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  1. #1
    Swordsman Supreme R0NIN's Avatar
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    Default Making Dick Grayson stand apart from Batman

    So we've seen and heard how some DC execs and such find Nightwing to be redundant, and I'm sure there are many fans who feel the same. With Dick so tied to Batman and Batman being who he is, what would you do, if you had creative control of Dick Grayson, to make him stand on his own as a hero, and come out from under Batman's shadow?

    Personally I would play up his relationships (after establishing that he still is very close to all the people he was previously close to) with other heroes. Now that his identity is out, he'd be a full time hero. Bouncing around and teaming up with other heroes Brave and the Bold style. I'd play up the fact that this is a guy who grew up being a circus performer and then a superhero. "Normal life" just isn't in the cards for him , and he loves doing the "hero" thing anyway.

    Finally I'd take him to the next level. Unlike Bruce I'd have Dick embracing taking all the various way of fighting evil. So the first year's run would be of him doing team ups and furthering his training in different areas with different people. Learning some magic (not spell caster levels, but maybe a henna scribed scroll on his body that for a time let him surpass human limitations at the expense of his health afterwards). Use villain tech that he takes after he's captured them (a la Frank Castle in that one run). Learn some new meditations or access some new tech. Have a lair called the Birdcage that is a literal arsenal of crime fighting weapons of various makes and models. And because he's the guy everyone knows and loves and hangs out with it's filled with other heroes coming and going to get new stuff or help other heroes or train or whatever. And the villains would get greater and greater too.

    He was trained by best and grew up doing this stuff. He's the next generation hero. So if Batman goes Batgod then Nightwing would go NightGod? Winggod? Only have plausible explanations for the things he does.


    ....or you know not.... That's vastly different then what we got, but an example of what I mean. How would you make Nightwing stand out?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member GallowGlass's Avatar
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    Well firstly, I'd restore him to Bludhaven & Gotham. Presumably that city hasn't been destroyed since the new 52? Secondly, while he would reside there I'd make Nightwing less tied to one place as Batman is to Gotham, I know, I know- Batman has done a lot of globe-trotting but you think Batman, you think Gotham. Dick can be based in Bludhaven but act more internationally. I'd love to see him in a range of stories hunting down criminals across the globe who are tied to Bludhaven and Gotham. You know? Like hunting down the suppliers of arms and drugs to the illegal trades in Gotham. I'd have him tied into a network of some kind (Oracle of course would have been perfect but....) that he takes missions from, the JL maybe? One of the big things that makes Dick stand out from Bruce is that he's a personally popular person amongst the other heroes in the DCU. Or at least he was pre-new52, right? People actually like him, not like Batman. He's lead several versions of several superhero teams, hasn't he? Maybe play up his connections to other heroes a bit more.

    Next thing- VILLAINS. Every great hero has great villains. Does Nightwing have great villains? During Chuck Dixon's run there was who? Blockbuster? I'd like to see Dick have a real nemesis, ya know? I liked how Snyder set up James Gordon Jr. as a Dick Grayson villain. I really believe he's missing that side of what adds up to a great hero.

    Representation- I think there needs to be a real conscious effort on the part of a creative team to define a look for Nightwing, I'm not talking about a costume but the way the character moves in the comics. I think he should move like a true acrobat so that when he's bounding across buildings he's more like Spider-man and less like Batman without a cape. Also, to really establish him as a top end hero, Nightwing needs a big win. I'm talking about, him taking down a major villain on his own. Maybe like publicly beating the tar out of Lady Shiva? Something that would establish him as a badass in his own right and not just 'used to be Robin.'

  3. #3
    Blue Boba ABH-1979's Avatar
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    With Nightwing, I keep going back to the same idea... Bludhaven rebuilt as an Atlantic City/Vegas-esque city, full of Casinos and Neon-lighted signs.

    The Flying Grayson was born to be in the spotlight, so what better place than a city that glows? (and yes, that's a nod to the whole Chemo/'Splosion thing)

    My old post:
    Quote Originally Posted by ABH-1979 View Post
    New Bludhaven should be built over the rubble as an Atlantic City/Las Vegas type destination. Make it where after everything was cleaned up, the Fed Government (or whatever state it's in) made gambling legal just so casinos and corporations would move into the city. Glowing neon would be just about everywhere, once again putting Dick in the spotlight, where he belongs.
    Variations to this are possible, of course. Bludhaven and Gotham were sister cities (iirc), so, "Old 'Haven" can be incorporated into Gotham. This would be a way of keeping Dick in Gotham, while giving him his own stomping ground. Kind of like Selina with the East End.

    A couple other posters had some great ideas on this as well:
    Quote Originally Posted by HeavydocBrown View Post
    A Vegas type environment could be similar to Gotham in Flashpoint. Potential for greed, corruption, etc. Plus the look would make it feel different than Gotham.

    If it was a Vegas place, then Dick's day job could be a show performer (ala cirque du soleil)

    To be fair I liked the idea of Gotham being this living thing that adapts and changes the things you love and turns them on you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Retro315 View Post
    I think that DC Vegas idea shows a lot of merit.

    The key thing is that SHOULD (and I don't think he needs it, but "Should") Nightwing get his own city, it needs to reflect him in the same way that Batman's city is filled with gothic, brooding gargoyles, bat folklore, crazy rich American family trees, themes of the "old" vs. the "new" and twisting psychological labyrinths projected onto the grids and mazes of a city.

    Therefore any city that Nightwing claims as his own needs to encompass every aspect of Dick Grayson before he can really claim it and "own it" the way Bruce owns Gotham.

    Circus, acrobat, red bird, Robin Hood, youth, unbelievable levels of talent, showboating, distractions, flash, color. A city WITHOUT a long history, in the same way that the Graysons were a nomadic family who didn't settle down until Dick had the misfortune/stroke of luck of being marooned in Gotham.

    And in that way, a DCU equivalent to Vegas is perfect. Vegas is a new city, it sprung up overnight. It has all those amazing pop culture/movie/real life connections to the casinos all being run by east coast mafia families that would link it to Gotham City. It has the classic film noir/crime drama tropes - organized crime, gang violence, prostitution, but its veneer/facade is, like "ROBIN", this bright, flashy distraction that keeps your attention with its youth and sarcasm until BAM, suddenly you're getting punched in the back of the head by Batman.

    Throw loads of thematic villains at him. Circus villains. Introduce a new version of Duela Dent, Harlequin, with a Cirque du Soleil slant so she can match his acrobatics. And not just the constant circus callbacks ... it's Vegas. Donate to him pretty much EVERY gambling-themed villain in the DCU, except Joker.

    Royal Flush Gang? Perfect. Roulette? Definitely. Amos Fortune? Yeah for sure.

    Heck, Vegas is where all the boxing and cage-fighting happens, too, so there's plenty of space for heavy-weight opponents. We've seen Roulette sponsoring underground meta-human cage-fighting already in Wonder Woman's title.

    In my experience, whenever a concept begins writing itself with this much ease, as a total no-brainer ... then it totally needs to happen.
    ^Retro really fleshed out some of the possibilities there.
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  4. #4
    Swordsman Supreme R0NIN's Avatar
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    Ooooohhh call it The Nest instead of the Birdcage. lol :)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member colossus34's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABH-1979 View Post
    With Nightwing, I keep going back to the same idea... Bludhaven rebuilt as an Atlantic City/Vegas-esque city, full of Casinos and Neon-lighted signs.

    The Flying Grayson was born to be in the spotlight, so what better place than a city that glows? (and yes, that's a nod to the whole Chemo/'Splosion thing)

    My old post:


    Variations to this are possible, of course. Bludhaven and Gotham were sister cities (iirc), so, "Old 'Haven" can be incorporated into Gotham. This would be a way of keeping Dick in Gotham, while giving him his own stomping ground. Kind of like Selina with the East End.

    A couple other posters had some great ideas on this as well:




    ^Retro really fleshed out some of the possibilities there.
    Perfect, been saying this for YEARS!!! Why has no writer/editor at DC ever picked this idea up, its so simple and yet perfectly creates the world/setting that Dick needs.

  6. #6
    Member MykeHavoc's Avatar
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    I remember Higgins saying that his goal was to give Dick a stronger legacy than merely being "the first Robin". But I think too many overlook how amazing that legacy is. I love the character and I look forward to seeing him grow and evolve, but no matter what, he will always be "the first Robin" to me, and that is hardly a bad thing. He's forever the template of what a superhero sidekick should be. The audience surrogate that we can relate to in a way we never could to Batman. The emotional tether that our hero keeps to his humanity. The yin to his yang. His partner. His brother. His first son. And the ONLY person that fans would be content with stepping into the cape and cowl in Bruce's absence. On top of that, he was the leader of the first teen hero team. I could go on and on. Sure, he's got plenty more potential, but I would hardly consider him underdeveloped.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GallowGlass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MykeHavoc View Post
    I remember Higgins saying that his goal was to give Dick a stronger legacy than merely being "the first Robin". But I think too many overlook how amazing that legacy is. I love the character and I look forward to seeing him grow and evolve, but no matter what, he will always be "the first Robin" to me, and that is hardly a bad thing. He's forever the template of what a superhero sidekick should be. The audience surrogate that we can relate to in a way we never could to Batman. The emotional tether that our hero keeps to his humanity. The yin to his yang. His partner. His brother. His first son. And the ONLY person that fans would be content with stepping into the cape and cowl in Bruce's absence. On top of that, he was the leader of the first teen hero team. I could go on and on. Sure, he's got plenty more potential, but I would hardly consider him underdeveloped.
    This.

    I just wish they'd let the writers do some fucking stories without interference for five minutes. I guess this is what people call 'event fatigue' these days?

  8. #8
    Hater booyah's Avatar
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    Dick Grayson should BE Batman. As Snyder said once, "How many times can we watch the pearls fall?" Bruce Wayne is plaaaaayyyed out.

  9. #9
    The Dark Knight Returns DonC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R0NIN View Post
    So we've seen and heard how some DC execs and such find Nightwing to be redundant
    For god's sake, this was in 2006. How long are Nightwing fans going to beat that horse?
    Free your soul and let it fly....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABH-1979 View Post
    With Nightwing, I keep going back to the same idea... Bludhaven rebuilt as an Atlantic City/Vegas-esque city, full of Casinos and Neon-lighted signs.

    The Flying Grayson was born to be in the spotlight, so what better place than a city that glows? (and yes, that's a nod to the whole Chemo/'Splosion thing)

    My old post:


    Variations to this are possible, of course. Bludhaven and Gotham were sister cities (iirc), so, "Old 'Haven" can be incorporated into Gotham. This would be a way of keeping Dick in Gotham, while giving him his own stomping ground. Kind of like Selina with the East End.

    A couple other posters had some great ideas on this as well:




    ^Retro really fleshed out some of the possibilities there.

    I agree with everything said. I would love to see Bludhaven as an Atlantic City/Vegas city.

    Nightwing needs some new villains. Not having Batman's B or C list villains, but his own!

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  12. #12
    Junior Member Just Is's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bo-Man View Post
    I agree with everything said. I would love to see Bludhaven as an Atlantic City/Vegas city.

    Nightwing needs some new villains. Not having Batman's B or C list villains, but his own!
    It would have helped if he could have kept the Villians he gained as Batman (especially since they were crafted specifically to reflect Dick, not Bruce) (though he lost them to Bruce and Barbara).
    Pull List: (Marvel) Daredevil, Mighty Avengers, Hawkeye, Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, She-Hulk, Ms Marvel, X-Factor (DC) Nightwing, Batman, Wonder Woman

  13. #13
    Hater booyah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Is View Post
    It would have helped if he could have kept the Villians he gained as Batman (especially since they were crafted specifically to reflect Dick, not Bruce) (though he lost them to Bruce and Barbara).
    So damn true.

  14. #14
    Junior Member wvchemteach's Avatar
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    I hope no one minds if I steal elements of some of these ideas for fan fiction.

  15. #15
    Swordsman Supreme R0NIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvchemteach View Post
    I hope no one minds if I steal elements of some of these ideas for fan fiction.
    As long as I/we can read it. :)
    I like swords.

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