Richard John "Dick" Grayson was once Batman's sidekick Robin, before becoming Nightwing and even taking on the mantle of Batman when Bruce was thought to be dead, but once again became Nightwing after the events of Flashpoint. After Forever Evil, Dick's identity was revealed to the world and Bruce convinced him to give up being Nightwing to become an agent of Spyral.
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The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the "Flying Graysons," Dick watched a mafia boss kill his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them (who name was later revealed to be Tony Zucco. Bruce Wayne, secretly the vigilante Batman, took him in as his legal ward after witnessing their deaths, and eventually as his sidekick, Robin.
Throughout Dick's adolescence, Batman and Robin were inseparable. However, as Dick grew older and spent more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, he decided to take on the identity of Nightwing to assert his independence (other teenaged heroes would later fill in the role of Robin). Following the destruction of Blüdhaven, at the command of Deathstroke the Terminator, Nightwing relocated to New York.After the events of Batman R.I.P., Dick has moved operations to Gotham to protect the city after Bruce's apparent death in Final Crisis. Despite Bruce's will wanting him not to succeed Wayne permanently as Batman, the chaos in Gotham following Batman's disappearance prompts Dick to take up his mentor's identity once again and has returned to operating as the new Batman. His Nightwing mantel would be passed on to Chris Kent.
The name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume were inspired by the legendary hero Robin Hood, as well as the famous red-breasted Robin, which continued the "flying animal" motif of Batman.
Young Dick Grayson was born on the first day of spring. His mother nicknamed him "little Robin." Little did she know how prophetic this term of endearment would be in her son's life. Also, when he was up on the trapeze, he reminded his mother of a robin.
Dick Grayson was a twelve-year-old half-Romany (gypsy) circus acrobat, the youngest of a family act called The Flying Graysons of The Haly Circus. Dick joined the act at a very young age, having been trained in acrobatics from birth. Before one appearance in Gotham City, in which The Flying Graysons were the main attraction, they were asked to pose for a photo opportunity with Jack Drake and his family, including their young son, Tim Drake. From that time on Tim's one and only hero in the world was Dick.
While on tour in Gotham City, he overheard "Boss" Tony Zucco, a well-known and feared crime lord, threaten the performers unless the circus's owner paid protection money. The owner refused, and that night Dick watched in horror as his parents' high wire snapped, sending his parents hurtling to their deaths, all while many of Gotham's elite watched on. Young Dick felt responsible, because he failed to warn his parents in time.
Shortly after the tragedy, shown in Batman: Year Three and Year One Annual: Robin, Dick was placed in an uncaring juvenile services system, on the grounds that social services was full. He got beaten up by a number of the inmates, and he was later sent to a Catholic orphanage. Bruce Wayne rescued Dick by adopting him as his ward, because the boy did not want to replace his deceased father with the billionaire. Frustrated by the lack of attention from his new guardian and the mystery still surrounding his parents' death, Dick snuck out of Wayne Manor one evening to solve the crime on his own - only to stumble into Batman, who was also investigating the murder. After waking up in the Batcave, he is shocked to learn that Bruce is really the Batman. They succeed in revealing Zucco's complicity, but he supposedly dies of a heart attack before his arrest. Seeing a reflection of himself in Dick; that he could temper compassion with a thirst for justice, Batman made the young orphan the offer of a lifetime; the chance to become his crime-fighting partner. Dick chose the name Robin, after the nickname his mother gave him, and his training began.
Robin's origin had a typological connection to Batman's in that both witnessed the crime-related deaths of their parents, creating an urge to battle the criminal underworld. This provided a bond and understanding between the two.
Bruce taught Dick fighting techniques and detective skills for a grueling 6 months. Finally, Dick had to pass a final test - "the Gauntlet". Dick had to elude the Dark Knight on the streets of Gotham for one night - from sundown to sunrise - without any outside help. Dick succeeded, simultaneously bringing Gotham gangster Joe Minette to justice. Dick took to the streets as Batman's full-fledged partner in crime-fighting: Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Dick enjoyed his first year as Robin, regarding the job as an adventure until a confrontation with Two-Face served as a rude awakening for the young hero. Two-Face had captured the new District Attorney and Batman, and had each suspended from a hangman's noose in a 'double gallows death-trap'. Robin, in trying to save the D.A., used a batarang to cut the rope of the noose. It worked, but Robin didn't account for Dent's obsession with the number two—it was a two-fold trap, and the floor gave way, dropping the D.A. into the water, where the man drowned. Robin was unable to prevent his death, and received a beating at the hands of Two-Face. A beating witnessed by Batman, still tied up on the platform trying to free himself. Eventually Batman was able to free himself and apprehend Two-Face. This event, however, scarred the young crime-fighter, and haunts him even today. Rather than see Dick be further endangered, Batman "fires" his partner, sidelining the Boy Wonder for a time.
Dick continued his adventures with Batman, and began attending college at Hudson University. Robin started to take on solo missions as well, and found himself to be a capable crime-fighter in his own right. Shortly afterward, the mysterious Raven summoned Dick Grayson, and several other young heroes, to form a new group of Titans. Robin again resumed leadership, and moved out of the shadow of the Batman.