Batman’s had many Robin’s fight by his side, but none of them can compete with Dick Grayson. The first Boy Wonder has always impressed fans with his acrobatic skills and quick wit.
He’s fought beside Batman, been the leader of the Teen Titans, and has even been the protector of his own city, Bludhaven. He’s always been portrayed with a certain charm and physique that has earned him a reputation among fans as one of the most popular DC superheroes.
He has endured tragedy, but he’s held onto his sense of humor and youthful attitude, creating a persona that is much more approachable and appealing than Batman.
Nightwing has an extensive history in both the comics and DC animated films, so it’s about time he was brought to the big screen.
Here are the 15 Things You Didn't Know About Dick Grayson.
15 He once beat the Joker to death
Just like Batman, Nightwing never kills criminals, regardless of how terrible their crime. Joker has tormented the Bat-Family for years, but in the series Joker’s Last Laugh, he pushed Dick Grayson too far.
After believing Tim Drake, Robin at the time, to be dead, Dick is distraught. The Joker relentlessly taunts him about it, begging him to hit him harder.
Nightwing continues to beat the Joker until Tim reveals himself. Dick realizes he isn’t dead, but it’s too late. He killed the Joker.
The Joker’s heart is restarted and he’s sent back to prison, but Dick can’t get over the fact he killed a criminal.
He’s ashamed he succumbed to hatred and revenge rather than justice and walks out on his family. It’s one of the darkest moments for Nightwing so far.
14 He trained Deathstroke's daughter
Deathstroke and Dick Grayson aren’t exactly friends, but he did mentor the assassin’s daughter, Rose, once.
In Nightwing #122, Dick takes on the villainous mantle of “The Renegade” in order to infiltrate a society of supervillains.
Slade believes that Nightwing has given up being a hero, and asks him to train Rose, knowing he would be a good teacher. Dick agrees to mentor her, but teaches her heroic values in secret. Deathstroke is suspicious that Dick is still a hero and sets up a plan to test his values.
He sets up a meeting with Superman while hiding Kryptonite with his daughter. While fighting him, she slips and falls, and regardless of having Kryptonite on her, Superman catches her.
Dick tries to use this selfless act as a last-ditch attempt to turn Rose into a hero instead of a villain, but it doesn’t work.
13 He's taken on the mantle of Batman multiple times
Not only has Dick Grayson gone by Robin and Nightwing-- he’s also been Batman. He's been Batman two times, to be exact. While Dick is usually reluctant to put on the cowl, he knows how significant the role of Batman is.
During the Prodigal storyline that takes place after Bane breaks Batman’s back in Batman: Knightfall, Dick Grayson takes over Bruce’s role as Batman.
He starts to realize the full weight the Bat carries and empathizes with Bruce’s situation. Nightwing becomes Batman again after the apparent death of Bruce in the aftermath of Final Crisis.
Damian Wayne is Robin at the time and they fight as the iconic Dynamic Duo role.
Each of these runs as Batman come to an end as the Dark Knight comes back, but they prove that Dick has grown more mature and is ready to take on a heavier, darker role.
12 He is considered the first official kid sidekick in DC comics
When people hear the word “sidekick,” they most likely think of Robin, and with good reason, considering he was the first sidekick in DC comics. Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940 in order to lighten the dark mood associated with Batman.
Dick Grayson was created by Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, and Bill Finger in order to make the Batman comics more relatable to the younger generation.
The introduction of the orphaned, eight year old acrobat helped double the sales of the comics. Through the 1940s and into the 1950s, he and Batman were called the “Dynamic Duo” and were inseparable.
The introduction of the Boy Wonder set the tone for all future superhero sidekicks. Dick Grayson continued to fill the role of Robin until the 1980s.
11 He first appeared as Nightwing in 1984
In 1984, Dick Grayson traded his subservient role as Robin for a more independent, adult persona. He first appeared as Nightwing in Tales of the Teen Titans #44.
After a major fallout with Batman where he was dismissed from the role of Robin, Grayson leaves Gotham and takes the name Nightwing and dons his iconic blue and black costume.
Nightwing was, however, already a character in the DC comics history. In 1963, the character Nightwing appeared in Superman #158, but he wasn’t Dick Grayson.
Marv Wolfman and George Pérez reinvented the character in the 1980s and dubbed Dick Grayson as Nightwing and it immediately stuck.
10 He was killed by Damian Wayne in the Injustice timeline
Many fans were excited to see Nightwing in the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us.
While Dick Grayson does make some brief appearances, the majority of the game is in an alternate universe where Dick Grayson was accidentally killed off by Damian Wayne, the son of Batman.
Frustrated, Damian threw his kai stick at Dick but, unfortunately, Dick didn't dodge in time and was knocked out, slamming his head on the ground and instantly dying.
Damian wears a red version of Nightwing’s blue outfit, and he looks so similar that Green Arrow actually mistakes him for Dick. Damian reveals his identity and Batman explains that Damian killed Dick and took on the Nightwing mantle.
Batman makes it clear that Dick will always be his son, not Damian, further solidifying the bond that Dick and Bruce have always shared.
The death of Dick Grayson was surprising and upset many fans who wished he had a bigger role in the game.
9 He's been on the Bludhaven police force
While Dick tried very hard to protect Bludhaven as Nightwing, he still felt like it wasn’t enough.
He decided becoming a member of the city’s police department would be a more efficient way to make a difference. While working outside the law has it’s advantages, so does working inside of it.
Despite Bruce’s objections, he trained to become a cop. He had to hold back in training, of course, so he wouldn’t raise suspicion.
Dick also was hesitant about wielding a weapon, considering he and Batman never kill or shoot at their opponents.
He struggled balancing between being a law-abiding police officer and an outside-the-law vigilante, but he made it work. Dick liked being a cop, but it strained his relationship between he and Bruce even more.
8 He has been engaged to be married twice
Dick Grayson has always had a way with the ladies. Fans and characters alike are attracted to him. He’s hooked up with many women, but only two have had him get down on one knee.
Starfire and Dick were romantically involved during their time as Teen Titans. They have been together on and off during his time as Nightwing, and they were even engaged to be married once, but the ceremony was interrupted by Raven (who was evil at the time) and it resulted in the end of their relationship.
Barbara Gordon and Dick have also had an on-and-off relationship, depending on the storyline. They both had feelings for each other at a young age, as Batgirl and Robin.
They grow up fighting crime together, and as they grow older Dick proposes to her. Barbara ends up telling him she isn’t ready for marriage. In the New 52 comics, it is clear they both have feelings for each other.
7 He knows dozens of forms of martial arts
Dick Grayson is one of the most athletic characters in the DC Universe and has a unique fighting style.
While Batman is a great fighter, Dick is more resourceful and may even know more fighting styles than the Dark Knight.
He is a master of dozens of martial arts. Tae kwon do, judo, jiu-jitsu, shotokan karate, and boxing are just a few.
He’s also agile and quick. Mix that with his acrobatic training and ability to improvise, and he is skilled in combat.
His suit is also perfect for martial arts and acrobatics. It’s more flexible and form fitting, allowing for more showmanship and dexterity, which is perfect for aerial attacks.
He’s always in tune with his environment and has quick reflexes. His detective skills, however, come from years of working with Batman.
6 He owns Haly's circus
A common known fact about Dick Grayson is that he comes from the circus. He was once one of “The Flying Graysons” until his parents were tragically killed. That’s when Bruce takes him under his wing.
Once Dick is Nightwing, he becomes an owner of Haly’s Circus in two different ways. In New Earth, Dick uses part of the Wayne fortune to buy it and become co-owner.
In New 52, Mr. Haly informs Dick that he knows of his activities as Nightwing, and although it upsets a lot of people, gives him the deed to the circus. The circus becomes Dick’s after Mr. Haly’s death.
In both storylines, the circus is the part of Dick’s past that he can’t seem to let go of. Sound familiar, Batman?
5 He has a collection of Batman mugs
Dick Grayson has had his share of issues with Bruce Wayne. He moved to another city just to get away from his shadow and they’ve fought over the best way to fight for their cities. But that doesn’t stop him from being Batman’s biggest fan.
In different comics, Dick is shown drinking from various Batman coffee mugs. In The New Teen Titans (1988), he’s shown on the phone holding a black mug with the Batman signal on. In another one, he’s holding a white mug with a blue Batman symbol on it.
Even in the DC Universe, there is Batman merchandise. It’s just funny that Dick Grayson is the owner of some of it. Do you think there’s a brand of “Dark Knight” coffee he could get to go with his mug?
4 His secret identity has been revealed
A superhero is nothing without their secret identity. It’s what separates their crime-fighting life from regular life, giving them a sense of normality, as well as protection. In Forever Evil, Dick Grayson is revealed to be Nightwing to the entire world.
After being tortured by an organization called the Crime Syndicate, Nightwing is unmasked on television.
After this, Dick was unable to resume his activities as Nightwing. Unmasking him put a lot of other heroes at risk, particularly the Bat-Family.
Dick had to fake his death in order to protect those around him and be able to reinvent himself. This was a defining moment for Dick, as well as many other heroes.
Letting go of your crime-fighting persona is difficult. It made it clear that the simple unmasking of a hero can crush them.
3 He was a secret agent for a while
After the events of Forever Evil, Dick couldn’t continue his work as Nightwing. Instead, he took on an undercover position at Spyral, a spy agency introduced in Batman Incorporated, as a secret agent.
This what after Batman pushed him to infiltrate the organization as a double agent. Grayson was known as Agent 37.
He used technology that would keep cameras from detecting his face, so that his identity would remain a secret. Batman knew about his activities, but urged him to let others think he’s dead. They secretly communicated throughout his time as an agent.
During his time at Spyral, he encountered situations that made him question his moral code, but it also provided him with future connections he could use as Nightwing. The leader of Spyral ends up being corrupt, and Dick has to help take him down.
2 Superman gave him the name Nightwing
In the comic Nightwing: Year One, while Dick is still Robin, Batman tells him he can’t be his sidekick anymore after a mission goes south.
Dick grows angry and confused, unsure of what this means for his future as a crime-fighter. He isn’t sure where to go, so he visits Clark Kent in Metropolis.
Superman takes him to the Fortress of Solitude and tells him about a hero from Krypton who fought for justice and protected others. He was an outcast who sought to impress his family and prove he was worth something.
The story helps motivate him to forge a new identity for himself. Dick related to the hero, especially with the state he and Bruce were in, and decided to use the Kryptonian’s name: Nightwing.
1 He was the only member of the Teen Titans without superpowers
Robin is the leader of the Teen Titans, but that’s not all that’s unique about him among that group. He’s also the only member without any superpowers. It could be argued that Cyborg doesn’t either, but technology is a physical part of him, so he has more advantages.
Dick has no superhuman abilities, but he knows many forms of martial arts and is a master detective after years of training by Batman. He’s also incredibly stealthy and is able to creep up on just about any opponent.
Add in his many gadgets, and he’s definitely worthy of fighting among those that do possess superpowers. His intellect and leadership skills make him the perfect leader of the Titans. Not being superhuman doesn’t make him any less of a hero.
Can you think of any other interesting facts about Batman's Dick Grayson? Sound off in the comments!