Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Nightwing

Go To

    open/close all folders 


    Robin I/Nightwing/Batman III/Agent 37
Dick Grayson as Nightwing
Click here to see Dick as Robin: 

Real Name: Richard John Grayson

Team Affiliations: Teen Titans, Justice League of America, Outsiders, Spyral, Batman Incorporated

Created By: Bill Finger · Bob Kane · Jerry Robinson

First Appearance: Detective Comics #38 (April 1940)

"If you want Robin to stay dead, that's okay with me. But you've trained me too well — made me what I am. You can't keep me from pursuing my own destiny."

Easily the most famous of the Robins, Richard John "Dick" Grayson was the poster boy for Sidekicks in the Golden Age and Silver Age. With a similar backstory to that of his mentor, Batman (parents murdered by a racketeer who, unlike the mugger in some versions of Batman's origin, was brought to justice or died depending on which story you read), Robin was always there to provide lighthearted commentary and ask questions that the readers themselves are wondering.

Eventually, however, he grew out of his role as a sidekick, and began to argue with the Dark Knight over crime-fighting. This lead to him establishing himself as a solo hero, Nightwing, and became the leader of the Teen Titans, and after Bruce needed further time to recover after kicking Jean-Paul Valley (see below) to the curb, even took over the Batman role himself for some time. He then received a comic book series of his own, detailing his adventures in Gotham's sister city, Bludhaven (even more of a Crapsack World than Gotham). Blüdhaven has since been destroyed (twice!) and after a sojourn back in his Titans' base of New York, Nightwing has now officially moved back to Gotham, being back on good terms with his former mentor. In the wake of Batman RIP and Final Crisis, Dick has since stepped up to the role as Gotham City's official protector, and has once again officially become Batman, this time with an open mandate. When Bruce came back, he even retained his role as Gotham City's Batman for one year of Comic-Book Time.

As of the New 52, Dick is back to being Nightwing. After operating in Gotham for a time, he moved to Chicago and set up a life there. However, Dick was captured and outed by the Crime Syndicate, and forced to fake his death. Working undercover in the spy organization Spyral, Dick operated as Agent 37 alongside Helena Bertinelli. After use of a mind-controlling satellite erases his outing from the minds of the world, and after taking down the darker sides of Spyral, Dick returned to being Nightwing. He'd go on to move to a new version of Bludhaven.

At the beginning of the "Beasts of Burden" story arc of Batman (Tom King), Dick got shot in the head by the KGBeast. Upon recovering, it quickly becomes apparent that he had lost his memory beyond the deaths of his parents. Batman underwent increasingly desperate efforts to restore his partner's memory (up to and including showing him the moment he got shot), only to exacerbate the problem, resulting in Dick rejecting his past, abandoning the Bat-Family in disgust, and returning to Bludhaven to start his life anew as Ric Grayson, up to and torching his old hideout.

He went to live a normal life as a taxi driver. However, his necessity to fight crime eventually led to him returning to crime fighting, even teaming up with a group of vigilantes that used old Nightwing equipment to fight crime. During the The Joker War bat-event, he was kidnapped by the Joker and brainwashed into a crazy minion named Dicky Boy who proceeded to kidnap Barbara Gordon to kill her in combat inside an arena. He was defeated and cured of his brainwashing with the help of his current girlfriend but lost all of his memories as Ric Grayson and returned to lead the Bat-family while Batman fought the Joker.

Tropes associated with Dick:

Love Interests

    Roberta, the Girl Wonder! 

Roberta, the Girl Wonder!

Real Name: Mary Wills

Created By: Jim Mooney

First Appearance: Star-Spangled Comics #103, Robin: "Roberta, the Girl Wonder" (April 1950)

Dick's first love interest where that interest went both ways—he'd previously had a crush on a disinterested school mate named Marjory Davenport—and where the girl was a fellow crime fighter. Mary only appeared in one story but her motivation, costume and even name had a distinct influence on the design on Bette below.

  • '50s Hair: Mary's curled bangs, shoulder length waves and frequent chignons are emblematic of the early '50s and late '40s.
  • Action Heroine: Mary was a much more effective crime fighter than her successor Bette.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: At school the redheaded Mary is always in the company of her two best friends, a black haired girl who always wears the letter "C" somewhere, and a blonde with a flipped bob. The only time she's seen without both of them while out of costume is in drama class which the blonde is not in.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After her single appearance she is never seen again, even during issues that take place at Dick's school where she is one of his classmates.
  • Distaff Counterpart: "Roberta" was the first female Robin counterpart.
  • Girls Have Cooties: Mary accuses Robin of this when his reaction to her responding to the Bat-signal the first time is to tell her that girls have no place as heroes. He obviously does not actually feel that way, and by the end of the night he actually accepts her assistance in tracking down a criminal whose only identifying feature is a unique ring and who is known to frequent a certain drive-in. Mary disguises herself as a waitress and keeps an eye out.
  • Girly Girl: She wore a dress and low heels to fight in, and her tool kit was disguised as a make-up compact. She at least had a good excuse for the compact as she often went undercover as an employee or such to make herself beneath suspicion while investigating.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: The start of Dick's long list of redheaded love interests.
  • Magic Skirt: She never has any trouble running about rooftops and fighting crooks in that short skirt.
  • Master of Disguise: Between the wigs, masks and her acting abilities Mary is able to talk to her own friends while in disguise without them recognizing her and no one puts together that her disguises as meek workers are actually the Girl Wonder after they get busted by Roberta and Robin.
  • Master of Unlocking: After Robin turns away Roberta's help she picks her way into the Batmobile and hides in the trunk until he arrives at his destination to calmly knock on the lid to get him to let her out. She did warn him she wouldn't be turned away for such a dumb reason as girls shouldn't be heroes, they live in the DCU for crying out loud.
  • Self-Made Woman: Mary didn't need anyone's help becoming a hero, once she'd decided she was going to be one she started studying criminology, chemistry, math, and detective work while starting a vigorous training routine. She also converted her small at home dark-room into a crime lab, sewed her own costume and created her own gadgets including smoke and explosive pellets, a disguised radio, disguised first aid kit, and hidden camera.


Batgirl I/Flamebird/Hawkfire

Real Name: Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane

Created By: Bill Finger · Sheldon Moldoff · George Pérez

First Appearance: Batman #139 (April 1961)

Was a love interest for Dick as "Bat-Girl" Pre-Crisis and when reintroduced retained a seemingly permanent crush on Dick which he did not reciprocate. During the turn of the millenium, this crush eventually dissapated due to Dick treating her as a lesser vigilante, igniting her vigilante spirit as the renewed Flamebird.

See Teen Titans: Original Teen Titans

    Batgirl II/Oracle 

Batgirl I/Oracle

Real Name: Barbara Joan "Babs" Gordon

Known Aliases: Amy Beddoes

Team Affiliations: Birds of Prey, Justice League, Batman Incorporated

Created By: Gardner Fox · Carmine Infantino

First Appearance: Detective Comics #359 (January 1967)

She and Dick have had a long on and off again relationship with Dick having a crush on her while she was still Batgirl. At one point they were even engaged. As Oracle and Nightwing they know each other well enough to have trust and witty banter over com lines and in-person.

See Batgirl, Birds of Prey or Oracle

    Lori Elton 

Lori Elton

Created By: Bob Rozakis · Al Milgrom

First Appearance: Detective Comics #450 (August 1975)

Dick's girlfriend in college while attending Hudson University. Her existence post-Crisis is never confirmed.

  • Damsel in Distress: Dick has to save her from her ex after he kidnaps her with the intent of disfiguring her.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: One of her art class classmates.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Though unfortunately paired with her bad character judgement it doesn't amount to much.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Her boyfriend prior to Dick turned into a supervillain, she broke up with Dick after misinterpreting his desire to find to killer of a fellow student to being him not having any compassion for the dead student, and her boyfriend after Dick was a supervillain.



Real Name: Princess Koriand'r of Tamaran

Known Aliases: Kory Anders

Team Affiliations: Teen Titans, Justice League

Created By: Marv Wolfman · George Pérez

First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)

One of Dick's Teen Titans teammates, they began dating and were engaged but their wedding was interrupted by a fellow teammate gone bad and their relationship went to on-and-off status like his relationship with Barbara.

See Starfire



Real Name: Helena Bertinelli

Team Affiliations: Birds of Prey, Outsiders, Checkmate

Created By: Joey Cavalieri · Joe Staton

First Appearance: Huntress #1 (April 1989)

They had an on and off again relationship until Helena became close friends with Barbara Gordon, after which she dropped that part of her relationship with Dick out of respect for her friend.

See Batman: Supporting Cast or Huntress

    Cheyenne Freemont 

Cheyenne Freemont

Created By: Bruce Jones · Joe Dodd

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #118 (May 2006)

A fashion designer who is friends with Dick and has a tryst with him. She happens to be a metahuman but has no interest in becoming a superhero, preferring a normal life.



Real Name: Shawn Tsang

Created By: Tim Seeley · Marcus To

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 4) #10 (February 2017)

"I don't want to fight. I don't want to break things. I want to build something."
Once the assistant of the Pigeon back when Dick Grayson was Robin, Shawn eventually got out of prison and formed a reformation group in Bludhaven, which led her to a more romantic encounter with Nightwing after he moved to Bludhaven.
  • Action Girl: Naturally, being a former supervillain sidekick-turned-occasional superheroine.
  • Amicable Exes: Apparently after they broke up, Dick and Shawn remained close enough friends to be regularly texting one-another. To the point Shawn notices when his amnesia makes him suddenly stop contacting her; though she interprets it as him ghosting her and gets mad, she immediately apologizes when she learns the true reason and they appear to be on good terms, even after she has to go serve another prison sentence for her outburst.
  • Badass Normal: Next to her former mentor Pigeon, who was a metahuman with bird wings, as well as the Run-Offs, who include a few metas, she herself is just a normal, tiny woman who uses gadgets made from paint cans, yet not only does she prove to be more competent and effective than Pigeon but she ended up becoming the leader of the Run-Offs.
  • Battle Couple: Moreso than any other previous love-interest, besides Starfire and Barbara.
  • Boxed Crook: She ends up on the Suicide Squad for a bit.
  • Casual Kink: She makes a comment to Dick that she'd like to be spanked. Dick is all for it.
  • Cool Big Sis: To the Run-Offs, ironically despite being probably the smallest and least powerful. She's considerably more put together than most of them are, and so they turn to her for guidance, while she is quick to help any former supervillain adjust to life outside of prison.
  • Deuteragonist: She's essentially the other protagonist of Suicide Squad: King Shark, being dragged into Nanaue's adventure and trying to ensure humanity doesn't end as shark chowder.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Like Dick, she's the former teenaged sidekick of a flying animal-themed super-being who has grown up and decided to make a name for herself. The only difference is their gender and morality.
  • Fatal Flaw: Anger. Shawn’s temper tends to be her worst enemy. It was her hatred at an unfair world that led to her becoming the Defacer, and while she deeply regrets what she has done in the present, that same sense of vindictive spite still persists when she feels threatened, leading to her verbally attacking those close to her and attempting to burn bridges in order to protect herself.
  • Foil: She's this to Dick. She's a former teen sidekick, but she was this to a supervillain, not a hero, and as a result she didn't get a great start on life like he did in comparison.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: It's not dawned on much, but she was able to make working rocket boots out of paint cans.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: When feeling stressed or in any way attacked, Shawn has an unfortunate tendency to fly off the handle, a trait that tends to put her in an even worse situation.
  • Hot-Blooded: She has a lot of anger in her, but she had been working to control it. However, when Dick loses his memory and nobody thinks to inform Shawn, she interprets it as him completely ghosting her for seemingly no reason, and she responds by vandalizing his statue. When she learns the situation she pretty much immediately regrets it.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Ironically as Dick himself is not huge, he's only 5'10" so he's pretty average, but while Shawn's exact height isn't stated, she is tiny next to Dick, being almost two heads shorter than him. Based on his height and the way they're drawn together, it'd be surprising if she's actually taller than 5'.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: In her backstory, she was the sympathetic teen sidekick to a joke villain who's crimes were more-or-less supervillain-scale vandalism. Dick remembered her years later largely because he felt a great deal of guilt about sending her to prison for what was pretty much a harmless crime.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: When they break up, Shawn ultimately decides this.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Shawn considers her life of crime to be an embarrassing mistake of her teen years, and though she helps Nightwing where she can its made clear she wants to prioritize her normal life over engaging in heroics or villainy.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's more than just eye-candy, but she's a very attractive woman who spends more than a few appearances either in short-shorts, her underwear, or a form-fitting spandex leotard. It's balanced out by the fact Dick is almost always in a similar lack of dress in the same scenes.
  • Non Conformist Dyed Hair: Her hair is blue and she's the sidekick of essentially a vandal.
  • Poor Judge of Character: She trusted the Pigeon to not commit art-related crimes after her release, which of course proved to be wrong.
  • Pregnancy Scare: She and Dick briefly believe that she might be pregnant when her period is late. Turns out to be a false alarm, but it leads to things getting very terse between them.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The rest of the Run-Offs were all villains who had genuinely menaced Dick in his original ongoing series, and the Pigeon is (loosely) based on a one-shot villain for a snack ad. Shawn herself though was a completely original creation of Tim Seeley's, but Dick recognizes her as an accomplice of the latter he dealt with in his Robin days.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Serves as this, when contrasted against Barbara and Kori.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's a cute tomboy, as seen by her dress sense, but she's shown a few times wearing frilly panties, giving her a very feminine taste in underwear. She also gets a Girliness Upgrade when she swaps her Civvie Spandex for a leotard.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Per the backstory, she was the sidekick to a joke villain called the Pigeon. After release from prison, even though she didn't intend to be, she ends up becoming the default leader of a group of other former supervillains and the action hero partner of a superhero. This gets symbolised by her creating an actual costume instead of merely wearing her civvies.

     Bea Bennett 

Bea Bennett

Real Name: Beatrice Bennett

Known Aliases: Bea, Captain Blüd

Team Affiliations: The Hold

Created By: Benjamin Percy · Travis Moore

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol) 4 #50 (December 2018)

"Ric Grayson"'s girlfriend during the amnesia storyline, Bea is the owner of Blüdhaven's Prodigal Bar, and tries to look out for the city's lost, which definitely includes Ric. She's also a Pirate Girl under the name Captain Blüd, which she inherited from her adopted father. We don't learn this until much later

  • The Bus Came Back: After being written out in Nightwing #76 following the restoration of Dick's memories, she returns in #106, when Nightwing follows up on something that happened while he was Ric.
  • Legacy Character: Her adopted father was the previous Captain Blüd, a name which dates back to Blüdhaven's founding.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: The real reason Dick split up with her, but not the reason he gave her, which was that it was Ric who'd dated her, not him.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's very hard to talk about her return without mentioning the Captain Blüd thing.

Batman Family



Real Name: Bruce Wayne

Known Aliases: John Smith, Matches Malone

Team Affiliations: Justice League, Outsiders, Batman Incorporated

Created By: Bill Finger · Bob Kane

First Appearance: Detective Comics #27 (March 1939)

"I didn't fall. I jumped. I jumped because I knew you'd catch me."

Dick's adoptive father and mentor. While they are the original Dynamic Duo and Dick is widely considered to work better with Bruce than any other Robin, by the time Dick takes on the Nightwing mantle they butt heads regularly over a large number of things, often caused by Bruce's callousness, manipulative nature or poor attempts to try to keep Dick out of harm's way...or Dick's need for Bruce's approval, too trusting nature or need to distance himself from Bruce. Even with all of this, Bruce's other sons consider Dick to be the favorite.

See Batman (The Character)



Real Name: Selina Kyle

Team Affiliations: Gotham City Sirens, Birds of Prey, Justice League, Batman Incorporated

Created by: Bill Finger · Bob Kane

First appearance: Batman #1 (March 1940)

A love interest of Dick's adoptive father Bruce, she and Dick once made out in the middle of a firefight. Despite that, he generally doesn't see her as a love interest, at least not one for himself.

See Batman: Supporting Cast or Catwoman

    Alfred Pennyworth 

Alfred Pennyworth

Created By: Bob Kane · Jerry Robinson

First Appearance: Batman #16 (May 1943)

"It was as if color had come to our monochrome lives."

Bruce's butler and godfather, Alfred is a grandfather figure for Dick and voice of reason for the Batfamily as a whole. Alfred was happy when Dick first came to the manor as it made the place start feeling like it was lived in by a family again. He is distressed by Bruce and Dick's near constant butting of heads after Dick gets older.

See Batman: Bat-Family

    Robin II/Red Hood II/Red Robin II 

Robin II/Red Hood II/Red Robin II

Real Name: Jason Peter Todd

Team Affiliations: Teen Titans, League of Assassins, Outlaws, Batman Incorporated

Created By: Gerry Conway · Don Newton

First Appearance: Batman #357 (March 1983)

"There you go again...underestimating me."

Dick's first adoptive brother. While there has always been tension between the two due to the way Bruce brought in Jason and Dick interpreting Jason to be a Replacement Goldfish for himself, Dick did grow to care about Jason and was deeply upset at his death. After Jason's return from the grave, Dick still cares for him despite Jason going out of his way to be a thorn in his side and eventually slipping so far as to make credible and almost successful attempts on his brothers' lives.

See Red Hood

    Robin III/Red Robin III 

Robin III/Red Robin III

Real Name: Timothy Jackson "Tim" Drake-Wayne

Team Affiliations: Teen Titans, Young Justice, Batman Incorporated

Created By: Marv Wolfman · Pat Broderick

First Appearance: Batman #436 (August 1989)

"I don't want to be Robin forever, Alfred...but I don't want to leave Bruce, either. I love him, Alfred, almost like he was my father."

Tim was present at the circus on the night Dick's parents fell and witnessing their murders made an impression on his young mind. When Tim — who had figured out Batman and Robin's identities when he was nine — realized Batman's recklessness in the wake of Jason's death had become dangerous and that Batman needed help, he approached Dick. While Dick was suspicious of him and angry when he suggested Dick return to the role of Robin, he did realize Tim was right about Bruce's recklessness. After Tim helped them escape from a collapsed building, Tim realized that Dick needed his space and Bruce needed a Robin. Tim asked Dick for permission to become the new Robin and Dick became one of Tim's mentors.

Over time Dick became a big brother to Tim in all but name, and after Tim was orphaned and had his attempts to avoid becoming a ward of the state negated, Bruce adopted him and Tim became Dick's second official little brother.

See Robin or Robin (Series)

    Batgirl II/Blackbat/Orphan II 

Batgirl II/Blackbat/Orphan II

Real Name: Cassandra "Cass" Cain

Team Affiliations: League of Assassins, Titans East, Outsiders, Young Justice, Batman Incorporated

Created by: Kelley Puckett · Damion Scott

First appearance: Batman #567 (July 1999)

"I don't kill."

Dick's adoptive sister and the biological daughter of the assassins Lady Shiva and David Cain. Dick is the only member of the family who doesn't have trouble communicating with her while she is still relying on body language and still learning to speak.

See Batgirl or Batgirl (2000)

    Robin V 

Robin V

Real Name: Damian Wayne

Team Affiliations: League of Assassins, Teen Titans, Justice League, Batman Incorporated

Created By: Grant Morrison · Andy Kubert

First Appearance: Batman #655 (September 2006)

"So far I'd say you've been my favourite partner. We were the best, Richard. No matter what anyone thinks."

The biological son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian is Dick's youngest adoptive brother. After Bruce's death, Dick became a father figure for Damian and was the one to really start getting through to him about the no-killing rule and the value of life after the boy spent his formative years being raised as an assassin. Dick was the one to make Damian Robin in the wake of Bruce's death, displacing Tim from the role.

While Damian would go on to work under his father, he and Dick maintain a close bond, and Damian respects Dick as a fellow hero and brother.

See Robin or Robin: Son of Batman

Bludhaven Police Department

    Officer Amy Rohrbach 

Officer Amy Marie Rohrbach

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Greg Land

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #48 (October 2000)

One of the few honest cops in Bludhaven and Dick's partner while he was on the force.

  • Fair Cop: Good cop who is easy on the eyes.
  • Good Parents: To her children Justin and Emma.
  • Happily Married: To her husband Jim.
  • Secret-Keeper: She learns that Dick is Nightwing, and while she has him turn in his badge since he is violating his oaths, she keeps his secret.

    Chief Phillip "Phil" Aswal Addad 

Chief Phillip "Phil" Aswal Addad

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Greg Land

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #41 (March 2000)

A Captain of homicide in the Bludhaven Police Department.

  • By-the-Book Cop: He is eternally frustrated with murder investigations going nowhere due to his crooked colleagues, underlings and superiors.
  • Da Chief: That's his job and he's one of the few on Bludhaven's police force actually trying to do it.

    Inspector Macklin "Mac" Arnot 

Inspector Macklin "Mac" Arnot

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Scott McDaniel

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #33 (July 1999)

One of Dick's fellow rookies who immediately gets an inspector job due to having recommendations "from all the wrong people".

  • Dirty Cop: He got through the academy already there with a juvenile record and as son in law to Gotham criminal Jimmy Navarone he made plenty of connections. Barbara and Dick note he never would have been able to become a cop someplace less corrupt than Bludhaven.
  • Sudden Name Change: Is he Mason or Macklin?

Other supporting characters

    Bridget Clancy 

Bridget Clancy

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Scott McDaniel

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #2 (November 1996)

The superintendent of the Bludhaven apartment Dick moved into when he moved to the city.

  • The Faceless: At first every time Dick speaks with her she is hidden behind a door or other object, it makes Dick briefly mistake one of her friends for her when he does see her since he hadn't mentally pictured her Irish accent from someone of such noticeable Chinese decent.
  • Funetik Aksent: Her strong Irish accent, as she's a recent Irish immigrant, is spelled out in her speech bubbles.
  • Hospital Hottie: She's going to medical school in Gotham so she's well on her way to becoming one.
  • Overalls and Gingham: She's no farmer but her favorite outfit seems to be overalls frequently paired with a baseball cap to note her practical and tomboyish leanings.


    Acheron the Demon 


First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #5 (March 2012)

"Oh, skinny fool. Wish mortal life 'Adieu'. James Allen Clark, this demon comes for you!"

Acheron is a powerful demon who once fought Nightwing.

  • Adaptational Villainy: Prior to Flashpoint Acheron was a powerful member of the supernatural community who mostly avoided fights unless they came to him and hung out at the Oblivion Bar, but he was unquestionably a good guy and had been an ally of Shadowpact. In the New 52 he's an evil demon.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Acheron is a rhyming demon and speaks in rhyme.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: If Acheron makes contact with the symbol that summoned him, he will immediately be transported back to Hell.

    Anthony Zucco 

The man who killed Dick Grayson's parents, and his arch-nemesis.

  • Domestic Abuse: Treated his first wife Mei Lin like crap
  • Evil Is Petty: He didn't actually kill the Flying Graysons to punish the circus; in reality, he was furious that John Grayson not only helped his abused wife escape his clutches for a time, but was also the actual father of his child.
  • It's Personal: In Tom Taylor's run it's revealed that his real reason for killing the Graysons was because John Grayson was the actual father of his daughter Melinda.
  • Redemption Failure: In the New 52 universe he actually does try to turn his life around to be a good role model for his son Brian......then he learns that his wife and son left him and he decides to embrace being evil.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Has this reaction when he learns his wife and son left him.

    Blockbuster II 

Blockbuster II

Real Name: Roland Desmond

Created By: Gardner Fox · Carmine Infantino

First Appearance: Detective Comics #345 (November 1965)

"I underestimated you, hero. And I am not happy about that. You are the equal of your mentor. . . . But even you cannot save every life. You cannot right every wrong"

Roland Desmond is the younger brother of the original Blockbuster, Mark Desmond. After the serum that granted Mark super strength blunted his intelligence, Roland easily manipulated his brother into doing criminal favors for him. After Mark was forcibly recruited into the Suicide Squad and died fighting Brimstone, Roland took the serum himself. Like his brother, Roland found that the serum increased his strength but severely diminished his intelligence. However, a bargain with the demon Neron enabled Roland to regain his genius intellect and keep his super strength. The newly intelligent Blockbuster established a criminal base in Gotham's sister city of Bludhaven, eventually becoming kingpin of the city's criminal underworld.

  • Big Bad: For 93 issues of Nightwing's first solo series.
  • Break the Badass: After he figures out Nightwing is Dick Grayson he starts killing everyone Dick interacts with, including everyone in Dick's apartment building. This somewhat backfires on him as it leads to Dick stepping aside when Tarantula comes to kill Blockbuster. Nightwing's Heroic BSoD only gets worse after this and Tarantula gets what she wants.
  • Deal with the Devil: He makes a deal with Neron to regain his intelligence while maintaining his more dangerous enhanced body.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Blockbuster loved his. And he makes Nightwing pay dearly for it when he indirectly causes her to have a fatal heart attack.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Much bigger than Nightwing.
  • Large and in Charge: He is quite big and leading his own gang.
  • Legacy Character: He took the Blockbuster identity after the death of his brother Mark Desmond.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Desmond is mutated into a gargantuan humanoid form of muscle and is the most dangerous man Bludhaven. Bludhaven has very little costumed crime and the few costumed criminals around are at best C-list of the Badass Normal variety. Outside of Bludhaven, Desmond is a C-lister himself that barely rates as a threat to the Hero or Villain community. This point is beautifully illustrated when Superman visits Nightwing and they both threaten Desmond to keep him from evicting tenants from one of the properties he owns. Desmond takes a swing as Superman who promptly stops the punch like it's being thrown from a 5-year-old while Blockbuster looks like he broke his hand. Supes then tells him not to start fights he can't finish. Interestingly, Desmond fully acknowledges his place in the pecking order and is content to be the the king of a small hill rather than shoot for the top of the mountain.
  • Smug Super: In spite of his enhanced intellect Desmond is a bully who like throwing his weight around. For all of his schemes, he's nothing but a thug at heart an like lording over others. The problems is that it tends to make him arrogant or overconfident. Once when Superman visited Nightwing and the two of them threatened Desmond, Roland lost his cool and threw a punch at Supes. Superman stopped the punch with barely any effort while Desmond damn near broke his hand. As dangerous as a man who can pick up a truck can be, he doesn't hold a candle to a guy who can bench press mountains.
  • Super Serum: What he and his brother before him took to become Blockbuster.

    The Bride and The Groom

Real Names: Violet Parris and Thomas Larson

Created by: Marv Wolfman · Dan Jurgens · Jamal Igle

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #128 (March 2007)

A pair of spree killers who decided to have a body count competition as their pre-wedding celebration. Dick put a stop to it but not before they had murdered many innocents, including several people Dick was familiar with.

  • Theme Serial Killer: They target engaged couples just before their weddings.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Of couple of meta-humans who tried to kill the most people before their wedding day.



Real Name: Guillermo Barrera

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #22 (July 1998)

"The little hero won't go far with a blade in his spine."

Brutale is Guillermo Barrera, a South American assassin born in Hasaragua. His specialty is throwing knives. Prior to becoming a supervillain, he was a member of his country's secret police, until a revolution forced him to flee. Barrera moved to Bludhaven where he could sell his services, and adopted a gargoyle costume. This made him an enemy to the vigilante Nightwing.

  • Affably Evil: At least in Robin (2021), he's shown to be surprisingly friendly with the other competitors of the Lazarus Tournament.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Brutale was a top-level interrogator/torturer for the secret police in the Latin American country of Hasaragua.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Is an expert with all forms of knives and blades, being able to both fight superbly and inflict horrible pain on his victims. He has a variety of scalpels, throwing knives and other razor keen blades that he utilizes.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: He was reintroduced in the post-Flashpoint continuity as an enemy of Blue Beetle.



Real Name: Walter Stapleton

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 4) #59 (June 2019)

Burnback is a creature made out of pure flames responsible for multiple arsons across the city of Bludhaven.

  • Elemental Embodiment: Of fire.
  • Healing Factor: Just like fire can grow on its own, Burnback can instantly regenerate from any wound.
  • Logical Weakness: As a creature of pure fire Burnback is very susceptible to most liquids, predominately water. When water is sprayed on it Burnback is unable to manifest a physical form for a while.
  • Playing with Fire: Being made of flame, anything that touches Burnback gets burned. Burnback can also project concentrated beams of thermal energy out of their body

    Court of Owls 

The Court of Owls

Created By: Scott Synder · Greg Capullo

First Appearance: Batman (Vol 2) #2 (December 2011)

A secret society comprised of Gotham City's oldest and most influential families, the Court of Owls have been secretly shaping Gotham's history for more than two centuries.
See Night of the Owls for more.



Real Name: Slade Wilson

Team Affiliations: H.I.V.E, League of Assassins, Suicide Squad, Secret Society of Supervillains

Created By: Marv Wolfman · George Perez

First Appearance: The New Teen Titans (Vol 1) #2 (December 1980)

"Viewed from a certain angle, I can come off looking like quite the bad egg. A real villain. A mass-murdering psychopathic killer, even. But that depends on who's describing me."
A metahuman mercenary who is often considered to be both the greatest assassin in the DC universe and the Evil Counterpart to Batman. Though nominally as "good" or "bad" as whoever hired him at the moment, Slade took a contract against the Teen Titans back when Dick Grayson (still in his Robin identity) was their leader. The feud continued after Dick left the Titans and became Nightwing, and Slade has consequently become one of Dick's most persistent foes.
See Deathstroke


Deathwing (I)

Created By: Marv Wolfman · Tom Grindberg · Tom Grummet · Al Vey

First appearance: New Titans Annual #7 (October 1991)

"Forget it, Hellebore. Poison has a new name! It's now called Deathwing!"

Deathwing was a youth from the 90s, recruited by Time Trapper to serve as a sleeper agent against Extant. He was sent to the future of Lord Chaos with implanted memories that he was Dick Grayson/Nightwing. He supervised and helped train several teams of superpowered teens, the Team Titans, and had a relationship with Mirage. He eventually came back in time and briefly joined the Team Titans, before he was ambushed by a dark version of Raven. She corrupted him, and he became her helper under the name Deathwing.

  • Bald of Evil: Deathwing remained in Raven's thrall, and adopted a new look: shaved head, body paint and leather attire. During this conflict, Mirage was captured by Deathwing.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: To Dick Grayson/Nightwing.
  • Fake Memories: Implanted with memories that he was Dick Grayson/Nightwing.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Wears a studded leather costume.

Deathwing (II)

Created By: Tim Seeley· Marcus To

First appearance: Nightwing (Vol 4) #14 (April, 2017)

Deathwing was originally one of Professor Pyg's's dollotrons; individuals who were abducted, surgically altered and brainwashed into obedience. At some point, Dr. Simon Hurt brainwashed the Dollotron into thinking it was Nightwing.

  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Dr. Simon Hurt brainwashed the Dollotron into thinking it was Nightwing. Changing his name to Deathwing, the dollotron went on a murderous rampage, killing criminals and anyone who stood in his way. He also attempted to take out Nightwing, whom he believed to be the impostor.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Nightwing.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: A psychotic murderer with white hair.

    Double Dare 

Double Dare

Real Names: Aliki & Margot Marceau

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Scott McDaniel

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #32 (June 1999)

Margot: "Imagine, Aliki – after all the clumsy policemen and infantile criminals of this country, we finally have a challenge."
Aliki: "But remember, Margot..."
Margot: "Yes, little sister?"
Aliki: "I saw him first>"

French sisters who are circus acrobatic thieves.

  • Braids of Action: Aliki keeps her hair in a long braid while dressed as a villain.
  • Challenge Seeker: They are excited when they run into Nightwing as they think he may pose a challenge to them.
  • Siblings in Crime: French sisters who are circus acrobatic thieves.
  • Thrill Seeker: Sister team Double Dare turned to crime in hopes of finding excitement and challenge.

    Electrocutioner III 

Electrocutioner III

Real Name: Lester Buchinsky

Team Affiliations: Suicide Squad, Secret Society of Supervillains

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Tom Lyle

First Appearance: Detective Comics #644 (May 1992)

A member of Blockbuster's gang who had formerly attempted to work as a hero but his ideology and brutality had brought him into conflict with Robin and Batman.



Real Name: Zane

Created By: Kyle Higgins · Eddy Barrows · Eduardo Pansica

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #3 (January 2012)

Zane was a member of Haly's Circus and childhood friend of Dick Grayson and Raya Vestri.

  • Agony Beam: Can send radio frequencies into the brain to excite emotions in the target causing them to feel horrible amounts of pain and suffering.
  • Emotion Control: Feedback's telepathic implant allows him to excite emotions in his targets.
  • Mind Probe: Due to an implant which granted him telepathic powers, Feedback can send radio frequencies into the brain to excite emotions in the target causing them to feel horrible amounts of pain and suffering.
  • Professional Killer: Is a contract assassin.



Created By: Bruce Jones · Robert Teranishi

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #123 (October 2006)

A fire controlling mercenary, hired by Pierce brothers to kill Cheyenne Freemont.



Real Name: Garfield Lynns

Team Affiliations: Secret Society of Supervillains

Created By: Ed Herron · Dick Sprang

First Appearance: Detective Comics #184 (June 1952)

"I can give you fire and all the terror that comes with it."
Garfield Lynns was a pyrotechnic engineer who turned to crime after losing his job to economic downturn. Taking the name Firefly and building an insectoid themed suit of armor to protect himself from bullets and his own flames, Lynns went into business as a contract saboteur, destroying establishments that refused to pay protection money to the Mafia. After a psychotic break that resulted in a long stint in Arkham Asylum, Firefly became a genuine pyromaniac, torching landmarks for pleasure during those periods of downtime when the mob doesn't have any work for him. Firefly earned Nightwing's emnity when Blockbuster hired him to burn down Haly's Circus.
See Batman: Rogues Gallery (Part 1) for more.



Real Name: Brendan Li

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Jim Balent

First Appearance: Catwoman (Vol 2) #28 (January 1996)

A computer wiz who was a part of Blockbuster's gang.

In Nightwing (Rebirth) he maintains his tech savvy, pet squirrel and relationship with Mouse but has a background of being captured when trying to help his love free her mentor Catwoman from prison. He has joined a support group of villains called the Run-Offs trying to lead less criminally inclined lives and finally acquired a civilian name.

    Goode Ole Bernie 

Goode Ole Bernie

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 1) #1 (September 1995)

Goode Ole Bernie was an American assassin hired by Prince Balsik of Kravia to murder Dick Grayson, who had discovered that the brutal dictator might have been responsible for the deaths of his parents, who had been killed four days after Haly's Circus had performed in Kravia. Bernie confronted and fought Dick in Gotham City, but was ultimately beaten by him.

  • Touch of Death: Goode Ole Bernie picked up in Asia a "little trick" called the "Death Touch", which he demonstrated on Prince Balsik's secretary Budolph.



Real Name: Shelton Lyle

Created By: Tom Taylor · Bruno Redonto

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 4) #79 (June 2021)

"I was hoping we'd meet, Nightwing. Bludhaven's Guardian Angel. You must have quite the heart."
A masked killer who preys upon Bludhaven's homeless population. He has earned his name by his calling card of ripping out the hearts of his opponents. He has a long standing grudge against Nightwing, claiming that Dick made him what he is.
  • Ambiguously Human: His speed, strength, reflexes, and overall perception are all enhanced to levels far superior to that of a normal human, but has not been explicitly stated to be a metahuman. Nightwing Annual: 2022 reveals that he's a cyborg.
  • Badass Longcoat: Tends to wear one, and he has superhuman strength.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: He rips out the hearts of his opponents and collects them in jars.
  • Billy Needs an Organ: Subverted. Heartless doesn't actually need to keep stealing people's hearts to survive, but he keeps doing it anyway just because he enjoys killing people.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: It turns out that Heartless is actually Shelton Lyle, the Jerk Jock at Gotham High whom a young Dick Grayson stood up to at the very beginning of his Infinite Frontier series.
  • Connected All Along: In the flashback wherein a Dick Grayson stands up to a young Shelton Lyle to protect one of his bullying victims, Lyle implies he was there the night of the Flying Graysons' final show and cruelly mocks their deaths, supposedly just to hurt Dick's feelings. In the 2022 Annual, however, we see that he wasn't lying - he really did witness the death of Dick's parents as a child that fateful night, and he really did enjoy every second of it.
  • Enfante Terrible: From a young age he always showed sociopathic tendencies, killing and maiming animals or burning stuff, and his butler nurtured those tendencies.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His butler, Gerard, has taken care of Shelton ever since he was a child, and Shelton tearfully admits that he considers Gerard a father to him in all but name. In an interesting twist on this trope, however, their familial bond actually helped make Heartless more evil, since Gerard is just as much of a sociopath as his ward.
  • Evil Counterpart: It is no coincidence that Heartless is an orphan, largely raised by the butler, whose defining moment was the death of the Flying Graysons.
  • Organ Theft: Heartless' modus operandi - stealing peoples' hearts to fuel himself, or to place them in his own private collection.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Killed an assassin that Blockbuster sent after Nightwing, because Heartless believes that Dick is his kill.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Just like Hush, Lyle decided to kill his own parents to inherit their fortune by sabotaging their helicopter. He would almost die himself on that crash had it not been for his butler.
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Shelton Lyle used to pick on younger kids in high school all the time, including a young Dick Grayson (who was one of the only kids to step up and defend his other victims.) Now, as an adult, it's safe to say he hasn't grown softer with age - if anything, he's gotten even worse.
  • The Sociopath: From a young age he showed very clear signs of sociopathy, and after watching the deaths of the Flying Graysons, he considered that event the most amazing thing he had seen. He would later be able to feign being normal, using his looks to charm and manipulate others until the accident that maimed him and he decided to become Heartless.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Heartless has no real hand to hand combat training, relying on his enhanced strength and speed to win fights.



Real Name: Katherine Lynn Riordan

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Manuel Gutierrez

First Appearance: Nightwing 80-Page Giant #1 (December 2000)

"You betrayed my family! You betrayed your badge!"

Formerly of the Bludhaven police department along with a large number of others in her family. After she started to become an icon of clean good police work in Bludhaven the mayor became nervous about the potential such an individual backed by family might be and arranged for all 20 members of the Riordan family in the police force to come to a ceremony for recognition in order to kill them with an explosion. Katherine was the only survivor and became Hella to avenge her family’s murder.

  • Amnesiacs are Innocent: Averted. She lost some memories due to injuries caused by the explosion and she changes from one of the few good cops in Bludhaven to a vengeful murderer.
  • Badass Biker: She often fights astride a sports bike, using it to charge in and shoot her SPAS one-handed once at ideal range.
  • Supervillain Packing Heat: Her main weapon is a SPAS-12 shotgun, but she also carries a pair of H&K MP5Ks if she needs more staying power or range.

    The Judge 

The Judge

Real Name: Jacob DeWitt

Created By: Sam Humphries · Bernard Chang

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 4) #35 (February 2018)

"Not a man, woman, or child on God's green Earth can hide their hearts from me. And I never met one who could resist when I strike them a deal."

Jacob DeWitt was one of the first judges of Blüdhaven. After having sentenced a wrong person, he was tied up and thrown into the sea to drown. But for reasons still unknown, the sea made him blind but with the ability to see corruption in the hearts of the people around them.

  • The Ageless: Does not age.
  • Ambiguously Human: Nobody cam say with certainty what the Judge is, but if he was ever human, he has long since left the embrace of mankind.
  • Blind Seer: Is blind, but can see the corruption in the hearts of others.
  • Deal with the Devil: Accepting his golden poker chips will bring you under his command, where he will most certainly make you commit a terrible crime you’ll regret.
  • Eye Scream: He stitched his owns eyes shut (not that it hindered his supernatural sight by any degree. Still, yowtch.)
  • Faux Affably Evil: Is a pretty chill guy to talk to at first. RUN.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Seeing the corruption permeating the world drove him to murderous nihilism in a twisted sense of balancing the books.
  • Iconic Item: The golden poker chips he carries around that can bind guilty souls to his will.
  • Straw Nihilist: To the Judge, sin not only is endemic to humanity, but even in the things they build and create. Therefore, the only moral action to take is to destroy everything in sight until he is rendered ‘truly’ blind.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Makes a business of exploiting this.

    Lady Vic 

Lady Vic

Real Name: Lady Elaine Marsh-Morton

Team Affiliations: Secret Society of Supervillains, League of Shadows

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Scott McDaniel

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #4 (January 1997)

"I'm right here, you bumbling neanderthal. And if you turn fast enough, I'll be the last thing you see in this life."

An amoral English noblewoman who has managed to prevent the foreclosure and loss of her family's ancestral lands by working as a determined and proficient assassin.

  • Aristocrats Are Evil: She is an English noblewoman and a mercenary/assassin willing to murder innocent families who are tangentially related to her employers if said employer dies before paying her.
  • Carry a Big Stick: One of her weapons is a Zulu knobkerry: a large mace with a haft made of slightly flexible wood to accumulate velocity and release it on impact.
  • Chain Pain: An unusual approach she employed against Arsenal was to have a length of chain attached to the pommel of one her kukris. This weapon was thrown at Arsenal to have the chain wrap around his neck, allowing Lady Vic to close in and take him down.
  • Cool Mask: She wears a white domino mask with large lenses.
  • Determinator: Vic's tenacity borders on insanity, as best demonstrated when she chose to leap out of an airplane after her target, without a parachute.
  • Evil Brit: British murderer and assassin for hire.
  • High-Class Gloves: Lady Vic wears long red gloves.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Her family, while part of the aristocracy, are on the verge of bankruptcy, hence her assassin work to keep her estate.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: While it is not the only blade she carries she does have and use one.
  • Kukris Are Kool: Lady Vic usually wields them paired and can somehow throw them effectively.
  • Lady of War: Lady Vic is a villainous version of this trope. Lady Elaine Marsh-Morton is descended from a long line of British soldiers and mercenaries, and a genuine English aristocrat. The money she earns from her secret career an assassin, bounty hunter, and mercenary helps prevent foreclosure on her impoverished family estate. She uses the vast collection of weaponry from the world accumulated by her ancestors as her personal arsenal.
  • The Musketeer: She carries and is proficient with daggers, some swords and her favored revolver.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Her Webley Service Revolver.
  • Sawn-Off Shotgun: Sometimes carries a old side-by-side, large-bore shotgun with no choke and shortened barrels. The buckshot spread is absurd, even broader than a video game shotgun.
  • She-Fu: Marsh-Morton occasionally employs a very acrobatic fighting style, particularly to deliver long-ranged kicks to gain some space and compensate for her low body mass.
  • Suave Sabre: Carries a cavalry sabre with a Damascus-style blade, usually used singly due to the front-heavy balance.



Real Name: Mary Tanner

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #62 (December 2001)

Mary Tanner's mother often used illegal, highly experimental drugs to get high, and Mary was born with metahuman powers that gave her leather-like skin and claws. At the age of sixteen, she had become the leader of a human trafficking group, smuggling illegal immigrants back and forth between Mexico and the United States.



Real Name: Mali

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #19 (June 2013)

The young Mali was once one of Mad Hatter's favorite obsessions. Kidnapped into doing his mind controlled bidding as his 'Alice' she was shot by the hatter. cursed with a condition called "personality slipping". Mali relies on a rare drug called Kanium to balance her mind she does whatever she needs to to get a constant supply of it.

  • One-Steve Limit: Has no connection to Erika Manson a.k.a. Marionette from Doomsday Clock.
  • Power Copying: Can mimic the personality and abilities of anyone she encounters.
  • Shapeshifter Identity Crisis: A side effect of her mimicry is that Mali experiences confusion and symptoms of Multiple Personality Disorder, having conversations with herself in the style of Gollum.



Real Name: Buckley Mellon

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Staz Johnson

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #62 (December 2001)

"I'm gonna pull the tendons outta pretty boy, here. One by lovin' one!"

Buckley Mellon's criminal career goes back to his early days in the Willeford Park area of Blüdhaven. While on a work release from Lockhaven Prison, Buckley worked for the Tastylinks Sausage Company. It was there he ingested an experimental cocktail of genetic material and hormones intended for meat-producing livestock. This resulted in an horrifying transformation that altered Mellon in an amazing (and amazingly repulsive) way. His body now appears to be composed of ground meat.

  • Bad Powers, Bad People: It's hard to imagine a superhero whose entire physiology is made of living tissues with the same general properties as ground pork.
  • Big Eater: Mellon was always this. This is what led to him consuming the bizarre cocktail that transformed him into Meathead.
  • Fat Bastard: Grossly overweight even before he gained his powers, Meathead is a big, dumb, confident, relentless scary thug.
  • Feel No Pain: His Healing Factor allows him to repair any damage without discomfort or incapacitation. For instance a huge, gaping hole in his chest from a shotgun blast doesn't feel painful to him or slow him down.
  • Flies Equals Evil: Meathead smells, and there are flies around him and sometimes he even has maggots.
  • Healing Factor: His metabolism allows him to repair any damage without discomfort or incapacitation. For instance a huge, gaping hole in his chest from a shotgun blast doesn't feel painful to him or slow him down.
  • Jack up with Phlebotinum: Ingested an experimental cocktail of genetic material and hormones intended for meat-producing livestock. This resulted in an horrifying transformation into Meathead.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: He is virtually indestructible, as each part of his body functions independently from the rest.
  • No-Neck Chump: Mellon was grossly overweight and had no visible neck even before he gained superpowers. Now his body has the consistency of ground meat and is unchanging, he will never have a neck.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Each part of his body functions independently from the rest.
  • Super-Strength: Has greater than human strength.
  • Villainous Glutton: Mellon was a Big Eater. This is what led to him consuming the bizarre cocktail that transformed him into Meathead.

    Mister Minos 

Mister Minos

Real Name: Hyperion 1.0

Team Affiliations: Checkmate

First Appearance: Grayson (Vol 1) #1 (September 2014)

"Mr. Minos. The man with the labyrinth face. It's so delightfully tacky. Very '60s Fleming. It's so fun to play spy."

Mister Minos is actually three different androids masquerading as the same person. He was a mole created by Checkmate to infiltrate Spyral and eventually rose to becoming it's leader.

  • The Blank: Has no visible facial features.
  • Collective Identity: Mister Minos is actually three different androids masquerading as the same person.
  • Mole in Charge: He was a mole created by Checkmate to infiltrate Spyral and eventually rose to becoming its leader.



Real Name: Pamela Sweigeld

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Mike Parobeck

First Appearance: Robin (Vol 4) #18 (July 1995)

A mouse themed thief who was part of Blockbuster's gang and has had run ins with Catwoman.

As of Nightwing (Rebirth) she is still a crook in a relationship with fellow criminal Giz but this time around is stated to have been trained by Catwoman herself and has joined a support group of villains called the Run-Offs trying to lead less criminally inclined lives who ask Nightwing for help when one of their own is accused of a murder he professes to have no knowledge of.



Real Name: Thaddeus "Tad" Ryerstad

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #8 (May 1997)

"Stop right there, evil-doers! You will now face justice at the hands of...Nite-Wing!"

Tad Ryerstad was a self-proclaimed vigilante of Bludhaven. He'd prowl the streets every day and deal 'justice' to those who do wrong. In reality, Tad is a thug who never listens to reason and merely beats often innocent people. He spent his spare time reading comics that "The Tarantula" had sold to him, thus causing him to take upon the title of "Nite-Wing".

  • Batter Up!: Used a baseball bat as one of his primary weapons.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Tad does not use guns, because his favourite comic book heroes don't.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Subverted by Nite-Wing. There are few idiots bigger than him in comic books but he's still a monster.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Nite-Wing took his name from a restaurant's neon sign advertising that they had "all nite chicken wings".
  • Shadow Archetype: He is what Dick might be if he had no planning, judgement or restraint.
  • Vigilante Man: Self-proclaimed vigilante who brutalizes his targets.



Real Name: Grace Balin

Created by: Larry Hama · Scott McDaniel

First appearance: Batman #579 (July 2000)

A Marine biologist whose experimental attempts to repair a spinal cord injury left her as a human-orca hybrid. She has a generous nature at heart and was very charitable prior to her accidental transformation, she still shows signs of wanting to improve things for the underprivileged but is now quick to murder and steal to gain funds.

In Nightwing (Rebirth) she joined the recovering villain support group called the Run-Offs but left them feeling that she didn't fit and joined the gang the Whale's Enders returning to a criminal life.

  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Initially could change between her limbed Orca and human forms before taking more of the serum which transformed her in the first place when dying of gunshot wounds.
  • Shark Man: Orca lady.



Created By: Kyle Higgins · Andres Guinaldo

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #2 (December 2011)

"Perfection isn't easy. It's not simple. But it's not impossible."

Tired of the way the masked vigilantes have become rampant in Gotham, a man known only as Paragon created his own vigilante persona to combat the "heroes" existence.

  • Bad Boss: Murders his underlings without a second thought when they change their minds.
  • Enhanced Archaic Weapon: Uses an electric whip as a weapon.
  • Frame-Up: Murdered his henchmen with an escrima stick in order to frame Nightwing for their deaths.
  • Hero Killer: A murderous vigilante targeting other vigilantes.
  • Lightning Lash: Uses an electric whip as a weapon.
  • Vigilante Man: A murderous vigilante targeting other vigilantes.



Real Name: Beatrice "Bea" Butler

First Appearance: All-Star Comics (Vol 1) #67 (August 1977) (as Pigeon Person)

"And like all monuments to the cruel past, The Pigeon will someday remove you."

Beatrice "Bea" Butler, known as Pigeon, was the mentor to Defacer and a known "art terrorist".

  • Alliterative Name: Bea Butler.
  • Ambiguously Human: When she first appeared, readers had no reason to suspect her of being anything other than a Z-List Batman foe with a humorous gimmick. Come the Suicide Squad crossover, and “Beatrice Butler” (assuming that is her true name) claims to the living embodiment of entropy dedicated to defiling all of mankind’s works.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: The pigeon.
  • Flight: Created a pair of mechanical wings that allowed her to fly.
  • Harping on About Harpies: Becomes a monstrous harpy that's capable of absorbing and killing gods.
  • Kill the God: She becomes capable of absorbing the essence of the animal avatars, killing Princess Tiger and nearly killing King Shark in the process.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She was introduced as an updated version of a Silver Age character that was hardly a threat, when she returns in Suicide Squad: King Shark, she's turned into a monstrous harpy capable of slaying gods.
  • Winged Humanoid: Created a pair of mechanical wings that allowed her to fly.

    Prince Balsik 

Prince Balsik

Real Name: Kemper Von Cart

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 1) #1 (Septermber 1995)

"He's a loose end we should have tied off fifteen years ago. But it is never too late, eh?"

Kemper Von Cort was the son of a revolutionary military leader in the nation of Kravia. Surgically altered to resemble Kravia's despotic leader, Prince Kravik, Kemper killed Kravik and quickly proved to be a far worse leader. When Nightwing visits Kravia on personal business, he gains the tyrant's enmity when he saves dissidents from a genocidal purge.



Real Name: Richard (last name unknown)

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #125 (December 2006)

"There's still hope for the Raptor-Nightwing team. You can still be the guy I know is beneath all of those added layers. You just need more mentoring. A little tough love. You have to suffer more, Dick. You need someone to take everything away from you."

A Romani thief and friend of Mary Grayson's, Raptor was exiled from his home once it was found he had leprosy. He befriended Mary Grayson and worked in Haley's Circus for a time as its clown, and has been watching Dick Grayson since he was a boy. Once Dick returns to his Nightwing role, Raptor takes a more hands-on approach in mentoring. He believes that Bruce Wayne corrupted Dick, and that he and he alone can make Dick into the hero his mother would've been proud of, and make him embrace his heritage.

Raptor utilizes Suyolak, a gauntlet which gives him whatever he needs to solve a situation. He targets the rich, and fancies himself a modern Robin Hood.

  • Arch-Enemy: To Nightwing in Rebirth, eclipsing the recently-revived Blockbuster, who went under a bout of Adaptational Heroism and was nominally allied with Dick during the run. He is the main antagonist of the first and fifth arc from Seeley's run.
  • Artifact of Power: His gauntlet Suyolak is his best tool. It will literally give him whatever he needs to win.
  • Badass Normal: Much like Dick himself, he is a martial artist with no superhuman abilities, but can hold his own against mutated humans and bioweapons.
  • The Casanova: Is shown to be quite the charmer.
  • Clothes Make the Superman:
    • His gauntlet Suyolak is his best tool. It will literally give him whatever he needs to win.
    • He also very briefly wore Deathstroke's Ikon Suit, which creates a type of force field powerful enough to shrug off a punch from Superman and is powered by kinetic energy. However, because he lacks Deathstroke's enhancements, he can't power the suit as well, and he's forced to abandon it once it becomes irradiated.
  • Cool Plane: Buteo, a sort of hover-copter.
  • The Corrupter: Tried to be this to Dick, but it didn't take, since Dick is arguably more Incorruptible Pure Pureness than even Bruce.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: After being captured by the Parliament of the Owls, the organization decides to mold him into their top enforcer. Though Raptor pledges loyalty to them and seems to execute his services flawlessly, he was actually planning to destroy the Owls from the start.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Dick and Bruce. Like Dick, he's a playful acrobat, charming and likes improvising his plans. Like Bruce, he mentors Dick, works in the shadows and uses fear as his weapon, and utilizes very long-term plans. He even compares himself to Batman. Oh, he also hates rich people and is willing to kill.
  • Evil Mentor: Played this role to Dick at first. He tried to make Dick come into his own, outside of Batman, but did so by having Dick make more and more morally questionable decisions.
  • Feel No Pain: Having contracted Leprosy as a kid, Raptor's body was ravaged by the full effects of the disease, making his skin harden with callouses and his nerve endings go numb that, later in life, allowed him to fight without feeling any pain.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has leprosy, and has scarred hands to prove it. The artists tend to highlight his deformities whenever he performs villainous actions, as exemplified by a close-up on his hands when he tries to steal from Bruce Wayne.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: He and Mary were this in their younger days, and he still partakes in these types of activities sometimes.
  • Older Than They Look: He's drawn like a man in his thirties, but he has to be at least in his mid-forties as contemporary of Dick's mother.
  • The Resenter: Raptor towards Bruce Wayne, due to him being a one-percenter and for adopting Dick and raising him in wealth, away from Dick's culture with the Romani circus, when Raptor planned to take care of him himself.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: He's known that Bruce Wayne is Batman and Dick is Robin/Nightwing/Batman for a long time (and later discovered that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl), but he hasn't told anyone. He's not averse to threatening to, however, once they find out he does know. Eventually, Spyral removes the knowledge from his mind.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He keeps following Dick's mother, Mary Grayson, even after her husband expresses discomfort about his recurring presence.
  • Tragic Villain: This is how Dick sees him. Despite Nightwing knowing he has to defeat Raptor to save his mentor Bruce, he still feels sorry for the man since he knows Raptor deeply loved his mother and was truly in a lot of pain over not being able to protect or save her.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Raptor's gold eyes are highlighted in flashbacks, glowing in the darkness as he witnesses crucial events from the shadows.



Real Name: Raymond McCreary

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #1 (November 2011)

"They came from the Shadows and took me, Dick...They kidnapped me...Tortured me...They ruined me. They turned me into this. And it's your... and this godforsaken place's fault."

A childhood friend of Dick's from Haley's Circus, Raymond was taken by the Court of Owls to become a Talon. While their first choice was Dick himself, his adoption by Bruce Wayne forced them to go for their second choice. Raymond washed out of the program, being left for dead, which was also when his eyes were pecked out. He arrives in Gotham just as the Court of Owls started their war with Batman, and is intent on killing Dick Grayson.

  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: The Court of Owls tortured him to his breaking point, then trained him as an assassin for the Court.
  • Blow Gun: Uses a blowgun and poison darts as one of her weapons.
  • Death Faked for You: His death was faked by the Court of Owls so they could bring him in and train him as a new Talon.
  • Evil Former Friend: Was a friend of Dicks when they were both children in the circus.
  • Eye Scream: Rejected and left in the woods to die, birds attacked the skin around his eyes, giving him his distinctive scars.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Claims that Dick Grayson is the worst killer ever and tries to kill him, along with everyone else in the circus at the time. Except: 1. Dick couldn't have possibly known about the Court of Owls (Batman himself didn't know about their mere existence, let alone their methods) 2. Dick was in mourning and had found a kindred spirit who could help him achieve his goals (good old vigilante justice) 3. Dick didn't kill him 4. The audience has nothing to do with this. If anything, he should be going after the Court, given his knowledge.
  • Pocket Rocket Launcher: Has several hand rockets that are powerful enough to destroy and set fire to upon a small car.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: When Dick saves him from falling to his death. He would rather die than be saved by him.
  • Wolverine Claws: Equipped with 2 long, sharp claws on each hand.



Created By: Kyle Higgins

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #6 (April 2012)

Shox is the right-hand man of Terrence Clark, a booking agent for contract killers in the Southwest.

    Shrike II 

Shrike II

Real Name: Boone

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Scott McDaniel

First Appearance: Nightwing Secret Files and Origins #1 (October 1999)

"Is that the best you can do?"

A member of Blockbuster's gang and former friend to Dick Grayson.

  • Bald of Evil: Underneath the mask he's bald.
  • Evil Counterpart: Exemplified by even his weapon of choice being a dark reflection of Nightwing's escrima sticks sticks and Dick Grayson's service baton.
  • Evil Former Friend: A friend to Dick prior to traveling the world and receiving training from multiple former league of Assassin operatives as well as a Hong Kong criminal who goes by "the Master".
  • Hooks and Crooks: His customized tonfa have retractable hooks in them.
  • Legacy Character: The second Shrike, the first trained him.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Is looking for revenge against Dick for the first Shrike's death despite the fact that Boone very well knows he was killed by Two-Face. Dick did mess up their operation though.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Reinforced tonfa with retractable bladed hooks.
  • One-Steve Limit: Shares his criminal alias with a member of the Cadre.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Tonfa and shuriken.



Created By: Bruce Jones · Robert Teranishi

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #124 (November 2006)

A teenager who can manipulate electricity and who is Fireball's apprentice.



Created By: Kyle Higgins · Trevor McCarthy

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 3) #4 (February 2012)

"You're getting in the way again, little girl...and I hate patterns."

A shape shifting thief that battled both Batgirl and Nightwing in Miami.

  • Rubber Man: Can expand and extend his body, often elongating his torso or arms.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Spinebender has the ability to shape-shift. He can morph into a regular civilian and a perfect replica of Nightwing. He can also turn his hands into blunt and/or spiked weapons.



Real Name: Randy Hanrahan

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Scott McDaniel

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #14 (November 1997)

"I been waitin' to whup butt on this Nightwing guy. I only wish that Batman feller was laid up with him."

A former pro-football player who never played a game after suffering injuries to both knees in a pre-season scrimmage. Hanrahan moved to Gotham and became a bouncer at Penguin's Iceberg Lounge and after he ended up being promoted to far less legal jobs under Penguin discovering his penchant for killing and became a free agent Blockbuster recruited him to his gang to kill Nightwing alongside fellow contract killers Lady Vic and Brutale who are not team players.

In Nightwing (Rebirth) he maintains his cowboy theme but not his background of working for Penguin. He has joined a villain support group called the Run-Offs trying to lead a less criminally inclined life after being released from prison.



Real Name: Sylvan Scofield

Created By: Chuck Dixon · Greg Land

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #48 (October 2000)

"What justice did my father receive? Deceived. Ruined. Are these the men you want to protect?"

After her father committed suicide when he was cheated out of a patent on his new prehensile cloth creation she clothed herself in his invention and went about killing the three responsible.

  • Alliterative Name: Sylvan Scofield.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: She invokes this with her actually faked death in order to avoid capture.
  • Bound and Gagged: Essentially what her ability is used to do.
  • Cloth Fu: Sylph can mentally manipulate an experimental prehensile cloth.
  • Clothing Combat: Sylph had a shroud made of a special material that allowed her to suffocate her opponents or use it as a makeshift bungie cord to jump off buildings and land safely on the ground.
  • Domino Mask: She wears a white one.
  • Faking the Dead: She fakes her death in order to avoid capture.
  • Lady in Red: Her prehensile costume is red and fetish fuel friendly.
  • Master of Threads: Sylph is the daughter of a man who was cheated out of the patent on a 'miracle fabric' named Achilloron which he had created. She clothed herself in the fabric and set about killing the men she believed drove her father to suicide. Achilloron responds to electrical impulses, allowing it's tentacle-like appendages to be used as tools or weapons.
  • Mummy Wrap: She does this to Nightwing.
  • Single Substance Manipulation: Sylph can mentally manipulate an experimental prehensile cloth, the murder of its creator, her father, has made it so that the intended method for normal people controlling it is all but lost.
  • You Killed My Father: The only reason she becomes a criminal is to kill the men who ruined her father.

    The Talon 


Real Name: William Cobb

Team Affiliations: Court of Owls

First Appearance: Batman (Vol 2) #2 (December 2011)

"The Court of Owls has sentenced you to die. How I love killing Waynes."

One of the many assassins of the same name for the Court of Owls, William Cobb was the first Talon the Court sent after Bruce Wayne, and Dick Grayson's great-grandfather.

  • Dark Is Evil: Dresses in all black and he's a cold-blooded killer.
  • Evil Mentor: Intended to make Dick his successor as assassin of the Court of Owls.
  • Gruesome Grandparent: More like great-grandfather, but he's this for Dick Grayson.
  • Legacy Character: He's merely the most famous user of the Talon moniker.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: His signature owl mask.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: When drafted by the Suicide Squad he pretends to be insane and only capable of saying "Who?". Only Red X has been able to see through the deceit.
  • Odd Friendship: With Culebra. Cobb might be the only one to take her desire to be a genuine hero seriously.
  • Older Than They Look: He was born in 1901, but the Court of Owls preserved has preserved him using electrum for whenever they needed him.
  • Ominous Owl: This is his main motif and it serves him well.

    Tarantula III 

Tarantula III

Real Name: Catalina Flores

Created By: Devin Grayson

First appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #71 (September 2002)

"No killing? Where's the fun in that?"

A former FBI Agent who chose to become a costumed hero and models herself after the first Tarantula, Jonathan Law of the All-Star Squadron a former Blüdhaven hero. Unfortunately instead of punching Nazis she used the identity to commit multiple murders, stalk Nightwing, sexually assault Dick Grayson while he was on a date, and eventually rape him after he fell into a near catatonic state.

  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Her costume and weaponry is inspired by the tarantula.
  • Domino Mask: She wears one.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Nightwing issues 93-100 are often accused of this due to the fact that Tarantula and Nightwing appear to run away together after Tarantula rapes Nightwing. These issues were actually meant to depict Nightwing as being too deeply traumatized to assert himself as Tarantula bullies him from motel room to motel room, not minding that her "querido" is nearly catatonic.
  • FBI Agent: A former FBI Agent who chose to become a costumed hero.
  • "Get Out of Jail Free" Card: After Nightwing and Tad Ryerstad team up to bring her in for the murder of Delmore Redhorn, her brother has her back out on the streets almost immediately.
  • Karma Houdini: After she rapes Nightwing she moves to Gotham and works with Batman.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: She finally gets killed after being conscripted into the Secret Six.
  • Legacy Character: She is the third character to use the name Tarantula following the Golden Age hero and the Doctor Mid-Nite villain.
  • Pet the Dog: Tarantula becomes leader of a street gang during War Games, not to stake out a territory for herself, but to keep its young members alive.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Very much so, and she mostly gets what she wants out of it too somehow tricking Barbara into breaking up with Dick and then raping him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Tarantula really wants to help Bludhaven, and is perfectly fine executing crime bosses to do it.
  • Wrong Assumption: She's a serial killer and rapist who actively contributes to systematic corruption and thinks that she's a hero, for her actions as a serial killer, and that her rape victim is her "lover".

    Thrilldevil/Thrill Devil 

Thrilldevil/Thrill Devil

Real Name: Juan-Andrés Santos Suarez

Created by: Chuck Dixon · Greg Land

First appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #46 (August 2000)

A violent thrill seeking motorcycle rider who joined Blockbuster's gang and tried to kill Nightwing.

In Nightwing (Rebirth) he maintains his motorcycle, and red horned gear but his background is now as a former Gotham based street racer who was turned in to the GCPD by Batman alongside the rest of the underground ring of racers he was a part of due to the danger their thrill seeking riding posed for Gotham civilians. He has joined a villain support group called the Run-Offs trying to lead a less criminally inclined life and finally acquired a civilian name.

  • Badass Biker: Illegal street racing biker capable of fighting Nightwing.
  • Cool Helmet: His red helmet has four short golden horns and a skull painted on the faceplate. His DC Rebirth headgear is less helmety in order to better show his expressions and trades sensibility for a horse mane like mohawk and much longer horns.
  • Horns of Villainy: His red helmet has four short golden horns and a skull painted on the faceplate. His DC Rebirth headgear is less helmety in order to better show his expressions and trades sensibility for a horse mane like mohawk and much longer horns.
  • Hot Paint Job: His biker jacket in both continuities has designs to emulate fire.
  • Motorcycle Jousting: How else would one expect a thrill seeker to approach combat with another motorcycle rider.
  • Spell My Name With An S: Writers seem unable to decide if 'Thrilldevil' is one word or two.
  • Thrill Seeker: It's what has lead him to a criminal life in both continuities.



Real Name: Dudley "Deadly" Soames

Team Affiliations: Intergang

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 2) #1 (October 1996)

Inspector Dudley "Deadly" Soames was the most corrupt cop working in the Blüdhaven Police Department before a near-death experience at the hands of Blockbuster left him with his head rotated 180 degrees. Experimental drugs and therapy restored his mobility, but left him a freak. He then became a supervillain called Torque.

  • Calling Card: Torque leaves palindromes on the bodies of his victims.
  • Dirty Cop: Before being turned into a supervillain, Soames was the chief of police's errand boy. As such he acted as a fixer, hitman, problem-solver, and underworld relations officer.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: His glasses have mirrors that allow him to see what is happening in the direction his body is facing.
  • I Have Your Wife: Expecting that his relationship with Blockbuster was about to sour, Soames held Blockbuster's mother hostage as a bargaining chip. To say this ended badly for him would be an understatement.
  • More Dakka: When he needs more firepower, Torque uses a Thompson submachinegun with a 100 round drum.
  • Nail 'Em: Soames sometimes uses a modified nail gun as his personal firearm.
  • Sinister Shades: Always wears a pair of sunglasses that allow him to see where he is going.



Real Names: Adrian Chase | Alan Welles | Dave Winston | Patricia Trayce | Adeline Wilson | Dorian Chase | Justin Powell

First Appearance: The New Teen Titans (Vol 1) #23 (September 1982)

A series of vigilante killers who have tussled with Dick both in costume and out. As the entire line (except The Vigilante, a cowboy themed WWII era hero) is a deconstruction of the Vigilante Man trope the fact that they're taking the law into their own hands and have become murderous criminals just like those they're hunting means they do not get along with DC's traditionally legally approved superheroes who have to do everything they can to avoid killing in order to maintain their legality.

Dick has faced off against several of the various people to use the Vigilante name. His closest ties are to the Chase brothers, the elder of whom was the first Vigilante and regretted his choices by the time his vigilante activites got him killed, and Adeline Wilson who is the mother of Dick's friend Joey and the ex-wife of Deathstroke.

See Vigilante



Created By: Benjamin Percy · Chris Mooneyham

First Appearance: Nightwing (Vol 4) #44 (July 2018)

"There is no weapon more valuable in this day and age than vulnerable data. I look forward to discovering whatever's looked away in that precious little head of yours."

Wyrm is the leader of the Dark Net.

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Wyrm is a maleovent and self-aware AI looking to control the city of Bludhaven through technology.
  • The Cracker: An expert hacker and leader of the villainous Dark Net.
  • Knowledge Broker: Uses his computer skills and network to supply information to the underworld.
  • Take Over the City: Seeks to control the city of Bludhaven through technology.
  • Take Over the World: The (failed) takeover of Bludhaven isn’t Wyrm’s only ambition. Wyrm wants universal dominance beyond it.


Video Example(s):


Harley Quinn & Nightwing

Harley Quinn seduces a tied-up Nightwing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (20 votes)

Example of:

Main / DatingCatwoman

Media sources: