|First appearance||As Robin:
Detective Comics #38
Tales of the Teen Titans #44
Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3
As Agent 37:
|Full name||Richard John "Dick" Grayson|
|Supporting character of|
|Notable aliases||Robin, Nightwing, Batman, Agent 37, The Target, Renegade, Robbie Malone, Freddy Loyd, Chester Honeywell, Freddie Dinardo|
Richard John "Dick" Grayson is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Batman. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and illustrator Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940 as the original incarnation of Robin.
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. Batman (Bruce Wayne) takes him in as his legal ward (retconned as an adopted son in some cases) and the crime-fighting partner Robin. He is written by many authors as the first son of Batman. Many, including OMAC, state that he is the one that Batman cares about the most. Throughout his adolescence, Batman and Robin fight their war on crime side-by-side.
As he grows older and spends more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, Grayson retires as Robin and takes on his own superhero identity to assert his independence (while others would fill in as Robin). Created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, he first appeared in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984) as Nightwing. He leads the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. In the first volume of his eponymous series (1996–2009), he becomes the protector of Blüdhaven, Gotham's economically troubled neighboring city, the locale the character is most closely associated with. He has also served stints protecting the streets of New York, Chicago and Gotham in other runs over the years.
Dick Grayson has taken on the identity of Batman on a few occasions. Following "Batman: Knightfall", Grayson declines taking up the mantle of Batman while the original was recovering from a broken back as he feels Nightwing is a hero in his own right and not Batman's understudy, but after the events of the Zero Hour miniseries later that year, he replaces Bruce Wayne as Batman, beginning in Robin #0 (1994) and extending throughout the Batman: Prodigal storyline in 1995. Dick again assumes the mantle following the events of "Batman R.I.P." (2008) and Final Crisis (2008–9). As Batman, Dick moves to Gotham following his mentor's apparent death and takes on Damian Wayne as Robin. On Bruce's return, both men maintained the Batman identity until 2011, when Dick returned to the Nightwing identity with DC's The New 52 continuity refresh. In a 2014 comic story, Dick is forced to abandon the Nightwing identity after being unmasked on TV and faking his death; in Tim Seeley's critically acclaimed Grayson comic book, Dick becomes Batman's mole in the nefarious spy organization Spyral, going by the codename Agent 37.
Dick Grayson has appeared as Robin in several other media adaptations of Batman: the 1943 serial played by Douglas Croft, the 1949 serial played by Johnny Duncan, the 1966–1968 live action Batman television series and its motion picture portrayed by Burt Ward, played by Chris O'Donnell in the 1995 film Batman Forever and its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin. Loren Lester voiced the character as Robin in Batman: The Animated Series and later the first screen adaptation of Nightwing in The New Batman Adventures. In May 2011, IGN ranked Dick Grayson #11 on their list of the "Top 100 Super Heroes of All Time". In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked Grayson as Nightwing as #1 on their list of the "50 Sexist Male Characters in Comics".
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Skills, abilities, and resources
- 3 Other versions
- 4 In other media
- 4.1 Serials and live action television
- 4.2 Film
- 4.3 Animation
- 4.3.1 DC animated universe
- 4.3.2 Teen Titans
- 4.3.3 The Batman
- 4.3.4 Justice League: The New Frontier
- 4.3.5 Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- 4.3.6 Batman: Under the Red Hood
- 4.3.7 Young Justice
- 4.3.8 Mad
- 4.3.9 Teen Titans Go!
- 4.3.10 Son of Batman
- 4.3.11 Batman vs. Robin
- 4.3.12 Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts
- 4.4 Video games
- 4.5 Radio
- 4.6 Books
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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 get younger readers to enjoy Batman. 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. He was born on the first day of spring, son of John Grayson and Mary Grayson, a young aerialist couple.
In his first appearance, Dick Grayson is a circus acrobat, and, with his parents, one of 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.
After the Zero Hour event in 1994, Dick's birthday was established as the first day of Spring.
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. During his leadership of the Titans, however, he had a falling out with Batman, leading to an estrangement that would last for many years.
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. He maintains this identity during his role in the Teen Titans, and occasionally returns to assist Batman and his successors as Robin in the form of Jason Todd and Tim Drake, Tim in particular becoming a younger brother figure to him.
When Bruce's back is broken by Bane during the Knightfall story arc, Bruce selects Jean-Paul Valley as his replacement as Batman as he doesn't want to burden Dick with the role and fears that Dick may go after Bane in revenge. However, when Valley proves to be too unstable to be Batman, Bruce undergoes a rigorous recovery and training program with the aid of Doctor Shondra Kinsolving and Lady Shiva to restore him to full health, defeating Valley with Dick and Tim's aid. However, feeling that he needs to re-evaluate Batman and his mission after Valley's defeat, Bruce leaves Gotham once again, after appointing Dick as his successor during the "Prodigal" story arc. While acting as Batman, Dick is left with a clearer idea of the psychological stresses Bruce must endure in the role, as well as facing some of Bruce's newer enemies- such as Killer Croc, the Ventriloquist and the Ratcatcher- while settling his own long-standing issues with Two-Face.
Miniseries and ongoing
In Nightwing: Alfred's Return #1 (1995), Dick Grayson travels to England to find Alfred Pennyworth 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; they witnessed the original Prince being killed and replaced with an impostor who became as bad as his predecessor (Although Zucco killed the Graysons before they could do anything about it). In the aftermath, Dick returns to his role as Nightwing, recognizing that, for all his problems with Bruce, Bruce never made him become Robin or join his crusade, accepting that he imitated Bruce's example because Bruce was worthy of imitation.
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, relocating there to investigate a series of murders and remaining as he recognized that the city needed protection. He remains the city's guardian for some time, facing foes such as Blockbuster and new villains such as Torque. When the Justice League vanished into the past fighting Gamemnae, Nightwing was selected as the leader of the reserve League created by an emergency program Batman had established in the event of his League being defeated, Batman describing Nightwing as the only person he could have picked to lead them. Eventually, however, the death of Blockbuster prompts Nightwing to leave Bludhaven to his crisis of conscience; Blockbuster was killed by vigilante Tarantula and Nightwing didn't stop it even when he had the chance to do so. While Nightwing returns to Gotham to heal after assisting Batman in dealing with a series of gang wars, Blüdhaven is destroyed by the Secret Society of Super-Villains when they drop Chemo on it.
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.
After spending some time away with Bruce and Tim to heal and rebuild after their harsh times prior to the Crisis, Dick relocates to New York, but has trouble finding work as both Dick Grayson and Nightwing. 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.
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 Wayne, 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. Their dynamic reverses the classic dynamic of Bruce and Dick, by having a lighter and friendlier Batman paired with a more intense and dark Robin. Over time, Dick's experience as the Dark Knight would harden his personality as his mentor.
The New 52 (2011–present)
Dick Grayson is re-established as Nightwing following DC's Flashpoint crossover event, after which the publisher relaunched all of its titles and made alterations to its continuity as part of an initiative called The New 52. In the new status quo, Bruce Wayne is once again the only Batman, and Dick like the other members of adoptive family is a few years younger. Dick, despite being 21, as opposed to his mid-late twenties, is drawn a bit shorter than in his pre-relaunch frame. This is likely due to adding believability to his acrobat past. According to various interviews it is stated that Dick was adopted at 16, as opposed to 12. This is due to the DCNU's timeline existing for 5 years.
In his civilian identity he is attacked by an assassin named Saiko who insists that he's the fiercest killer in Gotham. The series Batman Incorporated relaunches with a second volume, continuing its story while taking into account the New 52's continuity changes; Dick is now depicted as Nightwing, and not as Batman, but the change is not addressed in the comic itself. In Nightwing, Dick inherits the deed to the circus from a dying C. C. Haly and begins a relationship with his childhood friend acrobat Raya Vestri. Saiko tortures Haly for information on Nightwing's secret identity, and the old man dies in Dick's arms after telling him the circus holds a terrible secret. Investigating leads, he tracks down a super-villain named Feedback who used to be a childhood friend but does not learn anything. Following Haly's clues, he finds a mysterious Book of Names in the circus that holds his on the last page. Later the circus announces they will be doing a memorial show on the anniversary of the night Dick's parents were murdered, and Saiko attacks by detonating a massive explosion. It is then revealed that the circus has been training assassins for years, and Saiko was a childhood friend using Raya as an accomplice. Grayson had been selected to become a new Talon for the Court of Owls, but when Batman adopted him Saiko took his place. The killer plummets to his death, and Raya turns herself in. Returning to the Batcave, Bruce reveals to Dick that the current Talon is his great-grandfather William Cobb. Following the Night of the Owls event, Dick decided to keep Haly's Circus in Gotham and plans to invest in turning an abandoned amusement park into their new location without Bruce's money. He works with Sonia Branch, the daughter of Tony Zucco, the crime boss who murdered Dick's parents, into getting a loan for this plan by investing his entire trust fund despite being a high-risk due to Saiko's recent attack. The problems arise because of the guilt Sonia feels towards her father's actions  and many members of the circus are afraid for their lives because of the previous disasters and accuse Dick Grayson of being a flake making it hard for those who choose to stay.
The "Death of the Family" crossover event across Batman-related comic books led to a major shift in Nightwing's status quo. During the storyline, one of Dick's friends Jimmy Clark who worked as a circus clown was murdered by the Joker because Joker felt like Jimmy was a knockoff of him. Nightwing later discovers Joker broke Raya out of prison and infected her with his toxin and has forced her to fight while wearing a makeshift Nightwing costume. The toxin eventually killed Raya, though Nightwing tried in vain with an anti-toxin to save her. Nightwing then discovered that Joker left a message on Raya's abdomen that he was targeting Haly's Circus next. However upon arriving there, Joker unveils his plan to burn the circus to the ground and then infects Nightwing with his gas that not only causes him to experience hallucinations of Jimmy and Raya, but he is soon attacked by the other members of Haly's Circus that were also affected by the toxin allowing Joker to capture him. In the aftermath, Haly's Circus is gone, with Dick broke as a result for having lost his investment. While the other circus members survived since Joker used a different toxin on them they blame Dick and decide to leave after Raya and Jimmy's funeral though deep down they know it is not his fault. Dick becomes bitter from his loss. After he used excessive force to bring down some criminals that tried to plunder valuables from the remains of the circus, Damian, having been monitoring him, is able to talk some sense into Nightwing that helped him recover.
Nightwing is later deeply affected by the death of Damian following his murder at the hands of Damian's clone, the Heretic, in Batman Incorporated. With Damian's death and potential resurrection becoming an obsession of Batman's, Dick is shunned by Bruce when he tries to tell him to move on, in Batman and Nightwing (a retitled Batman & Robin #23).
Later, the Nightwing series changes its setting to Chicago, Illinois. Sonia Branch reveals to Dick an e-mail that indicates that her father Zucco is still alive. After giving the address to Red Robin to try and track down who sent it, Robin uncovers that Zucco is residing in Chicago. Nightwing moves to Chicago in order to find and arrest Zucco, who is now living under the assumed identity of Billy Lester, an assistant to the mayor. Soon after arriving in Chicago, Dick meets his new roommates, a photojournalist named Michael, and a computer specialist named Joey. After leaving the apartment to meet with Johnny Spade, a borderline criminal who steals and sells information, their meeting is interrupted by the police. A short chase results in the accidental destruction of a newly rebuilt subway. Meanwhile, a criminal hacker called the Prankster tortures, maims and kills criminal con men who are untouchable to the police.
The Chicago story is later abruptly ended by Nightwing's role in a larger company-wide crossover event. After the Crime Syndicate invade Earth Prime at the conclusion of the "Trinity War" Justice League storyline, and defeat the Justice League, the DC crossover story Forever Evil depicts Nightwing's capture by the Crime Syndicate, who expose his secret identity to the world. Following their escape from the Syndicate, Batman and Catwoman decide to rescue him. He then is invited by Owlman to help defeat the Crime Syndicate, which he accepts. Nightwing is severely beaten by Ultraman and is attached to a device from a parallel world known as the Murder Machine, which is controlled by his heart rate and is reportedly impossible to escape from alive. When Batman and Lex Luthor arrive to free him, Lex stops his heart in order to fool the system so he can disarm it. However, Batman, enraged over what Lex has done, attacks him. Luthor explains it is not too late to save Grayson. In an uncharacteristically heroic moment, Luthor injects Grayson's heart with adrenaline which successfully revives Grayson. Cyborg enters having defeated Grid, and Grayson joins Batman, Cyborg and Catwoman in freeing the Justice League from the Firestorm Matrix. After the defeat of the Syndicate, Grayson is seen with Batman in the Batcave. Batman tells him that he has to send him on the most dangerous mission he could possibly undertake.
The Nightwing title concluded in April 2014 at issue 30, and was replaced with a new title, Grayson, which depicts Dick having given up his life as Nightwing and going undercover as an agent of the Spyral organization where the former Batwoman Kathy Kane works. Written by Tim Seeley and former CIA counter-terrorism officer Tom King, the career change for Dick Grayson comes from the urging of Batman himself, who convinces him to remain dead to the world. Seeley stated that the series will be "leaning into" Grayson's sex symbol status. The character's look also is resigned with no mask but a blue-and-black outfit calling back to his pre-New 52 Nightwing days with an addition of a "G" on his chest, said to be reminiscent of the Robin "R".
In the "Agent of Spyral" storyline, Dick (known as Agent 37) is enlisted by Mister Minos, the Director of Spyral, after having been chosen by Helena Bertinelli to serve as a new candidate. However, Dick serves as a mole under Batman due to their agenda of unmasking heroes by collecting the Paragon organs, organs in which contains the DNA of the Justice League and bestows meta-bioweapons the ability to use their powers. He assists Spyral's agenda to know more about Minos and his endgame, resulting in Spyral attaining most of the scattered organs. In a later story arc, Minos betrays Spyral and attempts to leak its secrets. To his surprise he finds the new Agent Zero, who reveals she along with the upper echelon of Spyral had used Minos to attract Dick into Spyral and kills Minos as he has outlived his life full of humer .
Skills, abilities, and resources
Dick Grayson possesses the peak athletic strength and endurance of a man in his mid-to late twenties who regularly engages in intensive physical exercise. His martial arts skills rival those of Batman. He is a master of several 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). Post-Flashpoint, he is shown to have natural skill in reading the body motion of others like that of Cassandra Cain and Lady Shiva have shown in the previous continuity and is able to anticipate and predict one's next action and detect if someone is lying or not. Like that of Batman, he also possessed a strong will enough to withstand even telepathic attack. He is also a master of espionage, his skills even further shown as a spy within the tremendously powerful intelligence organization Spyral.
Nightwing is a master of a half-dozen martial arts disciplines (including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, Karate, Muay Thai, Judo, Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin Kung-Fu, Ninjitsu, 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 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, Japanese, the alien language of Tamaran, American Sign Language and has some knowledge of Romani. 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.
The Robin costume worn by him alluded to the American Robin and Robin Hood. The cape was alternately depicted as yellow or green. The costume also featured the poulaines of crakows, which some artists would discard from the portrayal.
Dick 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. Specifically tailored to his style of fighting, Nightwing's costume had fewer body-armor inlays than Batman, anticipating a decreased need for shock absorption and an increased capacity for motion. Against opponents both fast and strong, Nightwing had supplemental body-armor overlays he could attach to his gauntlets, boots, shoulders, and mask. 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 #2 (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 Batman, his Batsuit featured a lighter cape to accommodate his more acrobatic fighting style and a utility belt with a bat-shaped buckle. He also developed "para-capes" for his and Damian's costumes which gave them the ability to glide. Grayson is noticeably shorter than Bruce Wayne.
Post-Flashpoint with his return to Nightwing, Dick wore a similar suit, albeit with the blue "wing" being red throughout the New 52. Previously in New 52's continuity as Nightwing, he formerly owned an armored suit which was blue and yellow, resembling a modern take of his previous first costume in the previous continuity and another that was an armored suit that sported a red Bat Symbol, in which is currently being used by Jason Todd though slightly modified for Jason's taste. Formerly before having to leave the Nightwing mantle post Forever Evil, his suit was made up of sturdy but flexible material that not only suited his strength in speed and acrobatics, but also was durable enough to take bullets from machine guns. His former costume was a stylized red "wing" across his shoulders and extending to his hands, coloring his two middle fingers, over a black torso and legs. He also has gauntlets much like Batman's own suit. Nightwing's costume is tailored specifically to his unique style of crime-fighting. He also has variants of his costume in which one one his stylized red "wings" reach only to his shoulders, another to his wrists, and one in which has hip and finger stripes.
Some version's of Dick's story as Nightwing do not make clear whether the public at large knows that the first Robin is now Nightwing, or whether he is simply an entirely new hero. A metafictional foreword (said to have been made by a future historian) to a trade paperback for "A Death In The Family" made the claim that the public at large always thought there was just one Robin. In versions that do address it, Dick and Bruce seem to want to spread the belief that Nightwing started his career as an adult, the better to hide their true identities.
The Robin of Earth-Two is an alternate version of Dick Grayson, introduced after DC Comics created Earth-Two, a parallel world that was retroactively established as the home of characters published in the Golden Age of Comic Books. This allowed DC Comics to publish comic books featuring Robin while disregarding incongruities with the single ongoing history that had been followed since inception.
The character history of the Earth-Two Robin accordingly adopts all of the earliest stories featuring the character from the 1940s and 1950s, while the adventures of the mainstream Robin (who lived on "Earth-One") begin later in time and with certain elements of his origin retold. Both were depicted as separate, though parallel, individuals living in their respective universes.
Kingdom Come (Post-Infinite Crisis Earth 22)
In the Elseworlds mini-series Kingdom Come, a middle-aged Dick Grayson reclaims the Robin mantle as Red Robin and takeover his mentor's position on the Justice League. He also has a daughter, Nightstar (Mar´i Grayson), whom he fathered with Starfire. Nightstar aligns herself with Batman's Outsiders and romantically involves with his and Talia al Ghul's son, Ibn al Xu'ffasch. After Ibn and Mar´i marries, they have a daughter and son, and thus Dick and Bruce Wayne become in-laws and grandfathers of their respective progenies' children.
JLA: The Nail and JLA: Another Nail
In the Elseworlds mini-series JLA: The Nail, Dick Grayson (as Robin), along with Barbara Gordon (as Batgirl), are tortured to death by the Joker with his Kryptonian gauntlets, driving Batman temporarily insane after he witnesses their ordeals and demise. The grief-stricken hero then kills the Joker for revenge. Later, in the sequel JLA: Another Nail, Dick returns as a spirit after the Joker escapes from Hell. He helps Batman defeat the villain once and for all, and seeing Dick is at peace after his death gives Batman the strength to move on.
Batman Beyond (comics)
The 2010 comic book limited series Batman Beyond features Terry McGinnis facing a new Hush. After ruling out Tim Drake as a suspect, Terry questions Dick Grayson now runs an athletics training course after retiring as Nightwing due to sustaining severe gunshot wounds (including the loss of an eye) in a battle between the Joker and Batman. Though Dick gives an alibi, Hush later incapacitates Terry and removes his bandages to reveal the face of Dick with both eyes intact. It is later revealed that Hush is actually a clone of Grayson, created by Project Cadmus under the guidance of Amanda Waller in order to ensure that the world will always have a Batman. Hush later dies during a final confrontation with Terry, the real Dick Grayson, and a new Catwoman, after they thwart the villain's plan to destroy Gotham. He is told over the comlink with Bruce that he is still his heir but Dick rips off the connection still too hurt to talk to Bruce.
Dick later serves as a supporting character for the ongoing series. When a GCPD detective discovers Dick's past as Nightwing due to Hush's recent actions, Terry and Maxine "Max" Gibson attempt to convince the public otherwise by having Terry masquerade as his former identity while Max plants numerous false alibis for Dick throughout the internet. In the end, Dick partially admits the truth to Gotham without jeopardizing his allies' secrets, claiming he was a paid agent of Batman Inc., as the new Batman. The detective who threatened to expose Dick still plans to sue Dick but is "persuaded" not to by Terry.
It is revealed that, after the events in the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker flashbacks and after what happened to Tim, Barbara gave up her Batgirl identity and broke off her relationship with Bruce, which Dick never knew about. Barbara resumed her relationship with Dick but was hesitant to confess to him that she had dated Bruce. Dick planned to propose to Barbara. Bruce himself ultimately confessed to their relationship after finding out that he had gotten Barbara pregnant; furthermore, he wanted to be involved in the life of their child. Barbara, however, unable to leave behind her vigilante life, fought a mugger and ultimately miscarried her child. These events, as well as her sense that she destroyed the bond between Dick and Bruce, caused Barbara's relationship with Dick to disintegrate and eventually led her to marry Sam Young. Losing Barbara caused Dick to become estranged from Bruce for his role. In the parallel universe where the Justice Lords reside, Dick's counterpart is happily married to Barbara's and they had a son together. Bruce's Justice Lord counterpart was happily married to Wonder Woman as well until her Justice Lord counterpart killed him. The events in the Justice Lords' world cause Dick envying of the life his counterpart leads with his wife. Terry also becomes friends with Dick's counterpart, helping him training his own into the new Batman in Justice Lords' world.
In the 2013 Digital Comic Batman Beyond 2.0 it is revealed that Terry has now left Bruce's employment since leaving high school and is now working for Grayson as Batman with Dick taking on the role of support for Terry. While Terry finds working with Dick easier than Bruce, Dick reminds Terry of his commitment to his family and to his education.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Dick Grayson and his parents are part of the Haley Circus acrobats, featured in a show alongside Boston Brand. In a vision that Doctor Fate gives Boston Brand, Boston is standing over Dick's body. Before the next show, Boston tries to convince Dick to perform solo. However, Dick tells him that family means too much to him. Dick poses the question that Boston's seeming fearlessness could stem from his insecurity of being alone. During the attack on Haley Circus by the Amazons, Dick's mother falls to the ground in the ensuing madness. When Dick, along with the circus, is running away from the Amazons, they are rescued by the Resistance member Vertigo. While they are hiding, Dick's father is fatally wounded by the Amazons. Boston tells him to leave his father but Dick refuses. Later, Dick's dying father makes Boston promise to protect his son. Afterwards, Dick and Boston run at the countryside looking for reinforcements, when they are soon caught in an explosion. Dick survived, but his friend Boston is killed. When he walks towards his friend's body, he is unaware of the fact that he walks through the ghost of Boston. Dick manages to take the Amazons down with a gasoline explosion. Meeting up with the Resistance, Dick becomes the new Doctor Fate. He is aided by the ghostly Boston, who lets him know that he is not alone.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
In the alternate world of Injustice: Gods Among Us, Dick remains firmly on Batman's views of law and order even as Superman begins a more forceful approach of ending crime. When he announces his plan to take away the inhabitants of Arkham Asylum, Dick joins Batman in going to stop him. Batman's biological son Damian, however, believes in Superman's cause and sides with him. During a skirmish at the asylum Damian inadvertently kills Dick by throwing his kali stick at him, causing Dick to fall over and break his neck. For this action Batman and Damian's relationship as father and son end. In the Year Three series Dick's spirit is called upon by the dying Deadman to replace him, allowing Dick to return to action. Near the end of the series he has a talk with Bruce on how he has no regrets about his life despite the way it ended, declaring love for his adopted father. It is revealed before his death he left the Titans to join the Justice League. After the explosion kills Beast Boy and Kid Flash he warns the Titans to stay out of anything to do with Superman. He also had romantic feelings for Starfire at one point.
In the comic book continuation of the television series Smallville, Dick is Barbara Gordon's boyfriend, who becomes her successor as Nightwing and Batman's replacement partner after she becomes a Blue Lantern. Unlike previous depictions, Dick was never Bruce Wayne’s ward and protégé as Robin, and has made reference that he was a former circus acrobat-turned-police officer prior of becoming Batman's new partner.
In other media
Serials and live action television
Douglas Croft portrayed Robin in the 1943 serial Batman, which dealt with Batman and Robin's struggle against Dr. Daka, a Japanese scientist who invented a device that turns people into pseudo-zombies.
Batman and Robin
Batman (TV series)
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 noted 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 reprised the role for the feature film produced in 1966 in conjunction with the show, as well as for the 1979 NBC television special Legends of the Superheroes.
On October 1, 2008, it was announced that the CW Network was preparing a new live-action pilot called The Graysons which would follow the life of a pre-Robin Dick Grayson. Smallville exec producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, as well as Supernatural exec producer McG and Peter Johnson, were behind The Graysons, which landed a put pilot commitment at the netlet. Souders and Peterson were set to serve as showrunners (along with Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer).
On November 6, 2008, Variety revealed that Warner Bros. executive Jeff Rubinov, who had initially supported the project, pulled the plug on the show. Rubinov stated that "the studio has opted not to go forward with the development of The Graysons at this time", stating that the concept did not fit with the aims of the current Batman franchise. Rubinov continued, "Warner Bros. Television is currently working on several replacement options for the CW."
Rob Gorrie appears as John Grayson in the Gotham TV series episode "The Blind Fortune Teller" as the main focus of the episode, in which centers on Haly's Circus, The Flying Graysons, and his wife Mary Lloyd planing to get married and have a son, presuming Dick. Showrunner Bruno Heller had teased a "Prenatal Robin" story involving Dick Grayson's parents.
A television pilot is being planned named Blackbirds (originally, Titans) in which Dick Grayson will be a central character. The action series centers on Dick Grayson, who emerges from the shadow of Batman to become Nightwing, the leader of a fearless band of new super heroes including Starfire, Raven and many others. Filming will begin this spring.[when?]
The special edition version of the Batman DVD features an animated storyboard sequence of when his parents are killed by the Joker. Jason Hillhouse provides the voice of Dick Grayson, while Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill reprise their respective roles (from the DC animated universe) as Batman and the Joker in the storyboard sequence. Director Tim Burton planned to cast actor Ricky Addison Reed as Robin, but later felt it was unimportant to the story and cut Robin out altogether. 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. In an earlier script of Batman Returns, he was portrayed as a technologically savvy street kid who would help Batman following his narrow escape when the Penguin tried to kill him. He would later play a crucial role in Batman's final confrontation with the Penguin. In that script, he was simply called Robin and has no known real name. He was considered for the role in 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.
Joel Schumacher films
Dick Grayson/Robin was played by actor Chris O'Donnell in Batman Forever (1995). His costume in the film uses the familiar red and green coloring of the traditional Robin costume, except that it is molded rubber instead of cloth. Dick Grayson, before settling on "Robin", first contemplated using the codename "Nightwing" (along with "Batboy"). In the film series, Richard "Dick" Grayson is in his mid-to-late teens (as opposed to being in his preteens/early teens), and is the younger of two brothers (instead of being an only child), and the "Flying Graysons" act being a family quartet (instead of a trio). Grayson's parents and older brother died after helping to foil Two-Face's plan to hold the Social Elite of Gotham City at a Circus charity fundraiser with a bomb. Their deaths were caused when Two-Face shot out the supports for the scaffolding they were hanging on to and they fell to their deaths, the safety net having been removed during their earlier performance. Following their deaths, Dick is taken in as a ward of Bruce Wayne's, although Dick is more interested in taking on and out Two-Face by himself. Suspicious of Bruce's and Alfred Pennyworth's behavior around a certain door they keep locked, Dick ends up finding his way into the Batcave. Having discovered Wayne's identity as Batman, Dick insists on becoming a crime-fighter himself, taking on the name "Robin" (an old nickname courtesy of his late father and older brother), and partnering-up with Batman bring down Two-Face and avenge his family.
In the 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, Chris O'Donnell reprised the role of Robin. He wears a new costume, similar to the Nightwing costume, except that it is molded rubber, has a cape and a utility belt; the emblazoned logo is a deep red instead of blue. Also, for the finale where he, Batman, and Batgirl unveil new costumes, the logo is changed to a silver color. In the film, the internal dynamics of the team of Batman and Robin are chafing; because of Robin's impulsiveness and overconfidence, Batman feels that he cannot trust Robin; and Batman's inflexabile "my way or the highway" attitude has Robin frustrated with playing second fiddle to Batman's leadership.
Dick Grayson appeared in many of the early animated series related to DC Comics superheroes. These shows included:
- The Batman/Superman Hour by Filmation which ran from 1968 through 1969.
- The Adventures of Batman which repackaged portions of Filmation's previous series for rebroadcast in 1969.
- Various Super Friends shows produced by Hanna–Barbera from 1975 through 1985. These included:
- The New Adventures of Batman produced by Filmation in 1977.
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 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.
DC animated universe
Dick Grayson appeared in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, voiced by Loren Lester (Robin on Batman: The Animated Series and Nightwing on The New Batman Adventures) and Joey Simmrin (the character's ten-year-old version in the Batman: The Animated Series Emmy Award winning two-part episode "Robin's Reckoning"). While much of the character's past remained the same, Dick's Batman: The Animated Series Robin costume was updated to a modern look with short sleeves and long pants like Tim Drake's original Robin outfit. While Grayson attended college at Gotham University, he dated Barbara Gordon but neither was aware of each other's secret identity despite having worked together. Dick eventually retired as Robin and left Gotham after coming to blows with Batman over the Dark Knight's controlling and ruthless behavior. Years later in The New Batman Adventures, the character returned as Nightwing. While he would work with Batman and Batgirl, he never fully reconciled with the two. Nightwing does, however, establish a strong working bond with his Robin successor Tim Drake.
He is voice by Scott Menville. Elements of the character were part of the exclusive version of Robin that appeared as a central character in the Teen Titans animated series: the romantic interests with Starfire, Nightwing is the future identity in "How Long Is Forever?", a Bat-Mite-like other-dimensional character who idolizes Robin is named "nosyarG kciD" (Dick Grayson spelled backwards) in "Fractured", Raven temporarily sees a flashback in Robin's mind of a circus as two people on a trapeze falling in "Haunted", Robin's first chronological appearance in "Go" coincides with Dick Grayson's dramatic breakup with Batman. In the episode "Apprentice" Slade states he might be like a father to him. To which Robin replies I already have a father, then bats are shown.
Dick Grayson appears as central part in the cast of The Batman, with Robin voiced by Evan Sabara and Nightwing voiced by Jerry O'Connell. Introduced in the fourth season, this version is an energetic, gifted acrobat and one of the main attractions of Hayley's Circus, along with his parents (voiced by Kevin Conroy and Grey DeLisle) as part of the amazing Flying Grayson's act until Tony Zucco tried to threaten the Graysons into taking a 'protection' policy, resulting into an altercation where one of Zucco's brothers was easily defeated by Batman. When Zucco altered the Flying Graysons' trapeze act's rigs, Dick's parents fall to their deaths right in front of their son during a performance. With no surviving family members, Dick was taken in by Bruce Wayne. After the two worked together to capture Zucco, Dick chose the 'Robin' codename. Tensions arose when Robin and Batgirl met. While Batgirl has been Batman's wanna-be partner for some time, Robin appeared as Batman's new 'official partner' rather easily (presumably due to Bruce seeing shades of himself in Dick). However, this changed when Batman took the liberty of revealing their respective identities and fully accepted each other into the fold. Afterward, Robin and Batgirl developed a more friendly, almost sibling-like working relationship, but Batgirl has romantic feelings for Robin. As depicted in the future, he has taken up the Nightwing mantle. However, Batman and Oracle still persist in calling Nightwing by his original codename. Batman did this more out of habit while Oracle did it as a flirting sort of way to annoy Nightwing.
His Robin costume has elements of Tim Drake's two Robin costumes (although an early promotional photo showed a suit with a bit more originality) and is also influenced heavily by his Teen Titans counterpart. He is far less serious and genuinely enjoys his work as a vigilante, constantly spouting one-liners and generally acting as a typical teenager and his Golden Age comic counterpart. His Nightwing costume seen in the future resemble the modern costume while his Nightwing costume seen as Robin's online character for an online Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game resembles the original costume.
Justice League: The New Frontier
Dick Grayson appeared as Robin in the direct-to-video animated movie Justice League: The New Frontier, voiced by Shane Haboucha. This was Robin's first appearance in his original costume since the end of The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. 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. Robin thought that Superman was cool and showed great skills in acrobatics in the Batcave.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Dick Grayson appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, with Robin's present-day version and Nightwing voiced by Crawford Wilson, Robin's younger version voiced by Jeremy Shada, and Batman voiced by Lex Lang. Robin's present-day costume is similar to the one Earth-Two Robin wore near the end of his career, Robin's younger costume is the classic Robin costume, and Nightwing's costume is a nod to the original 1984 version. In the episode "The Color of Revenge!", Robin and Batman team up when Crazy Quilt escapes prison to get revenge on Robin. This teamup takes place sometime after Robin has moved to Blüdhaven and become an independent hero. The episode also has a flashback to his early days and an earlier encounter between the Dynamic Duo and Crazy Quilt. In the episode "Sidekicks Assemble!", Robin appears again along with Speedy and Aqualad facing off against Ra's al Ghul. At the end of the fight, Dick decides to go on his own as Nightwing. Nightwing is briefly seen in the first part of the episode "Starro Lives", where he is one of the many super-heroes whose mind is taken over by the villain Starro. Eventually, Nightwing is returned to normal like the others. In the teaser for "Emperor Joker!", Robin is seen in a flashback to an earlier battle between the Dynamic Duo and Firefly. In the episode "The Criss Cross Conspiracy!", he appears as Robin during a flashback and as Nightwing during the present time. During Batwoman's thrill seeking crime fighting that occasionally endangering innocent bystanders, Robin helps Batman. Some years later, Nightwing and Batgirl help Batman (in Batwoman's body) reverse Batwoman's damage. In the episode "The Knights of Tomorrow!", he becomes Batman after Bruce Wayne retires and marries Selina Kyle. After Bruce and Selina are killed by Joker Jr., Batman partners with Damian Wayne as the new Robin. In the opening for "Triumvirate of Terror", Robin was seen in the Justice League International playing baseball against the Legion of Doom.
Batman: Under the Red Hood
The Dick Grayson version of Nightwing appears in the feature film Batman: Under the Red Hood, voiced by Neil Patrick Harris. This version is already Nightwing but is alluded as the first version of Robin before Jason Todd. At the story's start, Nightwing takes down two minor thugs, one of whom know that Nightwing was once Robin. He assists in helping Batman to pursue the Red Hood but is injured in an explosion set by Red Hood himself. While being bandaged by Alfred Pennyworth in the Batcave, he insists on helping Batman but due to his injury is unable to and is told to go home but not before he is thanked by the Dark Knight for his help, which surprises him. He was also seen in the film's epilogue hearing reports of the Joker's arrest.
Dick Grayson appears in the animated series Young Justice, voiced by actor Jesse McCartney. The character is introduced as Robin in Season 1, and transitions into Nightwing in Young Justice: Invasion.
When the series begins in 2010, Grayson is 13 years old (the youngest on the Team but the most experienced). Grayson is forbidden by Batman to reveal his secret identity to the Team, wearing sunglasses when out of costume (although it appears later on that the original Team members became aware of his identity). He is known for making jokes during battles and is good with computers. His origin is the same as in the comics, as seen in the episode "Performance". After a simulated battle, he confesses to Black Canary that he can't dedicate himself completely to 'the mission', realizing that he doesn't want to become Batman anymore. Grayson is shown to be a strong detective, able to work under pressure, and gains leadership experience throughout the first season. He develops a crush on Zatanna, the culmination of which is a kiss on New Year's Eve.
During the five-year gap between seasons, Dick transitioned to becoming Nightwing in Young Justice: Invasion, allowing Jason Todd and Tim Drake to be successors as Robin. He is shown to be a member of the Bat-Family, implying a non-confrontational transition to Nightwing. The exact circumstances as to how and why he became Nightwing are never clearly stated. Dick chooses to remain with the Team, rejecting an invitation to join the Justice League. During Invasion, Nightwing acts as team leader and deploys squads on missions (similarly to Batman in Season 1). At the end of the season, he chooses to take a leave of absence from the team (returning leadership to Aqualad), citing that everything happening is 'business as usual'.
His Robin costume is similar to his "New 52" costume but designed more practically for urban combat. His Nightwing costume is similar is his third costume from the comics, enhanced with protective gear. This television series is not a direct translation of the Young Justice comic book series of the same name or any Teen Titans storylines, incorporating elements from multiple sources to tell a unique story allowing participation from multiple Robins.
Teen Titans Go!
The character appears in Teen Titans Go!, voiced by Scott Menville. Nightwing appears in the episodes "Staring at the Future" and "Sandwich Thief" as an alternate older version while the Silver Age Robin appears in the episode "The Best Robin" as a member of Team Robin.
Son of Batman
Batman vs. Robin
Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2013)|
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin appears in the Batman: The Animated Series video game.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin appears in The Adventures of Batman & Robin video game. He is a playable character in the game's Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and Sega Game Gear versions.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin appears in the Batman Forever video game.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin appears in Batman Forever: The Arcade Game.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin appears in the Batman & Robin video game.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing appears in Batman: Chaos in Gotham.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing appears in Batman: Gotham City Racer.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing appears in Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, voiced again by Loren Lester.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin appears as a playable character in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame, again voiced by Crawford Wilson.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing appears as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, voiced by Troy Baker.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing appears as a playable character in Young Justice: Legacy, again voiced by Jesse McCartney.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing appears as a non-playable character and as a playable Legends character in DC Universe Online.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing is playable in the challenge maps of Batman: Arkham City, voiced by Quinton Flynn. His Batman: The Animated Series Robin design is an alternate costume for Tim Drake.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Robin is playable in the multiplayer component of the Batman: Arkham Origins, voiced by Josh Keaton.
- The Dick Grayson incarnation of Nightwing returns as a playable character in Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Scott Porter. Unlike the previous installments, he does make a brief appearance in the story, specifically in the sidequest that focuses on taking down the Penguin. He gets captured by Penguin's thugs but Batman rescues him as they defeat Penguin's criminal activities together. If the player completes the ending before the sidequest, Batman tells Dick that he's proud and makes Dick promise to keep Blüdhaven safe. He also appears as a boss in the Harley Quinn DLC map, where he is defeated by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. He is also hinted to be the new Batman that appears in the true ending after the Nightfall protocol.
Lego Batman series
- The character appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame, voiced by James Arnold Taylor. Nightwing is a separate character while Dick Grayson is available in the Nintendo DS version.
- The Dick Grayson version of Nightwing appears as a playable character via downloadable content in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, voiced by Cam Clarke. Nightwing is in his modern look.
- The character appears as separate characters in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, with Robin voiced by Charlie Schlatter and Nightwing voiced by Josh Keaton. Nightwing is in his New 52 look, Robin resembles the 1960s Batman version, and Dick Grayson appears as Agent 37.
In 2015, a scholarly work, "Dick Grayson, Boy Wonder", was published that focused exclusively on Dick Grayson.
- List of Batman supporting characters
- List of DC Comics characters
- List of superheroes and villains without superpowers
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- Nightwing at DC Comics
- Nightwing at BatmanYTB
- Index of Dick Grayson (Earth-1) appearances at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Index of Dick Grayson (Earth-2) appearances at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- Dick Grayson on DC Database, an external wiki, a DC Comics wiki