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Nightwing is the solo-code name of Richard "Dick" Grayson, the first Robin. After years of training under Batman the Then-a-Teen Boy Wonder decided that, as the image quote says, "A man's got to go his own way". Thanks to the nature of Comic Book Continuity, this was either after a long over-due fight with Batman where Bruce fired Dick, Dick quit, or they happily shook hands, acknowledged the need to grow up, and shared some Alfred-made Bat-cocoa. In any case, Richard came upon the name Nightwing after hearing the tale of a Batman & Robin-esque pair of Kryptonian vigilantes from Superman named Nightwing & Flamebird. Taking the name, he made his debut in Teen Titans during the Judas Contract story-line. The Nightwing persona debuted in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July, 1984)
Eventually he was given his own self titled series. A 4-issue Nightwing mini-series turned up in 1995 and was well-received. An ongoing naturally followed. Lasting for 153 issues, from October, 1996 to April, 2009. Nightwing was a series starring Dick Grayson, the original Robin, graduated to become protector of Gotham's neighboring city of Bludhaven. The series was initially written by Chuck Dixon. Quite well received, it started creating a Rogues Gallery for Dick Grayson and helped distinguish Nightwing's solo methodology from Batman's own. The series was eventually taken over by Devin Grayson.
Controversies abounded in the title and it was eventually canceled as a preparation for Infinite Crisis and rebooted. The city of Bludhaven was destroyed by the Secret Society of Supervillains and Dick Grayson was relocated to New York City. The new series was even more poorly received and eventually canceled. Dick Grayson has recently graduated to become the new Batman in Battle for the Cowl.
With the company wide New 52 relaunch in 2011, Dick has returned to being Nightwing and has his own solo title.
Not to be confused with the killer bat flick of the same name.
Nightwing has appeared in several media, usually Batman related:
- Batman the Animated Series (In the original series, Dick Grayson appears as Robin, and becomes Nightwing in The New Batman Adventures)
- Teen Titans (as a Bad Future version of Robin)
- Batman the Brave And The Bold (also becomes Nightwing after being Robin. Appears in his original "disco suit" in this series)
- Batman: Under the Red Hood (where he is used to juxtapose the main antagonist, the Red Hood, another former Robin)
- Batman: Arkham City (where he is the protagonist of the DLC pack)
- Young Justice (In Season 2 after a timeskip.)
The character exhibits the following tropes.
- Accidental Pornomancer: Sometimes. This one is a case of Depending on the Writer, though. Dick is a Chivalrous Pervert, but sometimes, he isn't actively trying to seduce a woman, but does so anyway. It's usually left for interpretation whether his confusion is sincere or if he's Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Awesome McCoolname: Nightwing. Just say it.
- Badass Normal: Dick Grayson himself.
- Big Brother Mentor: Towards Tim and Damien. Tends to be more of an Aloof Big Brother with Jason.
- The Cape: Very much Nightwing, though Dick absolutely hates wearing an actual cape.
- Chick Magnet: Starfire, Barbara Gordon, Cheyenne Freemont, Tarantula and many others are drawn to Nightwing.
- Subverted by his police partner. She invites Dick over to her house after a few days of knowing him. She's married with two kids. She just wanted him to meet her family.
- Crazy Prepared: Bruce must have rubbed off on him.
- Darker and Edgier: His portrayal in the New 52 shows him as somewhat more violent than before, and his costume is now red and black instead of black and blue.
- Dual-Wielding: Escrima sticks are Nightwing's Weapon of Choice.
- Estrogen Brigade Bait: Both in-verse and in the fandom.
- Evil Costume Switch: Not evil actually, but in the New 52, his black and blue changed to black and red, reflecting his more anti-heroic nature.
- Which, ironically, looks kind of like the Robin costume from Batman and Robin without the cape.
- Female Gaze: Dick is probably the most frequently subjected to this of any character in the DCU. Borders on Everybody Remembers the Stripper when he made an appearance in Secret Six.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Nightwing has led the Teen Titans, the Outsiders, and the Justice League. If he has a problem that's too big for him, he can call help from anywhere from Metropolis to Oa to Heaven or Hell.
- The Heart: Arguably of the entire DC universe.
- Informed Ability: Several official profiles state that Nightwing's martial arts specialty is Aikido. Apparently no one told the writers, because it's very rare for his fighting style to even remotely resemble it.
- The Leader: He has proven to be the most effective leader in the whole DCU, having led the Teen Titans and the Outsiders. Even Superman has stepped aside to let him lead the Justice League.
- Magnetic Hero: To the point where some believe his superpower is charisma. When he sowed up to a fight with multiple generations of Teen Titans, Superboy noted how everyone instantly followed his lead. He also once convinced every hero on Earth, without question, to jump into a parallel dimension (saving them all). Batman even said it's one of the reasons he's proudest of Dick—unlike Bats himself, he can gain and keep allies. So essentially, he's "Batman with social skills"
- Morality Pet: Half of the DCU sees him as this. During a team-up, Catwoman (a villain/anti-hero) remarked that because he's been in the superhero biz since he was a child, most of the community sees him as a little bro/surrogate son. If you ever do anything to hurt Nightwing, you will call down the wrath of the entire DC Universe.
- My Greatest Failure: Early on, it was Dick's failure during his Robin days to save an innocent from being killed by Two-Face. Later replaced by him "letting" Tarantula kill Blockbuster.
- The Power of Friendship: Arguably Nightwing's greatest weapon. Sure, natural acrobatics and Batman-trained skills in combat and sleuthing are nothing to sneeze at, but no other hero in the DC Universe boasts the sheer number of allies Nightwing has.
- Hell, the guy has had his villains team up with him against bigger or badder foes. Why? Basically because he asked nicely.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Though black and blue are his most-used colors, Nightwing's costume occasionally features a lot of Red and Black, usually used in his grittier versions (like the current one).
- Sidekick Graduations Stick.
- Nightwing eventually becomes Batman and had remained so until September 2011.
- Taking Up the Mantle: Ol' Dick is in the trope picture for this one. He first took up the Batman mantle temporarily once when Bruce was recovering from the Knightfall arc, and he did it again after Bruce "died" in Final Crisis and fighting Jason Todd for the title in Battle for the Cowl.
- Took a Level In Badass: Does this really need explaining, old chum?
- Working with the Ex: Dick Grayson and either Starfire or Barbara Gordon.
This series contains examples of:
- Big Bad: Blockbuster.
- Bound and Gagged: Sylph pretty much had this as a superpower.
- Beware the Nice Ones: During the infamous "Born Again" Arc Nightwing is so enraged he Curb Stomps all of Blockbuster's hired help when most of them had given him a hard time before.
- It was even worse in One Year Later when they tried to make Nightwing into DC's Spider-Man (!?).
- Doomed Hometown: Bludhaven was destroyed in Infinite Crisis.
- Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): In Devin Grayson's run, who then went on to claim that it wasn't rape, just "nonconsensual" sex. Right.
- A few years earlier Nightwing slept with an obscure Titans character by the name of Mirage, who had disguised herself as Starfire. When she revealed the ruse not long after, the only real reaction it got was a shocked look, without a whole lot of follow-up, in fact it's mostly been played for laughs since. Rape is Irrelevant When It's Female On Male? Then again, it was a pretty bad time for comics in general, and the Titans in specific.
- Expy: At the risk of being disingenuous, the entire Bludhaven period of Nightwing's career is just Dick Grayson as Batman-Lite.
- He was actually called Junior Batman at least three times during Dixon's run. And was called Batman-Lite in The New Batman Adventures.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Blockbuster loved his. And he makes Nightwing pay dearly for it when he indirectly causes her to have a fatal heart attack.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Tarantula killing Blockbuster came off like this.
- Granted, a lot of fans hated her for very different reasons.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Subverted by Nite-Wing. There are few idiots bigger than him in comic books but he's still a Complete Monster.
- Oh Crap: A number of them. Including the time Dick came home to find Deathstroke waiting for him.
- Outlaw Couple: Bride and Groom
- Pet the Dog: Tarantula becomes leader of a street gang during War Games, not to stake out a territory for herself, but to keep it's young members alive.
- Poke the Poodle: Dick Grayson during the Renegade arc. Deathstroke the Terminator, of all people, finds it embarrassing.
- Servile Snarker: Alfred makes a few appearences. The trope image is from a Nightwing issue in in fact.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tarantula really wants to help Bludhaven, and is perfectly fine executing crime bosses to do it.
- What the Hell, Hero?: The entire Renegade arc is meant to be this.
- Wretched Hive: Bludhaven is (or was) probably the worst city in the DCU after Hub City.