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Quote1 We fall because someone pushes us. We get up to push back. Quote2
-- Richard Grayson src

Richard John "Dick" Grayson is the adopted son of Bruce Wayne, better known as the vigilante Batman. Trained by the Dark Knight himself, Grayson eventually became Batman's sidekick, the first Robin. After Grayson outgrew his role as Batman's sidekick, he graduated to the role of Nightwing, donning a new costume, and, later, temporarily worked as Batman himself. However, after the Crime Syndicate exposed his secret identity to the world, Grayson agreed to take up a new identity and work undercover for Batman within the villainous spy agency known as Spyral as Agent 37 before returning to his role as Nightwing once again.

Early Life

When Dick Grayson was a child, he was an acrobatic prodigy travelling with the world-famous "Haly's Circus" along with his parents John and Mary Grayson. The three performers, known as the Flying Graysons, were one of Haly's most famous acts, a fact that went to Dick Grayson's head. Grayson, becoming rather pompous, began to drive away his closest friends Raymond and Raya.

During a major blackout in Gotham City caused by the Riddler, Grayson, who had decided to see a movie while Haly's Circus was in Gotham, was caught alone in the streets. Working with a couple of other kids, Grayson managed to survive the blackout and return to his family at Haly's camp. From the experience Grayson learned not to take his friends for granted and apologized for treating them so poorly.[1]

Haly's Circus hid a dark secret, having been training assassins for the Court of Owls for decades. Unknown to the young acrobat, Grayson had been selected to become the newest Talon for the Court; being groomed to replace Alton Carver.

At the age of fifteen, Dick Grayson's parents were eventually killed by the mobster Tony Zucco on his mother's birthday,[2] leaving the acrobat an orphan.[2][3] Unable to work as an acrobat anymore, Grayson left the circus, unknowingly escaping his fate of becoming a Talon.

Robin: Boy Wonder

Dick Grayson as Robin

Dick Grayson as Robin

After being transferred to the Wayne Care Center, Bruce Wayne would occasionally check up on Grayson and help him out. While Grayson seemed to be recovering well from the tragedy, he would actually sneak out at night in order to conduct his own investigation into the whereabouts of Tony Zucco. Grayson would encounter Batman at various times, and the Bat helped Grayson with his investigation, empathizing with his similar tragedy.[2][3]

Eventually, Batman brought Grayson to the Batcave and shared his identity as Bruce Wayne. Wayne then offered to help Grayson bring in Tony Zucco,[3][2] a notion that Alfred Pennyworth was reluctant to accept.[2] Grayson accepted Wayne's offer and Wayne began training him over a period of a few months. After initially having trouble accepting a name, he finally settled on Robin, a reference to an adoration his mother had for the bird.[3]

One night, Batman was tracking the Assassin Lady Shiva before the hero was ambushed and bested by her in combat. Donning his costume early, Robin arrived at Batman's position for his first mission in the field but was no match for the assassin, who spared his life and said they'd meet again.[2]

At some point, Grayson partnered up and bonded with another teenager Batman had taken under his wing named Barbara Gordon, also known as Batgirl.[4] Though both had feelings for the other, and both knew that the other had such feelings, the relationship never went any further.[5]

Teen Titans

Dick eventually went on to join a team on teenage superheroes known as the Teen Titans. The group consisted of Robin, Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, Donna Troy and Omen.

Deal With Deathstroke

At some point during his time as Robin, Dick was confronted by Deathstroke, the world's deadliest assassin. Deathstroke made Dick an offer: guide Deathstroke's daughter Rose down the right path, so she doesn't follow in the footsteps of her father. In exchange, Deathstroke would stop trying to kill Dick and the rest of the Teen Titans. Dick accepted Slade's offer and began training Rose.[6]

On His Own

Years later, Grayson and his mentor had an argument,[7] resulting in Dick leaving Bruce's side and taking up a new identity as Nightwing. Nightwing eventually left Gotham, occasionally returning to mentor the next Robin, Red Robin[8] and further train Batgirl.[9]

When Batman was apparently killed by Darkseid in one altercation, Grayson accepted the role as Batman for Bruce's sake and took Bruce's newly discovered son Damian on as his Robin.[10] They would form a close bond while working with each other, fighting against the likes of Professor Pyg, the Joker and Dr. Hurt,[11] until Bruce returned and retook the mantle.[12]

Traps and Trapezes

Dick Grayson as Nightwing

Dick Grayson as Nightwing

Dick returned to his identity as Nightwing, leaving Bruce Wayne to be the Batman once more. After his return, Haly's Circus came to Gotham for the first time since Grayson's parents were murdered. In his civilian identity, Grayson was attacked by an assassin named Saiko who insisted that Grayson was the fiercest killer in Gotham.[13] Saiko tortured C.C. Haly for information on Nightwing's secret identity, and the old man died in Grayson's arms after telling the former Flying Grayson that the circus holds a terrible secret.[14] Dick inherited the deed to the circus from Haly and soon began a relationship with his childhood friend, acrobat Raya Vestri.

The circus announced they would be doing a memorial show on the anniversary of the night Grayson's parents were murdered, and, during the show, Saiko detonated an explosive inside the tent.[15] While fighting the assassin, Nightwing discovered Saiko's secret identity - Raymond McCreary, a childhood friend of his, who had also been using Dick's girlfriend Raya as an accomplice. Saiko plummeted to his death in his battle with Nightwing, who was unable to save him, and Raya turned herself in, seeing that her plan to destroy Haly's had failed.[16]

Night of the Owls

Main article: Night of the Owls
Nightwing fighting his great-grandfather

Nightwing fighting his great-grandfather

When the Court of Owls initiated an attack on Gotham, sending their Talon assassins to take out high ranking people in the city, Nightwing went to save Mayor Sebastian Hady and came face-to-face with a Talon. Using lethal force on the undead zombie Talon, Nightwing stabbed him across the eye with his escrima stick, slowing the assassin's ability to heal. However, another Talon named William Cobb, who Batman had revealed to Nightwing was Dick's revived great-grandfather, attacked Nightwing and stabbed him in the chest. Nightwing then tricked Cobb into Gotham's train tunnels, where the hero was able to freeze him with a liquid nitrogen tub.[17]

Following the event, Dick decided to keep Haly's Circus in Gotham and planned to invest in turning an abandoned amusement park into their new location using his own money.[18] He worked with Sonia Branch, the daughter of his parents' killer Tony Zucco, into getting a loan for this plan by investing his entire trust fund into the project.[19]

Death of the Family

Main article: Death of the Family
Nightwing vs. the Joker

Nightwing vs. the Joker

A year after his disappearance, the Joker resurfaced in Gotham City wearing the dismembered skin of his face as a mask, and prepared to eliminate all of Batman's allies.

While at his circus, Dick was mauled by his performers who had been exposed to Joker Venom. After being overwhelmed by them, Grayson passed out and was dragged to an underground cave by the Joker himself, who was setting up for his confrontation with the Bat. There in the cave, all of Batman's allies, beaten and gagged by the clown, were forced to take part in a makeshift feast scenario for Batman, where Joker told Batman he had cut off the entire Bat-Family's faces and put them on ice. He also urged Batman to kill his allies, arguing that his true family is the villains he fights. Escaping from his captivity, Batman attempted to catch the Joker, but the madman fell off a cliff to his apparent death before he could be caught.

After being freed and having their wounds tended to, Nightwing and the rest of the family refused to meet at Wayne Manor, finding this last interaction with the Joker had put a wedge in their relationships.

Second City

In the aftermath of Joker's personal attack, which had resulted in the total destruction of Dick's circus and all of his funds, as well as the death of his former sidekick Damian, Grayson sought a fresh start in Chicago after discovering that Tony Zucco, his parents' killer, was alive and living there.

Setting up in his new city, Grayson found himself having to elude Chicago law enforcement due to their strict no tolerance policy on vigilante-related actions. Trying to find a lead on Zucco's location, Grayson reluctantly enlisted the help of Chicago's newest super-villain, The Prankster. However, Grayson ended up battling the Prankster and his forces as they launched a siege on Chicago.[20] With the city on lockdown, Grayson was then forced to reluctantly team up with Zucco, the man he was searching for, to take down the Prankster.[21] In the aftermath of the attack and his interaction with Nightwing, Tony Zucco turned himself to the police.[22]

Despite Grayson leaving Gotham, he didn't seem to be able to escape its villains and, during his time in Chicago, fought both the Mad Hatter[23] and Zsasz before deciding to return home.[24]

Forever Evil

Main article: Forever Evil
Nightwing's identity is exposed

Nightwing's identity is exposed

Shortly after the Crime Syndicate came to Earth and supposedly killed the Justice League, Nightwing was captured by the invaders on his way back to Gotham and had his identity revealed to the world in order to threaten the hero community even further.[25]

After a failed escape attempt, Grayson agreed to help Owlman betray the Syndicate,[26] but their plan was never set into motion as the Crime Syndicate put Dick in a trap called the Murder Machine - a bomb that would only disengage if Grayson's heart stopped beating. Later Batman, Catwoman and Lex Luthor were able to rescue him when Luthor stopped Grayson’s heart for a few seconds in order to successfully both disarm the bomb and keep him alive.[27] With Dick now free, the group defeated the Syndicate and returned the Justice League to power.

Spyral

Main article: Grayson Vol 1
Dick Grayson, Agent of Spyral

Dick Grayson, Agent of Spyral

In the wake of the collapse of the Crime Syndicate, Batman gave his former apprentice a new mission: infiltrate the organization known as Spyral as a double agent. Batman told Dick that the risks of taking the mission meant that he could not let his identity be known to anyone, especially those close to him. Grayson reluctantly accepted the mission. Setting out into the world, Dick began taking down various terrorist plots, including those involving the group called the Fist of Cain. His actions successfully attracted the attention of Spyral, who sent Helena Bertinelli, the agent known as Matron, out to recruit him. He was eventually enlisted into Spyral by the organization's mysterious leader, Mister Minos.[8]

After being teamed up with Helena, Grayson was ordered to find the different Organs of the Paragon Project. Through their search they encountered Midnighter on more than one occasion, who was also searching for the Paragon Project and tried to hinder Spyral's successes.[28][29] When the mission to retrieve the Stomach brought them to Leicester they encountered a former T.H.E.Y. agent, Dr. Poppy Ashemore, who had stolen the Stomach from the British Government. Though Grayson was against negotiating with Ashemore, Helena as the senior agent employed Ashemore as a new Spyral doctor.[30] Through the missions Dick came into contact with other agents of Spyral and delved deeper into the organisation, all the while keeping in mind that he was undercover.[31][32] Grayson later found out about the Nanite Robots that Spyral had been developing, which forced even Bruce to admit that the mission could be more dangerous than they had previously thought.[33]

On their mission to retrieve the last Organ, Helena and Dick encountered the Fist of Cain again.[34] After initial problems and disagreements, Midnighter allied with them and together they were able to prevent the terrorist attack the Fist of Cain had planned and retrieve the final Organ.[35] The reason the hunt for the Paragon Organs was important was finally revealed when Mr. Minos betrayed Spyral. Grayson and Tiger were able to destroy Paragon and Mr. Minos was killed by Helena in the aftermath.[36]

Endgame

Main article: Batman: Endgame

During the events of Endgame, the Joker returned to terrorize Gotham and Batman for his ultimate trick. Grayson briefly left Spyral and returned to Gotham in order to aid Batman. To deceive both the Joker and Batman's allies, Grayson donned a copy of Bruce's cowl and led the attack on the Joker in the heart of the city. When the Joker removed Batman's mask expecting to reveal Bruce's secret identity to everyone else, he instead found Dick Grayson.[37] Grayson left Gotham before the revelation of Batman's death, and was not immediately made aware of the new Batman that had since arisen.[38]

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Nemesis

Grayson returned to his duties as Agent 37 and was sent on a mission to retrieve a Kryptonian amulet from a Spanish duchess with his new partner Tiger, AKA Agent 1. After they obtained it Grayson was contacted by Helena. She suspected Agent 1 was a traitor who had murdered numerous agents from other espionage groups. Grayson left his partner behind to get the amulet away safely.[38] At his drop point he encountered Lex Luthor, who told him that LexCorp had been involved with Spyral since the beginning. Losing his trust in Helena, he searched for Tiger[39] and was able to save him from the real traitor. During the fight it became obvious to Grayson that Spyral knew even more than he thought and he was now fully convinced that it was time to go back to Gotham.[40]

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Nightwing Once More

After successfully completing his mission with Spyral, Dick returned to Gotham and to his superhero identity as Nightwing. The Parliament of Owls attempted to blackmail Dick into becoming a member of the Parliament, by planting a bomb in the head of Damian Wayne. Dick managed to neutralize the bomb with a device given to him by Midnighter.[41] Even with the bomb neutralized, Dick remained part of the Parliament, attempting to take them down from the inside. Shortly after his new membership began, Dick was assigned a partner, an assassin named Raptor, who believed Dick needed a new mentor.[42]

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The Titans

After Wally West escaped from being trapped in the Speed Force and began looking for the Titans, Dick was the first Titan to be found by Wally. Dick didn't know or recognize him until Wally electrocuted him, "shocking" his memories back to life.[43]

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The Lazarus Contract

After both the Flash and Kid Flash were kidnapped by Deathstroke, Nightwing along with the Titans and Teen Titans attempted to find the two Wallys. During this time, Dick kept his history with Deathstroke and the deal they had made a secret.

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Invasion of the Dark Multiverse

Gotham Resistance

Batman enlisted Nightwing and other members of the Batman Family to create a diversion for the Justice League as they were hunting him. Batman was able to continue his investigation into the Dark Multiverse thanks to the family, and accidentally unleashed the Dark Lord Barbatos and his minions on the Multiverse.[44] It was around this time that Nightwing began having visions of Barbatos due to the wound he suffered in his confrontation with Doctor Hurt.

Nightwing in Freeze's domain

Nightwing in Freeze's domain

After Barbatos' invasion, Challengers Mountain appeared in the middle of Gotham. Nightwing headed back to Gotham to reclaim his home and to find the source of his visions. The city had fallen under the control of The Batman Who Laughs who was working for Barbatos. The evil Batman had given Cosmic Metallurgy Cards to some of Batman's greatest rogues, which allowed them to warp reality to their whims. Each of the rogues controlled a portion of the city. Nightwing sent Green Arrow to assist the Teen Titans with defeating the Riddler[45] while he headed to Challengers Mountain where he believed the source of his visions were located. While Nightwing was fleeing from one of Mister Freeze's ice giants he ran into the Gotham Resistance, which was comprised of Robin, Green Arrow, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc. After defeating the ice giant with the help of the Resistance, Nightwing filled them in on his activities in Gotham which led to a confrontation with Freeze himself. After arming themselves with the Parliament of Owls' weaponry, Nightwing and the Resistance were able to defeat Mister Freeze and head further into the city.[46]

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The Bleeding Edge

Bludhaven received an upgrade, courtesy of Mirage, to become a 'digital' city. Nightwing, suspicious of various murders, leaked personal information on the victims, and exploding cell phones, enlisted Batgirls's aide in uncovering the mystery of Mirage. Nightwing and Batgirl discovered that Mirage was a front for Wyrm, an agent of the Dark Webb. Wyrm attempted to hack Nightwing, by injecting him with a cybernetic bug; however, Batgirl managed to contain and later remove the device. [47]

Powers

Abilities

  • Acrobatics: Richard Grayson was an acrobatic prodigy as a child, being part of the Flying Graysons act who were well known for conducting incredible acrobatic feats without the use of a net. Dick is so fast and agile that even Wally West is surprised by and praises his speed.[48]
  • Espionage: As a result of his former status as an agent of Spyral and being taught by Helena Bertinelli, Grayson is proficient in the art of espionage.[28]
  • Firearms: Dick is an expert marksman and is highly skilled in the use of firearms.[36]
  • Genius Level Intellect: Richard Grayson is shown to have a naturally high level of intelligence, though not as high as Batman's. He was also trained by the Dark Knight himself in various fields.
  • Peak Human Condition: Through years of extensive and intensive training, Dick has achieved the peak of human perfection both mentally and physically.
  • Seduction[38]
  • Stealth[20]
  • Swordsmanship[17]
  • Throwing: Trained by Batman, Richard is proficient in throwing objects. He has often thrown his escrima sticks to incapacitate his opponents. He has even done the same with the use of a gun.
  • Weaponry: Due to his training with Batman, Richard is well versed in many melee weapons such as staffs,[2] escrima sticks, and bladed weaponry such as swords.[17]

Equipment

  • Nightwing Suit: As Nightwing, Richard Grayson's costume is tailored specifically to his unique style of crime-fighting. It is made up of sturdy but flexible material that not only suits his strength, speed, and acrobatics but also is durable enough to withstand gunfire. 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 suit. He also has variants of his costume with different design elements, one of which was an armored suit that sported a Bat Symbol, which has since been used by Red Hood.[57] His suit houses various hidden compartments for his gadgetry such as smoke pellets, fire extinguishing pellets, wing-dings, and small bombs. The fingertips of the suit also enable him to use lockpicks[58] and a needle which can give chemical analysis.[59]
  • Nightwing's Domino Mask: As Nightwing, Dick's domino mask is shaped just like his wing-dings. It has various capabilities such as being able to track the GPS coordinates of a cellphone, thermal vision, detect radio waves, and is capable of giving detailed analysis of scenes and fights.
  • Nightwing's Gauntlets: Hidden within secret compartments lies Nightwing's gadgetry, in which a great majority seems to be hidden. He has various gadgetry in his gauntlets such as binoculars and they are occasionally used to store his Escrima Sticks. His gauntlets can also shoot remote bombs, a sonic device with his ear dampeners, and a grapple line.
  • Electric Shock: Dick's entire suit is wired to deliver a 150-thousand-volt shock through the gloves of the suit, however it only has enough power for a one-time charge.[60]
  • EMP Mask: A highly advanced mask created by Lucius Fox, the mask is made of webbing that retracts light surrounding the wearer's head and artificially alters the appearance of someone's face. Richard has used it to sneak into Arkham Asylum and pose as Joker[50] and used it again to gain information on Lady Shiva.[19]

Transportation

Weapons

  • Escrima Sticks: Personalized by Richard himself, his escrima sticks are dual fighting baton-like sticks. He also later upgraded them so they could shoot a grappling line,[56] and even hold some smoke bombs.
  • Electro-Blast: Dick's Escrima sticks are capable of emitting high voltages of electricity.[61]
  • Dick is of Romani descent.[63]
  • Dick was named after the childhood friend of his mother, who would one day become the costumed villain Raptor.[65]

Related


Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Nightwing (Volume 3) #25
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Nightwing (Volume 3) #0
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Secret Origins (Volume 3) #1
  4. Batgirl (Volume 4) #3
  5. 5.0 5.1 Nightwing Annual (Volume 3) #1
  6. Deathstroke (Volume 4) #19
  7. Forever Evil #3
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Nightwing (Volume 3) #30
  9. Batgirl Annual (Volume 4) #2
  10. Secret Origins (Volume 3) #4
  11. Nightwing (Volume 4) #18
  12. Robin Rises: Omega
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Nightwing (Volume 3) #1
  14. Nightwing (Volume 3) #2
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Nightwing (Volume 3) #6
  16. Nightwing (Volume 3) #7
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Nightwing (Volume 3) #8
  18. Nightwing (Volume 3) #10
  19. 19.0 19.1 Nightwing (Volume 3) #13
  20. 20.0 20.1 Nightwing (Volume 3) #22
  21. Nightwing (Volume 3) #23
  22. Nightwing (Volume 3) #24
  23. Nightwing (Volume 3) #27
  24. Nightwing (Volume 3) #29
  25. Forever Evil #1
  26. Forever Evil #4
  27. Forever Evil #6
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 Grayson #1
  29. Grayson #5
  30. Grayson #2
  31. Grayson #3
  32. Grayson #5
  33. Grayson #4
  34. Grayson #6
  35. Grayson #7
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Grayson #8
  37. Batman (Volume 2) #40
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Grayson #9
  39. Grayson #10
  40. Grayson #11
  41. Nightwing: Rebirth #1
  42. Nightwing (Volume 4) #1
  43. Titans: Rebirth #1
  44. Dark Nights: Metal #2
  45. Teen Titans (Volume 6) #12
  46. Nightwing (Volume 4) #29
  47. Nightwing (Volume 47) #
  48. Titans: Rebirth #1
  49. Nightwing (Volume 3) #19
  50. 50.0 50.1 Batman (Volume 2) #1
  51. Justice League (Volume 2) #26
  52. Red Hood and the Outlaws #7
  53. Nightwing (Volume 4) #51
  54. Nightwing (Volume 4) #21
  55. Nightwing (Volume 4) #43
  56. 56.0 56.1 Nightwing (Volume 3) #14
  57. Red Hood and the Outlaws #6
  58. Nightwing (Volume 3) #21
  59. Nightwing (Volume 3) #15
  60. Nightwing (Volume 3) #2
  61. Nightwing (Volume 3) #12
  62. Forever Evil #1
  63. 63.0 63.1 Secret Origins (Volume 3) #8
  64. Nightwing (Volume 4) #43
  65. Nightwing (Volume 4) #34



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