by Phil Perich for the Legends of DC Blog
DC Rebirth is going strong. Sales are up and fan reactions have been more positive than they have been for the past few years. While two of the most popular turnarounds have been Green Arrow and Superman, I personally can’t wait for this Wednesday and Nightwing: Rebirth #1.
Judging by the reorder numbers for this book that hasn't even been released yet, a lot of people agree with me. So I figured since Dick Grayson was about to start a new chapter and return to the identity that proved his heroic nature more than any other, I would give a quick review of some of his greatest accomplishments.
A Legend among Titans
Of course any look at Dick Grayson’s career as Nightwing should begin on day one. Around the time Batman was considering making Jason Todd his new Robin, Dick Grayson had given up the identity to step out of his mentor’s shadow and become his own man. The only problem was Dick need to create a brand new identity. He worked on one for months in secret and eventually unveiled it during a trail by fire when Deathstroke the Terminator and traitor Terra kidnap the other members of the Teen Titans. Working together with Deathstroke’s youngest son Jericho, Dick rescued his friends under the brand new guise of Nightwing!
Knight of Bludhaven
When twenty one dead street criminals are discovered in Gotham Harbor, Batman traces them back to the city of Bludhaven. All crime in the sister city of Gotham was being taken over by a mysterious new crime lord. Nightwing volunteers to go to Bludhaven to investigate. What he finds is a city of hopelessness, with strong organized crime families and a corrupt police force. Dick makes Bludhaven his new home and attempts to clean up the city just like his teacher Batman does for Gotham. But things get rough when the crime lord is revealed to be the metahuman Blockbuster, a villain so strong he could arm wrestle Superman!
Prodigal Son Reborn
Dick Grayson has proven himself a hero’s hero many, many times. So much so that he has even filled in for Bruce Wayne as Batman several times. The biggest two examples are the Prodigal Son and Batman: Reborn storylines. In Prodigal Son, Bruce Wayne has just returned after having his back broken by Bane in Knightfall and ousted Jean Paul Valley as Batman. Bruce needs to take time off to work on future failsafe plans and doesn't want to leave Gotham without it’s main protector. Dick succeeds as Batman, even facing foes he never fought before as Robin or Nightwing including Killer Croc, Ventriloquist and Scarface, and Ratcatcher. And years later when Bruce Wayne is presumed dead, everyone who knew Batman’s secret identity from Alfred to Superman looked to Dick to permanently take his mentor’s place. Originally apprehensive to fill those boots, Dick eventually does when he discovers Gotham needs the Batman and the murderous Jason Todd is the only other contender. Even upon Bruce’s return, Dick continues on as a second Batman for awhile to protect Gotham when Bruce Wayne takes his Batman Incorporated worldwide.
So in closing, what makes this character such a fan favorite? I think it’s because he’s so personable, relatable and such a nice guy. He is everything Batman could be if the Dark Knight let go of some of his pain and tried to make a life for himself away from the mask but still remain a hero. He’s the hero we would want to be, or at least the one we’d want to be friends with. What do YOU think? I love to discuss comics, especially this character, so lets chat:
@Nigthwingpdp or @BeforetheBatPod on Twitter
You can hear me and my friends discuss NIghtwing and all things DC Comics on The Before the Bat, Legends of DC, and Newcastle Crew podcasts. I also write another blog, True Believers where I discuss all things Marvel. You can find all of my podcasts, blogs, and those of others at www.southgatemediagroup.com. If you want one stop shopping for all of my creative endeavors, you can find it at www.philperich.wordpress.com.
Until next time, remember clothes don't always make the man, but sometimes they help!