Nightwing is one of those few characters that is actually defined and built on a core of change, which is very weird in an industry and a medium that relies on the illusion of change. Dick Grayson is one of the few characters that are built around the idea of growing up.Dick started out serving Reason for Robin, #9: Robin is still a kid. He represented potential. He was learning, making mistakes, but held the promise of being better. For almost thirty years he barely changed, but he always represented the possibilities of change in the future.
When Dick Grayson became Nightwing in the 1980s, he gained a new symbolic significance. He had been a kid; now he was a young man. But he was still younger than Batman, Superman, and the other heroes he’d looked up to. As Higgins says, his growth now defined his role in the DC Universe saga. He was a twentysomething looking for his place in the world. Would he ever match up to his mentor, or had he unknowingly already done so?
Grant Morrison’s proposal to make Dick Grayson into Batman brought that grand storyline to a close. Dick stepped into his mentor’s boots, and successfully. There was no place new for him to go, or grow. DC Comics would almost certainly have made him Nightwing again, to preserve the trademark if for no other reason, but the company never came up with a satisfactory way for Dick to make that choice which would imbue his character with significance again.
I view the current Dick Grayson character as separate from the character of 1964 through 2011, just as that was a different character from the Dick Grayson of 1940 through 1964 and beyond on Earth-2. The original Dick Grayson came of age as an adult Robin. The second came of age as Nightwing and took over as Batman when almost everyone thought Bruce Wayne was dead. Now we have a third Dick Grayson, also Nightwing. What will his future hold? The possibilities are open once again; all we know is that he still symbolizes growth and change.
In other Robin news, Bleeding Cool reported a rumor that Jeff Lemire would write an adventure for the present DC Universe’s four former and current Robins. But can we trust a gossip website that can’t even spell Damian Wayne‘s name right?
Finally, Bully had the Dynamic Duo meet the Infinite Canvas of Scott McCloud. Even more impressive, the little stuffed bull got that scene to work within the confines of a Blogger template!