Dick Grayson

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Dick Grayson
Dick Grayson as Robin in his first appearance, with Batman.
Cover of Detective Comics #38 (April 1940). Art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance

As Robin: Detective Comics #38
(April 1940)

As Nightwing: Tales of the Teen Titans #44
(July, 1984)
Created by
In-story information
Full name Richard John Grayson
Team affiliations
Partnerships
Notable aliases Robin, Nightwing, Batman, The Target, Renegade,[1] Robbie Malone, Freddy Loyd, Chester Honeywell, Freddie Dinardo[2]
Abilities

Richard John "Dick" Grayson is a fictional character, a 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 in April 1940. 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. Bruce Wayne/Batman takes him in as his legal ward, retconned in some cases as his adopted son, and eventually as his crime-fighting partner Robin. He is written out by many authors as the first son of Batman as well as his prodigal son.[3] Many, including OMAC, state that he is the one that Batman cares about the most.[4] Throughout Dick's adolescence, Batman and Robin are inseparable. However, as Dick grows older and spends more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, he retires as Robin and takes on his own superhero identity Nightwing to assert his independence (others 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 leads the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. Following "Batman: Knightfall", Dick Grayson declines taking up the mantle of Batman while Bruce was recovering from a broken back as Dick feels Nightwing is a hero in his own right and not an understudy of Batman. Following the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, he temporarily replaces 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, Nightwing relocates to New York.

After the events of "Batman R.I.P." and Final Crisis, Dick moves operations to Gotham to protect the city following Bruce's apparent death. Despite Bruce's will instructing him not to, the chaos in Gotham following Bruce's disappearance prompts Dick to take up his mentor's identity once again as Batman. With Bruce's return, Dick acted as Batman alongside his mentor for a time, before again returning to his previous identity as Nightwing.

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. In the 1995 film Batman Forever and its 1997 sequel Batman & Robin, he was played by Chris O'Donnell. Loren Lester voiced the character as Robin in Batman: The Animated Series and later the first adaptation to portray 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".[5]

Publication history[edit]

Robin, The Boy Wonder[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 aerialist couple.

In his first appearance, Dick 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.

Teen Titans[edit]

Dick Grayson in his original Nightwing costume. From Tales of the Teen Titans #59 (November 1985).

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.

Nightwing[edit]

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.

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.

Miniseries and ongoing[edit]

Dick Grayson in his Nightwing costume from Nightwing #41 (March 2000).
Pencils by Greg Land.

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 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.

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, Grayson suffers a near-fatal injury from Alexander Luthor, Jr. when he shields Wayne from Luthor's attack.[6] Originally, the editors at DC intended to have Grayson killed in Infinite Crisis as Newsarama revealed from the DC Panel at WizardWorld Philadelphia:[7]

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.

Dick Grayson as Batman. Promotional art of Batman & Robin #1 (June 2009). Art by Frank Quitely

Batman: Reborn[edit]

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, Bruce Wayne's biological son, as the new Robin.[8]

The new team of Batman and Robin is the focus of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's Batman and Robin series.[9] 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.

During this period, Dick Grayson as Batman also features as a member of the Justice League in a short-lived run by writer James Robinson.

The New 52 (2011–present)[edit]

Dick 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.[10] 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.[11] In his civilian identity he is attacked by an assassin named Saiko who insists that he's the fiercest killer in Gotham.[12] 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.[13] Investigating leads, he tracks down a super-villain named Feedback who used to be a childhood friend but doesn't learn anything.[14] Batgirl visits and they team up to take down a shape-shifter named Spinebender. Following Haly's clues, he finds a mysterious Book of Names in the circus that holds his on the last page.[15] He's forced to fight a rhyming demon named Acheron when the clown Jimmy Clark is attacked by an ex-fiancee using black magic.[16] Tracking down more leads, he fights a super-villain known as Shox for information. 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.[17] 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.[18]

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 the Joker felt like Jimmy was a knockoff of him. Nightwing later discovers the 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 the Joker left a message on Raya's abdomen that he was targeting Haly's Circus next.[19] However upon arriving there, the 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 the Joker to capture him.[20] 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 the 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 and after he used excessive force to bring down some criminals that tried to plunder valuables from the remains of the circus, Damian Wayne, who had been monitoring him, is able to talk some sense into Nightwing that helped him recover.[21]

Nightwing is later deeply affected by the death of Damian Wayne 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, the daughter of Tony Zucco, the crime boss who murdered Dick's parents, reveals to Dick an e-mail that indicates that 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 Chicago PD, which, after a short chase, accidentally destroys the newly rebuilt Chicago subway. Meanwhile, a criminal hacker called the Prankster tortures, maims and kills criminal conmen 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 take down 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 and viciously beats him for killing his son. Luthor then tells him its not too late to save him, in Forever Evil #6. The Nightwing title concluded in April 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 organisation where the former Batwoman Kathy Kane works.[22]

Skills, abilities, and resources[edit]

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 dozens of 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).[23]

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.[23][24]

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 , along with Selina Kyle (Catwoman).[23] 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.[25]

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.

Costumes[edit]

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 the poulaines of crakows, 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. 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,[26][27] 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. With his return to Nightwing, Dick will wear a similar suit, albeit with the blue "wing" being red now.

Grayson's Batsuit featured a lighter cape to accommodate his more acrobatic fighting style[26] and a utility belt with a bat-shaped buckle.[28] He also developed "para-capes" for his and Damian's costumes which gave them the ability to glide.[28] Grayson is noticeably shorter than Bruce Wayne.[27]

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 forward (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.

Other versions[edit]

Further information: Alternate versions of Robin

Robin (Earth-Two)[edit]

Further information: Robin (Earth-Two)

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.

JLA: The Nail and JLA: Another Nail[edit]

In the Elseworlds mini-series JLA: The Nail, Dick (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)[edit]

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, who 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.[29] Though Dick gives an alibi, Hush later incapacitates Terry and removes his bandages to reveal the face of Dick with both eyes intact.[30] 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.[31] 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.

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.

Flashpoint[edit]

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.[32] 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. Deadman tells him to leave his father but Dick refuses. Later, Dick's dying father makes Deadman promise to protect his son.[33] 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.[34]

In other media[edit]

Serials and live action television[edit]

Batman[edit]

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[edit]

In the 1949 successor Batman and Robin, actor Johnny Duncan took over the role. The plot dealt with the Dynamic Duo facing off against the Wizard, a mysterious hooded villain.

Batman (TV series)[edit]

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.

The Graysons[edit]

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.[35] 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).[36]

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."

Titans[edit]

Dick will be appearing as Nightwing in the TV series Titans.[37]

Film[edit]

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,[38] 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[edit]

Dick Grayson/Robin was played by actor Chris O'Donnell in 1995's Batman Forever. His costume in the film uses the familiar red and green coloring of the traditional Robin costume, except that it is molded rubber. 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 instead of being an only child, Grayson is the younger of two brothers, the "Flying Graysons" act being a family quartet instead of a trio.

Dick 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 by Two-Face when he 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 Wayne's and Alfred Pennyworth's behavior around a certain door they keep locked, Dick ends up finding his way into the Batcave. Having discovered Bruce Wayne's identity as the 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 sequel Batman & Robin, released in 1997, O'Donnell reprised the role of Robin. He wears a new costume, similar to that of Nightwing, 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.

Animation[edit]

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 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[edit]

Main article: DC animated universe

Dick Grayson appeared as Robin on Batman: The Animated Series and Nightwing on The New Batman Adventures voiced by Loren Lester. The ten-year old version of the character was voiced by Joey Simmrin in the Emmy Award winning two-part episode "Robin's Reckoning", which provided Dick's origin story. While much of Dick's past remained the same, his costume was updated to a modern look with short sleeves and long pants, similar to Tim Drake's original Robin outfit. While Dick attended college at Gotham University, he dated Barbara Gordon, though neither was aware of each other's secret identity, despite having worked together.[39][40] Dick retired and left Gotham after coming to blows with Batman over the Dark Knight's controlling and ruthless behavior. 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. 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 successor Tim Drake. Barbara Gordon also showed a desire to renew their relationship.

Batman Beyond, a spin-off series of Batman: The Animated Series set in the future of the DC animated universe, implies Dick is still alive[41] and occasionally references him. Dick's departure from Gotham is further described: Dick had wished to continue his relationship with Barbara, but was hurt when she chose to stay with Bruce instead.[42] Terry McGinnis finds Dick's old formal wear in Wayne Manor, and wears it occasionally thereafter.[41][43]

Dick Grayson had two brief non-speaking cameos on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. In the former series, an alternate version of the character is seen sharing an intimate moment with Barbara Gordon and both are members of Bruce Wayne's resistance against Vandal Savage's regime.[44] In ther latter series, he appears as Nightwing watching Huntress follow Black Canary into Blüdhaven during the events of "Grudge Match".

Teen Titans[edit]

Robin is voiced by Scott Menville in the Teen Titans animated series, in which he leads a team including Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire. Robin is portrayed as a generally respected leader, but obsessed with winning ("Divide and Conquer", "Masks", "Winner Take All") and filled with self-doubt when he fails ("Fractured", "The Quest"). As in the comics, Robin and Starfire are romantic interests, and she kisses him when they first meet in order to learn English ("Go"). He demonstrates jealously when she shows interest in others ("Betrothed"), but is also embarrassed by his own feelings for her ("Stranded"). Robin goes out of his way to protect Starfire during battles, such as by always catching her when she falls. At the end of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, they finally become a couple.

Though the 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 Bat-Mite-like other-dimensional character who idolizes Robin (and who wears a version of Robin's costume) 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.

Robin 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 which he replied, "I already have a father", followed by a shot of several bats flying.

The Batman[edit]

At the start of the fourth season of The Batman has included the character of Dick Grayson in the cast. 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, sometimes showing flirtatious hints (in the episode "The Breakout" the two are alone together, and show each other how much they need each other as partners.) However, they both always agree on the fact that he treats them like kids more so than partners. There isn't nearly as much conflict between Bruce and Dick as there have been in almost all of the latest adaptations. The episode "Artifacts" depicted Batman's team in the future, with Dick Grayson as Nightwing instead of Robin. Nightwing returned in the episode "The Metal Face of Comedy" wearing his costume from his debut in the New Teen Titans where he is a character created by Dick for an online Mortal Kombat-esque fighting game.[45] Evan Sabara voiced the teenage Robin incarnation while Jerry O'Connell voiced the adult Nightwing version.

Justice League: The New Frontier[edit]

Dick Grayson appeared as Robin in the 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 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. Robin thought that Superman was cool and showed great skills in acrobatics in the Batcave.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

Dick appears as Robin in the episode "The Color of Revenge!"; he 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 (he protects this city in the comics when he became Nightwing). The episode also has a flashback to Dick's early days and an earlier encounter between the Dynamic Duo and Crazy Quilt. The present-day Dick is voiced by Crawford Wilson and wears the costume that the Earth-Two Robin wore near the end of his career, while the younger Dick is voiced by Jeremy Shada and wears the classic Robin costume. He appears again in "Sidekicks Assemble!" where he, along with Speedy and Aqualad, faces off against Ra's al Ghul. At the end of the fight, Dick decides to go on his own and becomes Nightwing. This Nightwing costume is a nod to the original 1984 version. Nightwing is briefly seen in the first part of the episode "Starro Lives", where he is one of the many super-heroes who's mind is taken over by the villain Starro. Eventually, Dick is returned to normal like the others. Dick later appears in "The Knights of Tomorrow!", where he becomes Batman after Bruce retires and marries Selina Kyle. After Bruce and Selina are killed by Joker Jr., Dick partners with their son Damian, who becomes the new Robin. Here, he is voiced by Lex Lang.

Batman: Under the Red Hood[edit]

Neil Patrick Harris voices Dick Grayson in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies feature Batman: Under the Red Hood. He has already become Nightwing in this film. At the story's start, he takes down two minor thugs, one of whom seems to know that Nightwing was once the first Robin. The Joker also recognizes this. 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 in the Batcave, he insists on helping Bruce but due to his injury is unable to and is told to go home but not before he is thanked by Bruce for his help, which surprises Dick, probably because Bruce never thanked him for anything before until now. He was also seen in the epilogue of the film hearing reports of the Joker's arrest.

Young Justice[edit]

Dick Grayson appears in the animated series Young Justice.[46] The character is voiced by actor Jesse McCartney.[47] Although he is introduced as Robin in Season 1, he 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). Dick is forbidden by Batman to reveal his secret identity to the Team, wearing sunglasses when out of costume (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. Dick 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, allowing Jason Todd and Tim Drake to become 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".

As Robin, his costume is similar to the Tim Drake costume from the DCAU, but designed more practically for urban combat. As Nightwing, his costume is similar is his third Nightwing 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.

Mad[edit]

Robin appears in Mad where he tries to appeal to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman about being called "Super Friends."

Teen Titans Go![edit]

Robin as he appears in Teen Titans Go!

Robin appears in Teen Titans Go! with Scott Menville reprising his role. Here, he is portrayed as the self-appointed, slightly power mad leader of the Teen Titans. He has a huge (and slightly obvious) crush on Starfire but is too nervous to admit it. He will often go to crazy lengths to impress her.

Son of Batman[edit]

Grayson appears as Nightwing in Son of Batman, voiced by Sean Maher.[48]

Video games[edit]

Arkham series[edit]

Further information: Batman: Arkham
  • Dick Grayson is playable in the challenge maps of Batman: Arkham City in his Nightwing persona. He has an alternate costume based on his Animated Series design.

Radio[edit]

James Goode provided the voice for Dick Grayson as Nightwing first in 1989's Batman: The Lazarus Syndrome and again in 1994's Batman: Knightfall.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nightwing #114 (January 2006)
  2. ^ Gotham Underground #2 (January 2008)
  3. ^ "Batman and Robin 25 Preview". Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Johns, Geoff. "Infinite Crisis". 
  5. ^ "Dick Grayson (Robin) - #11 Top Comic Book Heroes". IGN. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  6. ^ Infinite Crisis #7 (2006)
  7. ^ "WizardWorld Philadelphia: DCU panel". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. 
  8. ^ Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1-3
  9. ^ http://dccomics.com/dcu/comics/?cm=11864[clarification needed]
  10. ^ "What's Changed and What's the Same in Batman #1? [Spoilers". Comic Vine. 2011-09-21. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  11. ^ "KYLE HIGGINS on NIGHTWING's Ties to Babs & Slade". Newsarama.com. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-12-13. 
  12. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #1
  13. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #2
  14. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #3
  15. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #4
  16. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #5
  17. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #06
  18. ^ Nightwing (Volume 3) #7
  19. ^ Nightwing (Vol. 3) #15
  20. ^ Nightwing (vol. 3) #16
  21. ^ Nightwing (vol. 3) #17
  22. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/04/15/dc-reveals-dick-graysons-post-forever-evil-fate
  23. ^ a b c Nightwing: Secret Files and Origins (October 1999)
  24. ^ Robin: Year One #3 (December 2000)
  25. ^ Infinite Crisis #3 (February 2006)
  26. ^ a b Batman #688
  27. ^ a b Batman and Robin #2
  28. ^ a b Batman and Robin #1
  29. ^ Batman Beyond #3 (October 2010)
  30. ^ Batman Beyond #4 (November 2010)
  31. ^ Batman Beyond #5 (November 2010)
  32. ^ Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1 (June 2011)
  33. ^ Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2 (July 2011)
  34. ^ Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #3 (August 2011)
  35. ^ "Batman: CW Builds a Series Around pre-Robin Dick Grayson". Tvseriesfinale.com. 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  36. ^ Schneider, Michael (September 30, 2008). "CW's 'Graysons' takes flier on Robin". Variety. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  37. ^ DC Comics ‘Titans’ Drama From Akiva Goldsman Nears TNT Pilot Order
  38. ^ Rabin, Nathan. "Marlon Wayans". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 13, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Batgirl Returns"
  40. ^ Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero
  41. ^ a b Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
  42. ^ "A Touch of Curaré"
  43. ^ "Spellbound"
  44. ^ "The Savage Time"
  45. ^ The Batman "Artifacts" at the Internet Movie Database
  46. ^ Hyde, David (April 21, 2010). "Breaking News From Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment". DC Universe: The Source. 
  47. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (July 23, 2010). "Comic-Con 2010: Young Justice Goes Under Cover". UGO Networks. Retrieved July 23, 2010. 
  48. ^ Harvey, Jim (March 8, 2014). "World Premiere Of "Son Of Batman" Animated Feature Confirmed For WonderCon Anaheim 2014". World's Finest Online. Retrieved March 8, 2014. 
  49. ^ "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery". Game Informer (186): 92. October 2008.  Features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph.

External links[edit]