WHO IS NIGHTWING?
Nightwing is a costumed crime-fighter appearing in DC comics. He possesses no super-powers, yet has amazing detective, athletic, and martial arts abilities. His alter ego is Dick Grayson.
WHAT WAS DICK GRAYSONíS FIRST APPEARANCE?
Dick Grayson has a long and storied history in the DC Universe. His first appearance in any capacity was as Robin in Batman #1, published in 1940. Dick grew up in a circus family, but was orphaned at a young age. Millionaire Bruce Wayne took him in as his ward (and eventually, adopted son). Dick became Robin, Batmanís young sidekick. At the time, teenage sidekicks were becoming popular and were thought of as a way to encourage new and younger readership. Over the decades, Dick became one of the most popular and arguably the greatest Robin.
HOW LONG WAS HIS CAREER AS ROBIN?
Dickís career as Robin lasted several decades. During this time, many writers and artists would put their own spin on the character and take him on legendary adventures. Of course, it was also obvious that the character was growing up and couldnít stay a sidekick forever. Throughout the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, Robin was a brave and loyal secondary character, but a secondary character nonetheless. In more modern times, he felt his relationship with Bruce change. Like all sons, he needed to leave the nest.
WHAT WAS HIS FINAL MOMENT AS ROBIN?
Finally, Dick gave up the mantle of Robin for good. One of the catalysts was an incident that involved Two-Face. Dick was forced to make a decision that resulted in the death of the District Attorney, as well as the near-death of Batman himself. Dick calls it his greatest failure and it is part of the reason he left the Batcave. He went on to form the new Teen Titans.
WHEN WAS NIGHTWING'S DEBUT?
Tales of the Teen Titans #44. Making his debut in 1984, Nightwing premiered in an issue featuring Jericho and Deathstroke. Nightwing would become one of the most popular Titans of all time, as well as their leader.
WHERE WAS DICK DURING THE EVENTS OF "KNIGHTFALL"?
As many Batman readers know, Bruce Wayne gave the mantle of Batman to a young upstart named Jean Paul Valley in a storyline known as "Knightfall" in 1993 and '94. Bruce had been defeated by a villain known as Bane who shattered his back, crippling him indefinitely. Bruce had met Valley during a previous adventure (see: Sword of Azrael). Jean Paul was subconsciously controlled by an ancient religious sect known as the Order of St. Dumas. He was trained since his infancy to be the ultimate warrior, Azrael, the Angel of Vengeance. During that time, Bruce had lost contact with Dick, and was extremely desparate for a replacement Batman. Bane was still on the loose, as were many of the Arkham inmates. Jean Paul got the job done, but he transformed the Batman personae into a violent creature full of malice and spite. Bruce came back and reclaimed the title of the Batman in 1994.
DID DICK EVER THINK ABOUT REPLACING BRUCE AS BATMAN?
He did. In a storyline known as "Prodigal", Dick became Batman at Bruce's behest. Although it was only temporary, it was a significant storyline in that it forced Dick to come to terms with his past failures in life (both personal and as a crime-fighter) and take on Two-Face by himself once and for all. It showed that Dick was still growing up and learning about his own identity as a man. It also helped cement Dick's relationship with the current Robin, Tim Drake.
DOES NIGHTWING STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE BATCAVE?
Yes, especially before moving to Bludhaven. After "Prodigal", Bruce became Batman again permanently. During this time (the mid 90's) there were several crossover storylines, many of which featured Nightwing as a pivotal character. Even after his move to Bludhaven, Nightwing is still a central character in the Batman mythos. Today, he appears frequently in the pages of Batman comic books.
WHEN DID NIGHTWING GET HIS OWN SERIES?
In 1996, writer Chuck Dixon, penciller Scott McDaniel, and inker Karl Story created the first issue of Nightwing. This was actually a long time coming. Nightwing had been a favorite character of readers and critics alike for many years. Although he had his own mini-series (not to mention frequent appearances in the Batman comics), he had never starred solo in an ongoing series. So, naturally, his having his own book was very exciting. In the opening story, Dick relocates to Bludhaven, a city not far from Gotham. This city, however, is even more corrupt than Gotham. Unlike Gotham's reliable James Gordon, Bludhaven's PD is crooked and untrustworthy. The crime lords run the streets, and a hero like Nightwing is needed here more than anywhere else.
During his stint on Nightwing, Chuck crafted what is considered by many to be the definitive version of the character. Dick has grown up a lot since his days as Robin, and is now a hero in his own right, still living under the influence of his mentor, but no longer controlled by him. His adventures during this time are full of action, intrigue, and basically, the stuff every Nightwing fan loves. Chuck and Scott's run on the series is collected in TPB format. A Knight in Bludhaven, Rough Justice, Love and Bullets, Big Guns, On the Razor's Edge and A Darker Shade of Justice are all valuable must-reads for any Nightwing fan.
IS NIGHTWING STILL BEING PUBLISHED?
Yes. Chuck is no longer writing Nightwing on a permanent basis. Devin Grayson is currently writing and the new art team of Phil Hester and Ande Parks will be coming onboard with issue #107.
WHERE CAN I READ NIGHTWING'S ORIGIN STORY/LEARN WHERE THE NAME CAME FROM?
Check out Nightwing #101-106. The original creative team tells the tale of Nightwing's "Year One".
WHO ARE SOME OF NIGHTWING'S VILLAINS?
Nightwing does not have as many as Batman, but definitely some deadly characters. In the early days, Dudley Soames, aka Torque was one of Nightwing's greatest adversaries. Blockbuster is Bludhaven's answer to Marvel's Kingpin character. Stallion, Brutale, the Electrocutioner, Double Dare, Chief Redhorn, Lady Vic, the False Facers and our old friend, Deathstroke, all show up and do plenty of damage. Even would-be vigilantes give Nightwing some trouble. The Huntress, the Tarantula, and a young imposter known as Nite-Wing are all characters to look for.
IS NIGHTWING STILL A TITAN?
No. Today's Teen Titans has returned to its roots and features a group of kids formerly known as Young Justice. They represent the youngest characters is the DCU. Dick is a member of the Outsiders, a group of twenty-something super-heroes whose adventures are on the cutting edge of DC. Think of them as the "Not Ready for JLA Players". Dick's friendship with Roy Harper (Arsenal, formerly Speedy) is just one of the relationships that makes this book so interesting. This book is very "cast-oriented" and showcases Dick as a team member better than any title outside the Titans. Incidentally, Dick has not been a member of the Justice League.