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 on April 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 legal ward after witnessing their deaths, and eventually as his sidekick, Robin.
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 characters 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 led the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. Following the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, he temporarily replaced 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 the Terminator, Nightwing relocated to New York.
After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis, Dick has moved operations to Gotham to protect the city following Bruce's apparent death. Despite Bruce's will wanting him not to succeed Wayne permanently, the chaos in Gotham following his disappearance prompts Dick to take up his mentor's identity once again and has returned to operating as the new Batman.
As Robin, Dick Grayson has appeared in most other media adaptations of Batman, most notably the live action series Batman, where he was portrayed by Burt Ward, and the Joel Schumacher films, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, where he was portrayed by Chris O'Donnell. The 1990s' Batman: The Animated Series was the first one to portray his evolution into Nightwing.
Becomming Robin Edit
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 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.
Teen Titans Edit
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, 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.
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).
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.
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 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 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 Blüdhaven.
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:
During the "Batman R.I.P." 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. Scheduled for an experimental lobotomy by Arkham himself, he's spared by the ICoV taking hold of the Asylum, wanting to use him and Jezebel Jet, Bruce's fianceè at the time, as bait.
Batman and RobinEdit
Following the events of Batman's apparent death during the 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 will be the focus of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's new 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. In the upcoming series there will be four three-issue stories, which will be part of a greater storyline.
Blackest night Edit
In Blackest Night crossover, after discovering Bruce Wayne's body has been stolen from it's 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 re-animated corpses of some of Batman's deceased enemies. Batman, Robin, Deadman along with a returned Tim Drake (as Red Robin) managed to save Commissioner Gordon and Oracle. They are then attacked by Tim and Dick's Black Lantern parents.
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Court of Owls Edit
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Dick Grayson possesses the peak athletic strength and endurance of a man in his mid/late twenties who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. His detective and martial arts skills rival those of Bruce Wayne's, making him one of the greatest crime fighters alive. He is a master of a half dozen 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).
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 arguably surpassed his mentor.
The Robin costume worn by Grayson alluded to the American Robin and Robin Hood. The cape was alternately depicted as yellow or green. The costume also featured pointed "pixie boots", which some artists would discard from the portrayal.
Grayson's Nightwing costume was made of a version of the Nomex fire-resistant, triple-weave Kevlar-lined material. It was an excellent protection against damage, and was also insulated against electricity. His costume was branded to his style of fighting. Therefore, his costume contained less body-armor inlays than Batman, for a decreased need of shock-absorption. If this weakness was exploited by fighters who were both fast and strong, Nightwing had supplemetal body-armor inlays which could be applied to his gauntlets, shoulders, mask and boots. Instead of a black cape to keep him hidden, which Grayson dislikes wearing, the suit was light sensitive, darkening when there was more light in the area. The mask, in the form of his symbol, was fixed in place with spirit gum, and included a built-in radio transmitter/receiver and Starlite night-vision lenses. The third 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 Bind miniseries, issue #2, cover date October 1995, and was designed by the cover artist Brian Stelfreeze. His suit was also equipped with wings that allow him to glide in the air or fly.
As the new Batman, Grayson's Batsuit features a lighter cape to accommodate his more acrobatic fighting style and a utility belt with a bat-shaped buckle. He has also developed "para-capes" for his and Damian's costumes which gives them the ability to glide, which may be a homage to Batman Begins. Grayson is a noticeably shorter Batman than Bruce Wayne.
Once DC introduced its Multiverse concept in the early 1960s, it was decided that their characters introduced in the late 1930s and 1940s would be separate characters on a parallel world dubbed Earth-Two and allowed to age, while the currently published versions (i.e., youthful) were designated as living on Earth-One. Thus, the Robin of the 1940s was soon re-introduced in the pages of Justice League of America vol. 1 #55 as an adult who assumes Batman's position as Gotham City's premiere 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 expresses 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), which insinuates the premiere superhero team were Nazi collaborators. Grayson discovers evidence hidden within the passages pointing to a new Per Degaton 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, all but 5 universes of the DC Multiverse, including Earth-Two, are destroyed with the remaining ones restarted as a single universe from the dawn of time. Following this Crisis, Earth-Two "never existed" and the Earth-Two Robin is retroactively removed from history, and elements of his past are blended with the Earth-One version, effectively creating a new modern continuity (although Robin and all other now-removed heroes still existed for a while as beings without pasts due to their presence at the dawn of time battle). 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.
After the events of 52, (in which 52 new Universes were introduced) a new Earth-2 is introduced in which Robin survived, raising theories as to whether or not Earth-2 was really destroyed, or was perhaps replaced by a new Earth-2. In the Justice Society of America Annual #1, published in the summer of 2008, Silver Scarab explains that the events of the Crisis are remembered by the people of this Earth-2, and from their perspective, Earth-2 seemed to be the only Earth to have survived the Crisis. Certainly Robin, The Huntress, and their fellow Justice Society members are all alive and appear to be exactly the same as those pre-Crisis.