightwing returning to the role of leader.
Meanwhile, Dick joins the BlÃ¼dhaven Police Department in efforts to rid the city of its corruption from the inside. On the personal side, Dick and Barbara’s once flirtatious Robin/Batgirl relationship is changing. When Gotham is quarantined from the rest of the United States and becomes a virtual “No Man’s Land”, Nightwing is sent to secure Blackgate Prison. Afterwards, Dick recuperates at Barbara’s clock tower, and the two grow even closer, entering into a romantic relationship.
Some time after “No Man’s Land” ends, the JLA disappears on a mission to locate Aquaman and Atlantis (The Obsidian Age). Before they vanish, Batman instigates a contingency plan, in which a handful of heroes would be assembled to create a new JLA, consisting of Nightwing, Green Arrow, the Atom, Hawkgirl, Major Disaster, Faith, Firestorm and Jason Blood. Nightwing is chosen to be leader until the original JLA are found, and Dick returns to the reserve list.
For several years, Nightwing leads various incarnations of the Titans and becomes the most respected former sidekick in the DC Universe. However, in the Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day crossover, a rogue Superman android kills Lilith and Troia, an event that tears apart both Young Justice and the Titans. At Troia’s funeral, Dick declares he is tired of seeing friends die and disbands the team, officially ending the Titans. A few months later, Arsenal persuades Nightwing to join a new pro-active crime-fighting team: the Outsiders, who would hunt villains, acting as co-workers rather than an extended family. He reluctantly accepts.
Outsiders writer Judd Winick takes a more Batman-like approach with Nightwing as team-leader, making him refuse any other kind of relation with his teammates than the direct work.
Dick plays a key role in exposing the corruption in the BlÃ¼dhaven Police Department. Despite reaching his original goals, Dick continues as a police officer during the day while spending nights as Nightwing, pushing himself to his limits and straining his relationships. The line between his police work and his vigilantism began to blur, and ultimately Amy Rohrbach (his friend and superior officer, who knew his secret identity) fires him rather than let him continue using questionable methods.
Wrongfully blaming Nightwing for the death of his mother, the mob boss Blockbuster bombs Dick Grayson’s apartment complex and promises to kill anyone in Dickâ€™s life. When the vigilante Tarantula arrives, Nightwing chooses not to stop her when she shoots the villain dead. In a catatonic state after this action, Tarantula takes advantage of him and rapes him. At length, Nightwing shakes himself from his depression and takes responsibility for his inaction. He tries to apprehend Tarantula and turns himself in to the police. Amy Rohrbach, however, feels the world needs Nightwing free and so prevents him from being charged.
Dick has destroyed the police corruption and removed the greater part of organized crime from this city, but his role in Blockbuster’s death is still a source of tremendous guilt for him. He retires from crime fighting, with Tim Drake and Cassandra Cain as his replacements.
Grayson moves to New York, where he works closely with the Outsiders. After “insiders” threaten both the Outsiders and the newest incarnation of Teen Titans, however, Nightwing realizes that the team has gotten “too personal” and quits.
Due to a crisis of conscience, Dick adopts the new villainous persona of Renegade in order to infiltrate Lex Luthor’s Secret Society of Super-Villains. This ruse includes Nightwing aligning himself with his long-time enemy Deathstroke in order to track the manufacturing and distribution of Bane’s venom serum and to keep tabs on the Society’s activities in Gotham and BlÃ¼dhaven. He also begins training (and subtly converting) Deathstroke’s daughter Ravager.
Deathstroke takes revenge on Nightwing when BlÃ¼dhaven is destroyed by the Society. The Society drops the super villain Chemo on the city, killing 100,000 people. Dick tries to rescue survivors but is overcome by radiation poisoning, only to be rescued himself by Batman. Nightwing confides that he let Blockbuster die and asks Batman to forgive him. Batman tells him that his forgiveness doesn’t matter; Dick has to move beyond Blockbuster’s death. Inspired by his mentor, he proposes to Barbara Gordon, who tearfully accepts his proposal with a kiss.
Batman then entrusts Nightwing to alert other heroes about the danger that the Crisis poses. Dick flies to Titans Tower, but due to the chaos resulting from the BlÃ¼dhaven disaster, the OMAC onslaught and other Crisis related events, the only hero who answers his call is Conner Kent who was already at the Tower recovering from injuries. Together, they locate and attack Alexander Luthor’s tower, the center of the Crisis, only to be repelled by Superboy-Prime. Prime is ready to kill Nightwing when Conner intervenes, sacrificing himself to destroy the tower, ending the destruction of the Universe.
During the Battle of Metropolis, Nightwing suffers a near-fatal injury from Alexander Luthor when he attempts to save Batman’s life. Originally, the editors at DC intended to have Dick Grayson killed in Infinite Crisis as Newsarama revealed from the DC Panel at WizardWorld Philiadelphia:
|â€œ||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 tragic 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.||â€|
Saved by the Justice Society, Nightwing recovers with Barbara at his side. As soon as he’s able to walk again, Batman asks him to join him and Robin in retracing Bruce’s original journey in becoming the Dark Knight. While Nightwing is hesitant, due to his engagement with Barbara, she encourages him to go and returns his engagement ring so he can make an honest decision for himself. Barbara feels that it is important he rediscover himself, and until he does they’re not yet ready to be married. They part on good terms, though before he departs Dick leaves her an envelope containing a photograph of them as Robin and Batgirl, along with the engagement ring on a chain and a note promising he’ll come back to her one day. 
Soon after his journey with Batman and Robin ends, Nightwing returns to Gotham, following Intergang’s trail. He works with the new Batwoman and Renee Montoya to stop Intergang from destroying Gotham, shutting off dozens of fire-spewing devices spread across the city.
One year later, Dick Grayson returns to New York City (his previous home base with the Teen Titans) in order to find out who has been masquerading as Nightwing. The murderous impostor turns out to be the former Robin, Jason Todd. Grayson leads the Outsiders once again, operating undercover and globally.
Nightwing follows an armored thief named Raptor, whom he suspects is responsible for series of murders. Later, Raptor himself is murdered in a manner similar to the other victims by an unseen contract killer, who proceeds to bury Grayson alive. Nightwing frees himself, wondering the relation between his experience and a mysterious voice who tells him that he is “supposed to be dead”. Nightwing is having trouble finding things to keep him busy during the day due to the cast on his right arm. Incapacitated from his injuries, he tries without luck to find jobs and continues to research into the mysterious assassin.
At one point, Dick agrees to attend a party for Bruce Wayne and their relationship seems to flourish. Bruce praises Dick for his success on the Raptor case, and also mentions to look into the Landman Building which hosted ex-Lexcorp scientists; most likely those who worked on the Raptor project. Dick also continues to keep a close brotherly relationship with Tim Drake, and helps Tim deal with his many losses during the last year.
After dealing with the Raptor issue, NYC is plagued by a villainous duo called Bride and Groom. Nightwing begins pursuit of these two after some grisly murders, including that of the Lorens family (close friends of his after the Raptor incident). Dick began to get obsessed with finding them, not knowing how far he was willing to go to take them down. Eventually, he formed a makeshift team with some “villains” to find them. They located them, and after killing some of his “team,” Nightwing chased them to a cave, where Bride began a cave-in and the two are trapped there.
Nightwing, along with a group of former Titans, are summoned again by Raven to aid the current group of Teen Titans battle against Deathstroke, who was targeting the latest team in order to get at his children, Ravager and the resurrected Jericho. Nightwing and the other former Titans continue to work with the current team soon after the battle with Deathstroke so as to investigate the recent murder of Duela Dent.
When the Outsiders were targeted by Checkmate, Nightwing agrees that his team will work with the organization, so long as their actions in Africa are not used against them in the future. The mission however does not go as well as intended, resulting in Nightwing, the Black Queen and Captain Boomerang nearly being captured by the cops. Later, Batman is called in by Mister Terrific who then rescues Nightwing and the others. Afterwards, Nightwing admits to Batman, that while he accepts that he is an excellent leader, he is not suited to lead a team like the Outsiders, and offers the leadership position to Batman.
Batman accepts the position, however he feels that the team needs to be remade, in order to accomplish the sorts of missions that he intends them to undertake. As such, he holds a series of try outs for the team. The first audition involves Nightwing and Captain Boomerang who are sent to a space station under attack by Chemo. During the mission, a confrontation erupts between Nightwing and Boomerang, who has grown tired of fighting for redemption from people like Batman and Nightwing. After taking a beating from Nightwing, he manages to throw him into a shuttle heading for Earth and quits the team. Afterwards, Nightwing furiously confronts Batman. Batman does not deny his actions, and states that this is the sort of thing that the new Outsiders will have to deal with. At this, Nightwing resigns completely from the Outsiders, which Batman feels is best, judging Nightwing too good for that sort of life.
Nightwing joins a new team of Titans, with the same roster of the New Teen Titans, to stop a as of yet unnamed offspring of Trigon from enacting his vengeance over Raven and the Titans, of every generation.
As a precursor to “Batman R.I.P.”, at the New York Comic Con 2008, DC Comics gave away pins featuring Nightwing, Jason Todd, and Hush with the words “I Am Batman” beneath them. During the storyline, Nightwing is ambushed by the International Club of Villains. He is later seen in Arkham Asylum, frothing at the mouth and presumably drugged, believed by the staff to be Pierrot Lunaire, a member of the Club. The story is ongoing.
In an interview/discussion regarding Infinite Crisis, Phil Jimenez stated:
“Dick has so many connections to other characters. In many ways, even more than Superman or Batman, Nightwing is the soul, the linch-pin, of the DCU. He’s well respected by everyone, known to the JLA, the Titans, the Outsiders, Birds of Prey â€” everyone looks to him for advice, for friendship, for his skills. He’s the natural leader of the DCU.“
Dick’s parents left him a trust fund that Bruce Wayne’s business partner Lucius Fox later turned into a small fortune. Although it is not comparable with Bruce Wayne’s wealth, it has been enough for maintaining his Nightwing equipment; for purchasing the rights to Haly’s Circus, saving Dick’s former home from financial troubles; and for secretly buying the apartment building at 1013 Parkthorne Avenue in BlÃ¼dhaven. This address was also the home of the retired hero Tarantula (John Law).
Dick’s good looks and sensitivity have always made him attractive to others (in fact, it is something of a running joke that every female metahuman in the DCU is attracted to Nightwing, the same way every male metahuman is attracted to Wonder Woman). He maintains a tenuous friendship with Flamebird (Bette Kane), despite her long-held, unrequited feelings for him. Donna Troy, the original Wonder Girl, has also known him since childhood, and the two are particularly close and not afraid to admit that they love each other as brother and sister. However, there have been points in his past where Dick has fantasized about not only falling in love with Donna, but marrying her (although the latter was during an induced hallucination by the Scarecrow). As a student at Hudson University, he has a relationship with fellow undergraduate Lori Elton. Years later, when he goes on to live in BlÃ¼dhaven, he dates Bridget Clancy, his landlady. He also has a very brief affair (more like a one night stand, along with other few lingering instances) with the Huntress, Helena Bertinelli, and a controversial encounter with the femme fatale Tarantula, which even the writer of the issue described as a rape, with Tarantula being the aggressor, and a near-catatonic Nightwing the victim.
For a brief time, Dick found himself attracted to fellow Teen Titan, Raven, going so far as to kiss her passionately. For a number of weeks, he had extremely realistic dreams about making love to her, which surprised and disturbed him. It was quickly revealed that Raven had unintentionally manipulated Dick through her mental abilities. Soon after, Starfire convinced Raven that she did not love him as she thought. Raven realized the two of them should remain just friends, and apologized to him for what had happen. The two are still very close friends.
Dick’s longest-running romantic relationship was with the alien princess Starfire (Koriand’r); they were a couple for several years and were even engaged to marry, but due to their teammate Raven’s doppelganger, their relationship dissolved. After leaving the Outsiders, Grayson briefly rekindles his affair with Kory, spending a night with her. In the “Titans Tomorrow” storyline, the future Batwoman tells Starfire that she would have a wonderful future with Nightwing.
Dick has always had strong romantic feelings for Barbara Gordon (Oracle, originally Batgirl), whom he has known since he was a teenager. After years of flirting, they finally started dating, but the relationship fell apart. Before the events in Infinite Crisis, Grayson and Barbara reconcile and become engaged; however, Barbara breaks off the engagement because she doesn’t feel they’re ready for marriage. Barbara returns the ring to him and says she’ll be waiting to meet the ‘real Dick Grayson.’ In turn, Dick sends her a letter, with a picture of ‘Robin & Batgirl’, and her engagement ring. The two remain close friends with instances of lingering romantic tension.
Since his breakup with Barbara, Grayson flirted with the new Batwoman and briefly had an open, no-strings attached relationship with Cheyenne Freemont. He has recently re-encountered a hitherto unrevealed old flame named Liu, who became his lover during the year when a 17-year-old Grayson had left Gotham and the Teen Titans behind to assert his independence. In the new series Titans, Dick once again had a “romantic interlude” with Starfire, albeit under outside influence.
Dick Grayson possesses the peak athletic strength and endurance of a man in his mid/late twenties who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. He is a master of a half dozen martial arts disciplines that include Tae-Kwon-Do, Judo, Jeet Kune Do, Aikido, Wing Chun, and Escrima. He also possesses vast training in other martial arts such as Hapkido, Jiu-jitsu, Karate, Savate, Kendo, Ninjutsu, and Tai Chi. He was rigorously trained by the Dark Knight in everything from escapology to criminology, fencing, stealth, disguise, and numerous other combat/non-combat disciplines. Dick Grayson is 5’10 and 175 pounds.
Grayson is a prodigious natural athlete, possessing a peak human level of agility/acrobatic skills. He is generally regarded as the greatest human acrobat in the DC universe. He is the only person 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 speaks with fluency in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese (though he appears not to know how to read the last three), and has some knowledge of Romany and the alien language of Tamaran. 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.
Nightwing’s current costume is made of a version of the Nomex fire-resistant, triple-weave Kevlar-lined material. It is an excellent protection against damage, and is also insulated against electricity. His costume is branded to his style of fighting. Therefore, his costume contains less body-armor inlays than Batman, for a decreased need of shock-absorbtion. If this weakness is exploited by fighters who are both fast and strong, Nightwing has supplemetal body-armor inlays which can be applied to his gauntlets, shoulders, mask and boots. Instead of a black cape to keep him hidden, the suit is light sensitive, darkening when there is more light in the area. The mask, in the form of his symbol, is fixed in place with spirit gum, and includes a built-in radio transmitter/receiver and Starlite night-vision lenses. The third,and current costume, with its stylized blue “wing” across his shoulders and extending to his hands, coloring his two middle fingers, over a black bodysuit, made its first appearance in Nightwing: Ties That Bindminiseries,issue#2,cover date October 1995,and was designed by Greg Land. His suit is also Equiped with wings that allow him to glide in the air or fly.
His gauntlets and boots each contain eight compartments in which he can store items. They have a self-destruct feature built into them, similar to the ones in Batman’s utility belt, and, as another security measure, the suit contains a one-use-only taser charge, which automatically emits a high-voltage electrical shock when someone attempts to tamper with either the boots or gauntlets. Each gauntlet’s sections can contain a wide array of equipment, such as sonic or smoke pellets, modified batarangs (“Wing-Dings”), knockout gas capsules, and throwable tracers. The right gauntlet is also equipped with a 100,000-volt stun gun. Like the gauntlets, his boot compartments can carry vital equipment such as flares, a rebreather as protection against any airborne non-contact toxins, a mini-computer equipped with fax, modem, GPS and a minidisk re-writable drive. Other items are lock picks, a first-aid kit, a mini-cellphone, flexi-cuffs, antitoxin assortment, wireless listening devices and a small halogen flashlight. Since coming to New York, Dick has added a black utility belt to his costume, eliminating the need for his boots and gauntlets.
Held in spring-loaded pouches in the back of his costume, Nightwing carries a pair of Escrima sticks made from an unbreakable polymer that are wielded as both offensive and defensive weapons. Some depictions have displayed these tools with the mechanism to shoot a grappling hook attached to a swing line (like Daredevil’s billy clubs), while, in other instances, he is either seen using a “line gun” like the one Batman currently uses or using the grappling/swing lines either stored in or able to be launched from his gauntlets.
The Nightbird was Nightwing’s personalized automobile. The Nightbird has a red “Muscle Car” body shell and a “street camouflage” paint scheme which ensures that the Nightbird looks like any other car.
The Nightbird includes many of the same modifications (e.g. bulletproof armor, communications links) as the Batmobile. Additionally, the Nightbird chassis and WayneTech-modified engine feature locking clamps onto which various endoskeleton car bodies can be fitted. This allows Nightwing to rapidly change the appearance of the Nightbird in order to blend into any environment.
Unfortunately, it was blown up on only its second actual appearance in a story, and was never replaced. Dick has since returned to his vehicle of choice during his Robin and early Nightwing days: a high-powered motorcycle.
After a 4-issue miniseries, and as commented above, in 1996 DC launched a monthly solo series featuring Dick Grayson as Nightwing, that still continues as of 2008. He has also starred in several miniseries and one-shots. This material as been collected as follows:
|Pre-series graphic novels|
|“Ties That Bind”||Nightwing: Alfred’s Return #1, Nightwing #1-4 (miniseries)|
|Regular series graphic novels|
|“A Knight in BlÃ¼dhaven”||Nightwing #1-8 (regular series)|
|“Rough Justice”||Nightwing #9-18|
|“Love and Bullets”||Nightwing #1/2, 19, 21-22, 24-29|
|“A Darker Shade of Justice”||Nightwing #30-39, Nightwing Secret Files & Origins #1|
|“The Hunt for Oracle”||Nightwing #41-46, Birds of Prey #20-21|
|“Big Guns”||Nightwing #47-50, Nightwing Secret Files & Origins #1, Nightwing 80 Page Giant #1|
|“On the Razor’s Edge”||Nightwing #52 & 54-60|
|“Year One”||Nightwing #101-106|
|“Mobbed Up”||Nightwing #107-111|
|“Brothers in Blood”||Nightwing #118-124|
|“Love and War”||Nightwing #125-132|
|“The Lost Year”||Nightwing #133-137, Nightwing Annual #2|
|Other graphic novels|
|Nightwing/Huntress||Nightwing/Huntress 4-issue miniseries|
Most of the issues of Nightwing #61-100 have yet to be compiled into a graphic novel. Issues #65 & 66 are collected in the Bruce Wayne: Murderer graphic novel. Issues #68 & 69 are collected in the Bruce Wayne: Fugitive graphic novel. Issues #97-99 are part of the Bat books’ War Games arc.
Eventually, Robin assumes Batman’s position as Gotham City’s premier crime fighter. Unlike his Earth-One counterpart, who distances himself from his mentor’s shadow when he adopts his Nightwing persona, this version adopts a costume which mimics several elements of Batman’s own uniform (including an insignia with an encircled “R” surrounded by two bat wings). While his younger doppelganger attends and then leaves college prematurely, Grayson pursues further education to attain his law degree. Eventually, he becomes a practicing attorney in the law firm that eventually becomes Cranston, Grayson and Wayne.
Robin is initiated into the Justice Society of America, assuming the membership vacated by Batman’s semi-retirement. During his tenure, he develops friendships with several members, most notably Johnny Thunder, while developing some animosity towards Hawkman, who expressed reluctance towards his membership. Years later, Robin, along with his heroic colleagues perishes at the hands of the Justice League due to the involvement of Earth-Prime resident turned super villain Cary Bates. He is soon restored to life. After this experience, he reverts to a variation of his traditional uniform’s style and colors.
During his post-Gotham City career, Grayson briefly leaves Gotham to become the U.S. ambassador to South Africa during the mid-1970s while continuing his crime fighting career. His inclusion in the new Justice Society series, according to writer Gerry Conway, “was a nod to the present.” He gets involved with the Justice Society of America again when the villains Brainwave and Per Degaton attempt to destroy the world. He then returns to Gotham City. He joins Batman for one final adventure, assisting the Justice Society, Justice League, and Shazam’s Squadron of Justice in defeating several criminals, including the Joker.
Shortly thereafter, then-Police Commissioner Bruce Wayne, while under the influence of the Psycho-Pirate, manipulates Robin and other formerly retired members of the Justice Society to attack the then-active members. Robin next becomes active assisting the Justice Society and Bruce’s daughter Huntress (Helena Wayne) in dealing with Bill Jensen, a white-collar criminal apprehended by Wayne early in his official police career. Jensen somehow attains mystical abilities and escapes from prison, vowing revenge on Wayne (whom he believes framed him). Robin and Huntress watch helplessly as Jensen immobilizes the JSA, threatens Gotham’s twin trade towers, and finally consumes himself along with Batman. Eventually they and the other Justice Society members track down one Fredric Vaux, who had provided Jensen with his abilities as part of an overall plot to remove the concept of heroes from the world.
Grayson leaves Gotham after this incident, returning years later when the Joker comes out of retirement. Assuming the garb and identity of Batman, his presence mesmerizes the Joker long enough to be apprehended by the Huntress. He proceeds to track the mastermind behind Gotham’s organized crime. At this point, he develops unexpressed feelings towards the Huntress, and leaves Gotham once more before pursuing them further.
Grayson is later forced to prosecute a case against the Justice Society involving Batman’s diary (written in a left-handed script that Wayne used as Batman to help maintain his dual identities), insinuating the premier superhero team as Nazi collaborators. Grayson discovers evidence hidden within the passages pointing to Per Degaton’s scheme, which is subsequently thwarted. He discovers from Helena that her father was influenced by his terminal cancer while writing the journal.
In the limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, the DC multiverse, including Earth-Two, is destroyed. Following this crisis, Earth Two “never existed” and retroactively removes Earth-Two Robin from history, blending elements of his past with Earth-One, effectively creating a new modern continuity. Robin, along with Huntress, dies while protecting innocents at the hands of shadow demons from the Anti-Matter Universe.
However, a version of this Robin and Huntress exist on some plane of existence, as both are referred to by the original Star-Spangled Kid while the latter is working on a case with the Justice Society involving the time-traveling villain Extant.
In the two serials produced in the 1940, two different actors portrayed Dick Grayson/Robin. Douglas Croft filled the role in the 1943 Batman with Johnny Duncan taking the role for the 1949 sequel Batman and Robin.
Actor Burt Ward played Dick Grayson/Robin in the Batman television series that ran from 1966 through 1968, which further made Robin and Grayson inseparable parts of the Batman mythos. In the series, Dick was Bruce’s ward (rather than adopted son) and attended “Woodrow Roosevelt High School”. Robin was notable for delivering one-liners that would begin with ‘Holy’ and end with ‘Batman’, such as “Holy haberdashery, Batman!” or “Holy atomic pile, Batman!”. Ward also filled the role for the feature film produced in 1966 in conjunction with the show.
Marlon Wayans was originally cast as Robin in the 1992 film Batman Returns, however it was felt that the film featured too many characters, so the character was omitted from that film. He was considered for the role in the 1995 sequel Batman Forever, but the change in directors from Tim Burton to Joel Schumacher would also mean a change in the choice of actor for the role of Robin. Despite not actually appearing in either film, he was reportedly still paid for the role.
Dick Grayson/Robin was played by actor Chris O’Donnell in the 1995 movie Batman Forever and its 1997 sequel Batman and Robin. Grayson’s parents and brother are murdered by Two-Face at the annual Gotham Circus. Robin’s costume in Batman Forever uses the familiar red and green coloring of the traditional Robin costume, after first contemplating using the code name ‘Nightwing.’ The modifications made to the costume strongly resemble the costume worn in the comics by Tim Drake. In Batman and Robin he wears a new costume, similar to that of Nightwing except that it is molded rubber, has a cape, a utility belt, and nipples; the emblazoned logo is a deep red instead of blue. Also, for the ‘final showdown’ in Batman and Robin where he, Batman, and Batgirl unveil new costumes, the logo is changed to an ice-blue color.
Dick Grayson was mentioned by Barbara Gordon, in an episode of the short lived television series Birds of Prey.
Grayson (2004) is a fan film trailer for a nonexistent movie about Dick Grayson. He has yet to appear in the new reboot film series that began with Batman Begins. Series director Christopher Nolan stated that as long as he is directing, Robin/Dick Grayson will not appear in the films. He reasons that the films take place in the early days of “a young Batman,” whereas Dick Grayson is “still a little kid at this point” . Nolan jokingly said that, if he was forced by the studio to cast the role, his first choice would be Frankie Muniz.
Robin has been confirmed as the lead in a new Teen Titans movie in for Warner Brothers with Akiva Goldsman as the writer. 
Dick Grayson appeared in many of the early animated series related to DC Comics superheroes. These shows included:
In all of these cartoons, he is paired with Batman and the two are portrayed as an inseparable duo. This is probably why Dick was not featured in the Teen Titans segments in the The Batman/Superman Hour despite him being the Titans leader in the comics. With the exception of Burt Ward returning to voice the character for The New Adventures of Batman, Casey Kasem provided the voice for the character throughout these shows.
Dick Grayson appeared as Robin and later Nightwing on Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, voiced by Loren Lester. The Emmy Award winning Batman: The Animated Series episode “Robin’s Reckoning” provided the origin story for Dick as Robin. While much of Dick’s past remained the same, his costume was upated to the more modern look (with short sleeves and long pants), exactly like Tim Drake’s original Robin outfit. Batgirl Returns establishes that Dick and Barbara Gordon attend the same college and that they have a fairly mutual romantic attraction to each other, but neither one knows that the other is secretly Robin and/or Batgirl, respectively (despite having collaborated in Shadow Of The Bat, albeit without getting along), and their relationship is one of the plot elements of Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero. Dick quit being Robin and left Gotham in the episode “Old Wounds,” after coming to blows with Batman over the Dark Knight’s controlling and ruthless behavior, even to the point of hitting Batman across the face. Years later, Dick returned as Nightwing, and while he would work with Batman, the two never fully reconciled. Nightwing does however establish a strong working bond with his replacement, Tim Drake.
In the Batman Adventures, a spin-off comic book series based on the TV shows, the story arc “The Lost Years” bridged the gap between the end of Batman: The Animated Series and the start of The New Batman Adventures, telling the DCAU‘s version of Grayson’s journey to become Nightwing. Batman Beyond, a series set in the future of the DC Animated Universe, implies that Dick was still alive and working under the name Nightwing during the time during which its stories were set.
Dick Grayson made a non-speaking cameo on Justice League, appearing very briefly in the episode “The Savage Time” as a member of the alternate time-frame Bruce Wayne’s resistance against Savage’s regime. He was seen sharing an intimate moment with Barbara Gordon, apparently also a member of the resistance. Dick also had a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo as Nightwing in the Justice League Unlimited episode “Grudge Match,” apparently having moved to neighboring BlÃ¼dhaven to start his own career.
Though the Teen Titans animated series never explicitly stated the real name of the show’s Robin, certain instances prove he is Dick Grayson. In the episode “How Long is Forever?”, Nightwing appeared as Robin’s alternate future identity. In “Fractured”, a Robin-like character infatuated with Robin had the name “Nosyarg Kcid”: “Dick Grayson” spelled backwards. When Raven temporarily possessed Robin’s mind in ‘Haunted’, there are brief flashbacks, one of which is in a circus as two people on the trapeze begin to fall, the fate Dick Grayson’s parents meet in the comics. In the episode “Go”, Robin makes his first chronological appearance in Jump City, surprising a local criminal with the lines “And now, I work alone,” which coincides with Dick Grayson’s dramatic breakup with Batman. Also in “Go,” Starfire acquired the ability to speak English by giving Robin a passionate kiss, as her character did with Dick Grayson in the comics, a detail confirmed in the film Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo. He currently appears in Teen Titans Go!, a spin-off comic book series based on the TV shows. #47 confirmed Robin to be Dick Grayson. During the “Apprentice” arc, Slade made a comment about wanting to be a father figure for Robin, to what he replied by saying “I already have a father” followed by a shot of several bats flying.
Since the start of its fourth season, The Batman has included the character of Dick Grayson/Robin in its cast. Evan Sabara has provided the voice of the teen-aged character. In this continuity, Dick consistently bickers with Barbara Gordon/Batgirl (possibly because of her jealousy that Bruce had accepted Dick so promptly, while she took a long time to be considered part of the team), but they always cooperate in the end. The episode, Artifacts depicted Batman’s team in the future, with Dick Grayson as Nightwing instead of Robin. Jerry O’Connell voiced the character for this episode. Nightwing (wearing his costume from his debut in the New Teen Titans), returned in the episode, The Metal Face of Comedy, where he is a character created by Dick for an online Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game. 
Dick Grayson appeared as Robin in two direct-to-video animated movie Justice League: The New Frontier. This was Robin’s first appearance in his original costume since the end of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, aside from the The New Batman Adventures 1999 episode, “Legends of the Dark Knight”. He was voiced by Shane Haboucha. Here, he apparently was adopted as a teenager after Batman realizes that he is frightening the innocent, instead of being adopted as a child. The circumstances surrounding their meeting are not shown.