He was Bat's first sidekick and the leader of the Titans. He is the gray son (pun intended) of Gotham and one of the best spies in the DC universe, his name is Richard Grayson, the Nightwing.
Dick has always been one of the biggest fan favorite characters in DC, so it is only natural that he would appear in a lot of DC media. This includes animated TV shows like Batman: The Animated series, Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go!, Batman Animated, Batman the Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, Super Friends, and two cameos: one full cameo in Justice League Unlimited and one costume cameo on Batman Beyond.
He also appears in a number of animated movies, namely: Justice League: The New Frontier, Teen Titans: Troubles in Tokyo, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Son of Batman, Batman vs. Robin, Batman Unlimited: Animal Instincts, and Batman: Bad Blood. He also has some live-action parts, like the '40s Batman TV series played by two different actors, and he was also played by Chris O'Donnell in Batman Forever.
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But even with the gigantic amount of media exposure, there are still things that are unknown about the circus acrobat turned superhero, so let's dive right into the 11 facts you might not know about Nightwing:
11. Another Superhero Once Used The Name Nightwing
And that superhero was Superman! Yep, he adopted the name Nightwing while fighting crime in the Kryptonian city of Kandor with his side kick Flamebird a.k.a Jimmy Olsen. Batman & Robin teamed up with Superman & Flamebird back in 1964's World's Finest issue 143 — a moment Dick remembered when brainstorming for a new name.
10. The Joker Hates Him
Let's get this straight, the Joker hates every member of the Bat family, besides his darling, Batman.
However, there is a special amount of hate for Dick Grayson. He mentions it quite a few times in the comics, once stating that he hates him most of all. It is implied that the Joker hates Dick because Dick was the only Robin whom he considered both an outsider and the one he never managed to get to.
While every other Robin, especially Jason, was pretty messed up by the Joker at some point or another, and were quite traumatized by the clown, Dick always kept his bright and happy personality no matter what the Clown Prince of Crime threw at him.
9. He Is Richer Than You Think
After leaving Bruce's side, Dick lost his direct funding for his superhero hobbies.
Contemplating the fact that he didn't have the resources to continue his superhero career, it was revealed to him that he had a good sum of money to his name. His parents were unable to get life insurance with their line of work and created a trust fund to their son, in case something happened to them. Bruce had Lucius Fox handle the trust fund until Dick became an adult, and he more than delivered. Lucius (playing in the stock market) managed to create quite the fortune for Dick, enough to fully fund his superhero agenda and even buy Halley Circus's debt.
8. He's A Real Team Player
Everyone knows Dick Grayson as the second eldest and most important member of the Bat family. Everyone knows Dick Grayson as the leader of the Teen Titans. But these groups are not the only ones that he was affiliated with.
Dick was part of the Batman Incorporated, the Justice League, the Titans, the Outsiders, Bludhevan Police Department, Justice Leauge of Arkham, Secret Society of Super-villains, and Spyral.
He was also the leader of some of those teams.
7. He's A Good Teacher
While working as a spy for the super spy organization called Spyral, Dick Grayson had to work undercover as a dance teacher in St. Hadrian's Boarding School. While there, he managed to inspire and push the girls to greater heights, as they did their best to impress their teacher. Though his good looks and unconventional ways of teaching did motivate the enthusiasm a little, it was mostly teaching skills and charm.
He was also a mentor, teacher, and friend to two and a dozen other Robins (in his Batman runs, to both Tim and Damian and during the Robin War to dozens of different Robins).
6. Possibly The Sexiest Male In Comic History
There is a saying, Dick Grayson is the only comic superhero who has the name, skill set, and body of a male stripper. And girls seems to totally agree. He has an incredible amount of relationships, flings, and one night stands with characters like Barbara Gordon, Starfire, Helena Bertinelli, Raven and many more.
Midnighter, a gay character, has commented on Dick's physical attributes on more than one occasion.
In addition, he was announced the sexiest male in comics by the ComicsAlliance's top 50 sexiest men in comics project.
5. He's Protected Many Cities
Nightwing is mostly associated with Bludhaven and his year as Robin with Gotham. But Dick has travelled and operated in a number of cities before coming to Bludhaven.
During his leadership of the Titans, Dick operated in New York City, Metropolis, New Jersey, and Long Island. He was also called to protect Chicago at some point and he frequently returns to his hometown of Gotham, either as Nightwing or as Batman.
4. He Has Taken Many Mantles
Dick Grayson was the first Robin and the second or third (depends on continuity) Nightwing. But these are not the only mantles that Dick Grayson has taken on. He was the first Robin, then became Nightwing, then for a brief period he became Batman. But he didn't stop there; he returned to the mantle of Nightwing, only to become Batman again a few years later, then worked alongside Bruce in a double-Batman situation. After that, he was forced to leave his Nightwing identity to become a spy in the secret organization Spyral as Agent 37.
In Kingdom Come he took the Red Robin name, in the Earth-2 comics he became the main Batman, in the Flashpoint storyline he became Doctor Fate, and in many what-if storylines he is a simple policeman.
3. He Obliterated A Secret Super Spy Organization
After Dick realized that there were some shady dealings going on behind Spyral, he decided that he had to eliminate the organization. To achieve that, Dick enlisted the help of his spy partner, Agent 1. These two together managed to take down nearly every member of the spy organization. They reached so close to Spyral's throat that the director of Spyral had to deploy the Syndicate, a group of the best spies and assassins in the world to track them and bring them in, as of yet, unsuccessfully.
2. His Secret Identity Was Revealed To The World
During the 'Forever Evil' crossover event, the Crime Syndicate, an evil Earth-3 counterpart of the Justice League, captured Dick Grayson and revealed his secret identity right in front of all the DC villains and the whole world. The repercussions of such an event were gigantic. Dick was unable to ever operate as Nightwing again, the whole Bat Family's secret identities were at risk, Lex Luthor managed to deduce Batman's secret identity and much, much more.
The only way they had to remedy this situation was to fake Dick's death to protect the family. Dick hasn't, at the time of writing, returned to his mantle of Nightwing and still operates as Agent 37.
1. He Is A Member Of The Court of Owls
Let's start this off with a grain of history: the circus the Graysons performed in has a history with the Court of Owls. As a matter of fact, every few generations the circus gives the Court their newest Talons. One such Talon the circus was supposed to give them was Dick Grayson, who — due to his tragic history, and of course Bruce Wayne — left the circus too early.
It is way later in his life as Agent 37 that he was forced to finally join the Court.
During the 'Robin War' storyline, the army of Robins and the army of berserker Talons were fighting each other in the streets of Gotham. All part of a plan — a plan to make Dick their newest member. You see the Court gave Dick an ultimatum: either join the Court or watch all the Robins and the city burn before his very eyes.
Dick of course couldn't watch his family or his city die and instead chose to sacrifice himself to the Court to save the others.
We still don't know how this situation will play out, but it sure seems pretty grim for our favorite Robin.
This article is one of a series of articles about DC superheroes and supervillains:
- If you want to learn more about The Reverse-Flash click here.
- If you want to learn more about the Red Hood click here.