Nightwing, Batman’s sonPosted: 06/23/2013
For a former teenage superhero, Dick Grayson turned out relatively normal. He retains his sense of humor, passion but not obsession, and can even manage a healthy romantic relationship (which Bruce certainly can’t). I don’t think it’d be far off to say that Dick has managed to become the most successful and popular former sidekick in comics today. But despite not being pantsless for over twenty years, a few loose ends needed to be tied up between the Boy Wonder and Dark Knight. Like legal status.
In official documents, Dick is Bruce’s ward, which remains something like a guardianship. Depending on the continuity and various writers, Dick’s only fifteen or so years younger than Bruce (though probably now around ten with the New 52). And since Batman’s job involves pummeling bad guys into unconsciousness, a smart man would have a back up plan set up in case of untimely (and likely) death. Unfortunately, in Batman: Gotham Knights #20-21, written by Devin Grayson and drawn by Roger Robinson, there’s one problem with this plan.
Dick’s roots go back to Romani Gypsies. That and carny folk. Circuses may excel at back flips and bearded women, but I imagine a clean past may not be one. Records tend to be hard read when written mostly on cotton candy.
Yes, that’s Batman generalizing a whole group of people. Nightwing gets mad at him, but Dick keeps forgetting Batman’s superpower of being wildly inconsiderate of other people’s feelings.
Let’s meet this so-called relative, who by the way, fits every stereotype down to his bushy mustache.
I get that legal mysteries may be less fun than Batman roundhouse kicking henchmen, but character development makes future roundhouse kicking worth it. Probably. With a harmless old man following Dick around, it’s time for Bruce to have a little chat about this final adoption obstacle.
Cliffhanger, right? Knowing that his grandson puts on a costume and clubs supervillains at night would certainly hold a major financial advantage, or at least blackmail. But truthfully, he really is just a harmless old man.
Being a comic book world, something sinister lurks behind this grandfatherly curtain. And fortunately, Bruce lacks the ability to trust anyone who isn’t Alfred, or Dick, or Tim Drake, or Barbara Gordon, or Commissioner Gordon, or Leslie Thompkins, or Lucius Fox, or Superman. Maybe a few others. Okay, so he trusts more than I thought, but definitely not this dude.
Yes, this is where things get bad. I wonder why anyone in Gotham would ever leave their window blinds open. The city has more snipers of roofs than pigeons. Still, plot demands the blinds stay up.
Did you read that last panel in the gravelly Batman voice? Of course you did. So who told Yoska about Dick? Think bad facial hair and petty grudges.
I know this is weird, though it’s not above Ra’s al Ghul to spend enormous amounts of money and time to set up a single emotional blow. Also, Ra’s is a dick.
Let’s get right into the solution of this mystery. It all involves Ra’s’ daughter Talia, who recently abandoned her father after nudging from Batman. With news of Bruce securing an heir, the whole heir business surely hit the supervillain’s sore spot. Also remember, Ra’s is a dick.
Know the biggest difference between Dick and Bruce? I believe Devin Grayson sums it up best here:
During the Hush arc and the fight between Batman and Superman, Bruce remarks, “I know how [Superman] thinks. Even more than the Kryptonite, he’s got one big weakness. Deep down, Clark’s essentially a good person … and deep down, I’m not.” That begs to be argued, but I can probably say that Batman fights less out of concern for his fellow man and more for the justice and vengeance against crime and corruption.
But Nightwing? Dick’s not a mini-Bruce. He’s far more like Superman in regards to his crime fighting ideals. Like Superman, Nightwing trusts too easily, loves too much, and holds back far more than he should. And truthfully, maybe Batman could learn something from that. Or not. That’s not really up to me. Brooding tends to be one of Batman’s more popular traits anyway.