WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Nightwing #45
Nightwing's new comic series might be planting the seeds for a romantic reunion with Batgirl. The relaunch of the DC Universe with DC Rebirth has reinvigorated (or returned) many classic superhero couples. Green Arrow and Black Canary are together, Lois Lane and Clark Kent are married again and Catwoman is getting ready to say "I do" with Batman. Yet the relationship between Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson has been strangely left out in the cold.
Now with a new writer and villain coming to DC's ongoing Nightwing series, that may be about to change. Nightwing and Batgirl could be getting back together - at the very least, that's what Dick Grayson wants to happen.
Benjamin Percy, who interestingly began DC Rebirth on Green Arrow and forged the renewal of Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance's relationship, has taken over Nightwing. From the outset it didn't seem like Percy's run would have much to do with Nightwing and Batgirl's on-again and (mostly) off-again romance. Yet Nightwing #45 serves as proof that isn't the case, opening with a confused Dick Grayson waking up to a very naked Barbara Gordon.
It's a confusing moment for Dick and the reader as the end of Nightwing #44 didn't show Babs or Dick anywhere close to one another. Unfortunately for fans of this particular 'ship,' that's all because this "morning after" shocker is a trick. The newest villain to the DC Universe, Wyrm, is slowly taking over Dick's mind. And this surprise encounter with Barbara is just Wyrm's latest ploy.
For the unfamiliar, Wyrm is an astral projection of the dark net. In other words, it's an internet virus that can infect the minds of humans, and that's exactly what it's trying to do with Nightwing. Wyrm tries to lull Dick into a false sense of security by making Nightwing believe he's talking to Babs. In reality, Barbara is Wyrm.
It doesn't take Dick long to figure out the truth, but before he does, the young hero drops some pretty heavy revelations concerning his relationship with Barbara. Nightwing is horrified to wake up next to Barbara - not due to a lack of feelings or friendship, but because he can't remember their night together (and by this point, are pretty clearly close to soulmates). In addition, Dick explains that being with Barbara is "everything I've wanted."
Taken by itself, these moments don't amount to much. Wyrm's method of worming his way into Dick's mind is effective but he's hardly the first villain to use a hero's deepest desires against them. However, there's a very real possibility that Dick's (or Wyrm's) dream of perfect domestic life with Batgirl and Nightwing could become a reality.
The real Batgirl is all over Nightwing #45. Her presence makes sense, since the villain is a technological nightmare and tech is (one of) Barbara's areas of expertise. She'll undoubtedly be crucial in Nightwing taking down Wyrm for good. Yet there's still a suspicious amount of Batgirl for her to just become a superhero assist at the end of the story.
The issue exemplifies the closeness between Dick and Babs, with his description of her as the person who knows him better than anyone in the entire world a foregone conclusion to longtime readers. On their own, these moments could mean nothing. Taking them altogether, they do appear to be anvil sized hints that a reunion between Nightwing and Batgirl is imminent.
It's past time for Dick and Babs to get together, too. The previous Nightwing run written by Tim Seeley moved Dick and Barbara farther apart than ever before, with Nightwing falling in love and almost fathering a child with the former villain Defacer Currently, Dick and Barbara are both romantically unattached.
While Dick's two main love interests have been split between Barbara and Starfire, it's always the former that's been the most solid of his relationships. Benjamin Percy is also the perfect person to write the (hopefully) inevitable reunion. If Percy can do just a little of what he did for Green Arrow and Black Canary for Nightwing and Batgirl, fans should be very happy.
Nightwing #45 is now available from DC Comics.