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Dick Grayson Survived a Bullet - But Nightwing Died

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Warning: SPOILERS for Nightwing #50

Nightwing fans were shocked when a comic cliffhanger saw Dick Grayson take a sniper's bullet to the head. Thankfully Dick Grayson survived the injury... but he's not the same man he was before.

The heartbreaking Batman #55 saw the KGBeast stake out the Bat-Signal, waiting for a chance to hit Bruce Wayne where he's most vulnerable. Not any part of his own body, but the sidekick, friend, and surrogate son who had returned to Gotham for a visit. As the newest issue of Nightwing reveals, the attack worked. Dick is alive and kicking, but with absolutely no memory of the man he used to be, and no desire to play a superhero like his Bat-Family wishes, he's moving on.

Its hard to believe, but Nightwing #50 leaves no doubt: Dick Grayson is done being a hero in DC's Universe.

Even a Bullet To The Head Couldn't Kill Nightwing

Before getting into the reasons Nightwing is basically done, fans should let out a slight sigh of relief. As final as a bullet to the head may seem on the comic book page, the writers have some wiggle room when it comes to the actual damage (and since every reader will want Dick to survive, especially now that Wally West has been killed, who's going to complain?). So as Batman hunts down KGBeast for trying to murder Nightwing - which he presumably believes he accomplished - Dick's own story makes a time jump forward, months after the shot.

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We assume it's been months, at least, since Dick is able to describe the side effects and damage inflicted by The Beast's bullet. Even for a vigilante in Nightwing's shape, a brain injury means blackouts, memory loss, and mood and personality swings - all of which are shown to varying degrees in this issue. But not everybody has the ability to roll with the punches and start over like Dick Grayson, either. Embracing his sudden 'freedom' from his past and superhero obligations, Dick is taking his life in a... different direction.

The New Dick Grayson: Underground Boxer?

A brush with death as painfully close as Dick Grayson's is going to leave a mark, as the survivor comes to grips with their own mortality, their second chance at life, and the decisions that brought them to that point. When you add in Grayson's athleticism, lifetime of acrobatics and fighting, and general devil-may-care attitude, the way Dick is exercising his newfound need to feel alive is a bit more extreme. Embracing his reckless side and heading from the rooftops of Bludhaven to its underground fist fights "extreme."

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He's still a good person at heart, sparing a small diner's employees by distracting an armed robber with his own poker winnings, before dropping him with a perfectly thrown coffee cup. But with none of his history with Bruce or the Teen Titans to guide him, Dick has returned to his nomadic, circus-life ways of no personal connections, and even fewer obligations.

Which is going to break the hearts of anyone who hoped Nightwing and Batgirl might actually end up together... because Dick Grayson doesn't remember her, either.

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