Winging It

Thirty-four years ago today, on this temporarily warm 12th of April, Tales of the Teen Titans #44 debuted in stores, introducing Dick Grayson‘s second alter ego – Nightwing! Nightwing was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez during a Teen Titans and he continued the tradition of quips, constant self-doubt followed by growth and life on the ledge.

Hey, didn’t I shatter your nose on the boat the other night? Thought so, I always recognize a face. Well, apologize in advance for the massive amount of bridge-work and jaw wiring you’re gonna need.

–Richard Grayson (Nightwing #145 – Freefall Chapter 6)


After forty-four years, one month, and seven days of being Robin – The Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson left behind the pixie boots to be his own superhero. It was a time of great strife and turbulence for Grayson but his desire to do what was right won out. He chose a name that honored Superman: Nightwing is a Kryptonian from the city of Kandor, a hero and a legend in his own right.

Faster if I’d teleported directly into the cave, but the risk of getting vivisected by the Giant Penny… no thank you…

–Richard Grayson (Nightwing #138 – The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul Part Two: The Lesser of Two Evils)

As Nightwing, Grayson formed and led the Teen Titans, Titans, and later the Outsiders. Following the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, he temporary replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman, then returned as Nightwing (the acrobat despises capes). He then left Gotham for Blüdhaven, but after it’s massive destruction, moved on to New York City.

Ad for the series, Grayson. I still my singing spy.

He made the painful choice to gave up the Nightwing mantle to be Batman again, after the seeming death of Wayne. Then became Nightwing once more only to… You know, Forever Evil… Then the Grayson series which was an absolute joy to read. Dang, this guy has been through quite a lot for a perennially young crime fighter. 

Taking cover inside a tomb–not my favorite way to spend an evening. But damn if it isn’t more comfortable than my mattress at home.

–Richard Grayson (Nightwing #140 – Freefall Chapter 1)

From the latest issue, Nightwing #42

Have you read the comic? Read it. After reading comics for over thirty years, I can say Nightwing is still one of my all time favorites. From one incarnation to another, he bounces back, hit after proverbial hit, and keeps on quipping. Leave the brooding to ol’ pointy ears! And he’s NOT a meta. He’s a guy who chose to train hard all his life to get back at the bad guys. He could walk away. He’s wanted to many times. But he doesn’t. And the entire time I’ve been writing this, the theme from the movie Flash has been running through my head, “Just a man, with a man’s courage..”

“After everything he’s been through in his life…all the crushing pain he’s known firsthand…he can still find something to smile about. He never lets the bastards win.”

–Batman on Richard Grayson (Batman: The Widening Gyre #1 – Turning and Turning)

The glorious finger stripes!

My one sentence review of the latest issue, Nightwing #42? “Very Nightwingy!” Fans will know that this means our man in black and blue is spouting sass, smashing the bad guys and trying to save everybody.

Or Damian.

Dick Grayson has so much hero power that he can be named Dick without irony. He is so adored some fans still lament the loss of the blue finger stripes from his gloves two Nightwing outfits ago. They debate vociferously about “who he should end up with” and “who would win in a fight.” And the fan fiction… You’d never have enough time to read it all.

There are pages dedicated to his butt. When casting info was released about who would play Grayson in TITANS, fans started Googling photos of Brenton Thwaites’ butt to see if it/he was worthy. And when it comes to collectibles, the butt is just as much of a consideration

The temptation to tell you there are no butts about, Nightwing is a ‘must read’ for those who love their heroes to be on the buff side of good, was apparently too strong to resist. That there are strong character and story arcs, that he can swing from dark to bright within a few one-liners and that I, of all readers, have not become jaded with him, is a testament to just Winging it.