I’m back. Let’s jump right in. Last week we ended with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson in the Batcave. Dick had temporarily replaced Bruce as Batman. Dick confronts Bruce as to why he chose Azrael to replace him as Batman months before this. Bruce said he didn’t think he had the right to ask Dick to come back and help. Dick responds “The right? Bruce, I would give my life to aid you.” Here is another example of the good traits of Nightwing. If he is on your side, especially if he considers you like family (Batman, Alfred, Batgirl, any Robin, the Titans) he is fiercely loyal. He would give his life for Batman’s crusade or to help his friends. I think it was partly his devotion to Batman’s cause and the need he sometimes feels to prove himself (especially to Batman) that prompted him to accept Batman’s request to solve multiple murders that occurred in Gotham’s neighbor city of Bludhaven. After discovering the big crime lord that had set up shop there (Blockbuster, think the Godfather crossed with the Hulk). Deciding that the city was corrupt, especially with Blockbuster as number 1 crime lord, Nightwing became the protector of Bludhaven (Nightwing volume 1 #1-117) until the city was destroyed in one of the big DC comics company wide crossovers (Infinite Crisis).
After Bludhaven, Dick moved back to New York (where he used to live when he was with the Titans full time). But circumstances forced him back to Gotham in the aftermath of the Batman R.I.P. storyline (see week #4 of this blog--The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh).
After this story and the Final Crisis crossover Batman was presumed dead (especially when a dead Batman clone was found).
Bruce Wayne left a will for all those close to him and specifically told Dick Grayson NOT to take up the cape and cowl of Batman. But with Gotham City in complete chaos, and after much soul searching, Dick Grayson became Batman once again.
A more light hearted Batman, he took on Bruce Wayne’s son Damien as the new Robin. There was no one better to show the boy how to be Robin then the man who created the identity. Example 2 of Nightwing’s strengths--Even in the face of tragedy (years before he lost both his parents, now he had lost his surrogate Father/Big Brother) Nightwing continued on in the role of protector without letting his losses turn his heart or mind dark. Some might say this makes him a stronger man than Bruce Wayne himself. Dick continued in the role of Batman even after Bruce Wayne returned. Eventually, Dick returned to the Nightwing identity and purchased his childhood “home”, the traveling Haly circus.
Even after learning the circus had secretly been a training ground for assassins (see week #3 of this blog, the court of owls), and the Joker burned it to the ground, Nightwing persevered. After another falling out with Batman, Nightwing moved to Chicago when he learned Tony Zucco, the man who had killed his parents was still alive and living there. Even with the anger he might have felt towards Batman or Zucco, Nightwing did not give in to anger, despair or sadness. He channels all his pain and suffering in positive ways, not getting to dark or emotionless like Batman can sometimes be. Which brings us to the present. After being unmasked to the whole world by the Crime Syndicate (an evil, alternate reality version of the Justice League), Nightwing almost died. With the whole world thinking him dead, Batman asks him to give up the Nightwing identity and infiltrate a secret (possibly corrupt) spy organization known as Spyral. He is agent #37, Grayson.
The 2nd issue just came out and Dick is shown to be communicating with Batman secretly. He is shown to be lonely, especially with everyone except Batman thinking he is dead. But once again, Dick doesn’t give into despair. He ALWAYS takes the worst life has to throw at him and uses it, processes it to give him strength somehow. Because of the pain, in spite of it. We should all aspire to his ideal. Well, that’s it for this week. And for Nightwing for now. I told you Nightwing is possible my favorite character (it’s a tight race with Batman). Let me know what YOU think, especially if you weren’t to familiar with Nightwing before this. How? There are many ways:
Until next week, be good. Remember, What would Nightwing do?