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Characters / Nightwing: Dick Grayson

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Robin I / Nightwing / Batman III / Agent 37
Dick Grayson as Nightwing
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Created By: Bill Finger · Bob Kane · Jerry Robinson

First Appearance: Robin, the Boy Wonder

Appearances: Nightwing | Teen Titans | Batgirl (2000) | Batgirl (2009) | Batman | Batman and the Outsiders | Batman and Robin (2009) | Birds of Prey | Detective Comics | Batman (Grant Morrison) | Red Robin | Robin | Action Comics (guest)  | All -Star Comics (guest)  | Anima | Aquaman | Azrael (guest)  | Azrael: Agent of the Bat (guest)  | Batwing | Batwoman | Beast Boy | Blue Beetle | Black Canary | Booster Gold (guest) | Catwoman (guest)  | Checkmate | Deathstroke the Terminator | The Flash | Gotham City Sirens | Green Arrow | Green Lantern | Harley Quinn | Impulse | Infinity, Inc. (guest)  | The Last Days of Animal Man Issues #2 - #6 | Manhunter | Metal Men (guest)  | The Multiversity | Omega Men (guest)  | Power Girl (guest) | Richard Dragon | Secret Six (guest)  | Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. | Super-Team Family | Superboy (guest) | Supergirl (guest) | Superman (guest) | Superman/Batman | Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane | Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen | Tempest | Vigilante (guest)  | Wonder Woman (guest)  | World's Finest (2010) | Young Justice | 52 (guest)  | A Lonely Place of Dying | Knightfall | Batman Contagion | Batman Cataclysm | Batman: No Man's Land | Bruce Wayne: Fugitive | Batman: Hush | Batman: War Games | Face The Face | Batman: The Black Mirror | Joker's Last Laugh | Identity Crisis | Final Crisis | Blackest Night: Batman | Convergence | Grayson | Night of the Owls | I, Vampire | Batman and Robin Eternal | Titans Hunt (2015) | Starfire (guest appearance) | Nightwing (Rebirth) | Detective Comics (Rebirth) | Night of the Monster Men | Titans (Rebirth) | Teen Titans (Rebirth) (guest)  | Trinity (guest)  | Deathstroke (Rebirth) (guest)  | Batgirl (Rebirth) | Batgirl and the Birds of Prey (guest)  | Justice League (Rebirth) (guest)  | Nightwing (Infinite Frontier)

"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, 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:

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  • '80s Hair: A mullet which he thankfully cut.
  • Acceptable Targets: In-universe, the neo-Nazis that Dick beats up in one chapter. It was good exercise.
  • Accidental Pornomancer: Despite his reputation, he isn't really trying to be a Casanova.
  • The Ace: Bruce has said, even to Dick's face, that not only has Dick come into his own using his teachings and excelling at them, but that he exceeds him in talents like leadership, and keeping contacts. Dick is often seen as probably one of, if not the, best connected character to major heroes like in the JLA and JSA and lesser known heroes like the Outsiders or Birds of Prey. He's been called "the linch-pin of the DCU".
    • To drive the "linchpin" comment home: remember, this was one of the major reasons DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Dan Didio wanted to kill off Dick—because his death would send the biggest shockwave throughout the DCU. The other editors/writers convinced him to keep Dick alive, but the idea of how close he came, especially in light of what Dick's been doing lately, makes one shudder to think what would've happened if the decision had been pushed through. You really want to shatter the DCU? You don't target Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman—you target Dick Grayson.
    • Further lampshaded in one issue of Teen Titans, where various Titans band together to take on a more dangerous Dr. Light. In Superboy's inner monologue, he marvels at how when Nightwing shows up, no one questions his leadership and everyone automatically follows his lead.
    • And used in an issue of The Brave and the Bold, when he is able to convince every single superhero in the world to jump into a pocket dimension without questioning if it was necessary or if at least one of them should stay behind.
  • Adaptational Badass: New 52/Rebirth Nightwing's skills have been amped up more than ever to the point where he can edge out Bruce and Bronze Tiger in fights and at one point, single-handedly defeat Magog, someone who, for the record, is a supervillain that's easily on par with Superman and Wonder Woman.
  • All Up to You: Happened so often to him that when he left to be Nightwing, Batman couldn't succeed without him; Jason Todd and Tim Drake had to step up.
    • When the Justice League was believed to be dead, Dick was appointed leader of the new team as part of Batman's contingency plan.
    • And of course, Dick is the natural successor to the mantle when Bruce is out of commission.
  • Almighty Janitor: He's this with regards to DC's top tier martial artist community, which includes people like his own mentor Batman and others like Lady Shiva, Cassandra Cain, Bronze Tiger, and Richard Dragon. Dick has mastered multiple martial arts like Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Escrima, Aikido, Judo, Jeet Kune Do, and Ninjitsu. And in the New 52/Rebirth era, Nightwing's martial arts accomplishments have only gotten better, being able to narrowly edge out Bruce in a rather brutal sparring session that ended with both of them bloodied. He also held the advantage over Bronze Tiger in a fight, being able to get in several good hits while avoiding Turner's blows. And he fought really well against Lady Shiva, only losing in the end because of injured ribs that she capitalized on. But despite all his impressive martial accolades and showing that he has what it takes to fight DC's top martial artists and sometimes even win, Nightwing is usually never promoted as being one of DC's best martial artists either by the writers or in-universe. note 
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Jason. It's something Dick regretted deeply after Jason died, which is why he made more of an effort to be a Cool Big Bro to Jason's successor, Tim Drake. It's also implied to be partly why Pre-Flashpoint Dick was never able to reach through to Jason after he came Back from the Dead Wrong — they never had a particularly close relationship and the manner of his revival caused Jason's resentment of Dick to be magnified.
  • Amazon Chaser: One of his most prominent love interests is Starfire, a 7 ft alien princess. Most of his other love interests and crushes tend to be Action Girls who are at least as tall as he is.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: He has a bird motif as Robin and Nightwing, and both names are actually just outright the names of two types of bird, albeit an alien bird in the case of Nightwing.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • As Robin, it is most often Two-Face. During Dick's tenure as leader of the Titans, it was Deathstroke (who also remains Dick's most persistent nemesis through the years). During his time in Bludhaven, it was Kingpin-expy Blockbuster. During his run as Batman, it could either be Professor Pyg or James Gordon, Jr.
    • In Rebirth, the title defaulted to Raptor, his mother Mary's Stalker with a Crush. Curiously, Blockbuster was also present during that run, but he went under a degree of Adaptational Heroism and was a nominal ally of Dick, opposing Raptor. That didn't stop Dick from depowering him, predicting that they would oppose each other eventually and electing to nip the potential threat in the bud.
    • However, Blockbuster is still a baddie. He now runs Bludhaven, controlling literally everyone. After Dick announces his plans to lift the city's poor out of poverty, Blockbuster makes several attempts to kill him. All of which fail, of course.
  • Ascended Meme: Dick has the best ass in the DC Universe. This was used at one point as a point of identification by Midnighter. Batgirl also recognizes his ass.
  • Audience Surrogate: Perhaps the greatest. One reason he's so popular is that fans want to be him.
  • Badass Biker: As both Robin and Nightwing, he often rides a motorcycle alongside the Batmobile, though he has received his own Cool Car as well.
  • Badass Normal: He doesn't have a superpower to his name but he was trained by Batman himself, so you better believe he's a massively skilled fighter and detective.
  • Bash Brothers: With Batman, natch. Even when their relationship was strained and circumstances drove them to work together, Dick and Bruce are so well attuned to each other that their fighting coordination looks almost choreographed. They're called the Dynamic Duo for a reason!
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: He has broken the Thou Shalt Not Kill rule, when he thought The Joker had killed Tim Drake and was taunting him about it. It didn't stick, but even so.
  • Beard of Sorrow: He sports one for a time during The New Teen Titans after an argument with Starfire (who had been in an Arranged Marriage).
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Helena Bertinelli, after they had already slept together. And in New 52, with Barbara Gordon.
  • Beta Couple: Him and Barbara Gordon.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • During his run as Nightwing, Dick has had Unresolved Sexual Tension with two love interests: Hot Librarian and Childhood Friend Barbara Gordon and pragmatic Anti-Hero Helena Bertinelli. Both love interests have carried over to The New 52. Barbara even notes, a couple of times, that Dick is attracted to Helena because she's "dark and sour", though Dick doesn't quite agree. Funny enough, both have also been Batgirl, and have been part of the Birds of Prey.
    • Also Starfire (Veronica) and Barbara (Betty). The first was an extraterrestrial princess descended from cats who had spent her adolescence in slavery. The second was the daughter (or niece and/or adopted daughter) of Gotham police commissioner James Gordon who had spent her adolescence earning a library science degree. Kory was emotionally open and naïve about life on Earth; Barbara was all about knowledge. Kory was a towering, buxom, barely-dressed supermodel who represented physical power and pleasure. Barbara at that point was paralyzed from the waist down and represented intellectual power and pleasure.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's one of the sweetest guys in the DC Universe, but if you manage to get him really angry, you will regret it.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Used to provide the page pic. He is very protective of the other Robins, and of some other young heroes.
    • Has this towards Tim Drake from pretty much the moment he becomes Robin. Part of the reason for this is that he feels responsible for Tim after what happened to Jason, who he wasn't really there for due to his fight with Bruce. To give you an idea of the level he takes this to, when he thought the Joker had killed Tim Dick beat him to death with his bare hands. The fact that Joker also mentioned Jason during that confrontation did not help.
    • Especially pronounced towards Damian Wayne, who acted as his Robin during his tenure as Batman. Dick helps Damian develop into a better person and hero, which earns him Damian's fiercest loyalty.
    • Even though he and Stephanie Brown/Spoiler/Robin/Batgirl don't particularly hang out much, he was upset deeply by her death and gave Bruce a What the Hell, Hero? rant because of it, and another to Barbara when she allowed her to go out into the field by herself and he was worried about her in a big brother kind of way.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Provides the page pic. Again, he is this to the other Robins and, as a founding member of the Teen Titans, many other younger heroes.
    • He tried to be like this with Jason before he died, but how effective he was depends on the writer. When he meets Jason for the first time, he helps him salvage a botched drug bust, gives him his old Robin uniform, and his number, so Jason could have someone to talk to.
    • To Tim. After Jason's death, he felt he needed to be a more active presence in Tim's life.
    • It's especially pronounced towards Damian where it eventually becomes a Promotion to Parent, as he was Dick's Robin during his tenure as Batman and was integral to Damian learning to value life. The Joker lampshades this calling Dick 'The Big Brother You Never Had' to Damian.
    • This towards many generations of Titans, especially from the nineties onwards.
    • He is very accommodating towards Cass' lack of verbal fluency and (perhaps due to his own highly physical background) can hold conversations without Cass needing to talk.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Happened to him a few times. Mainly when he was with the Titans.
  • Breakout Character: Dick was originally suppose to be killed off in Infinite Crisis, but he was spared because he was considered the "heart and soul" of the DC characters, even more so than Superman.
  • The Cape: Very much, as a direct counterpoint to Bruce himself.
  • Cartwright Curse: In the New 52, Dick's love interests haven't been very lucky. Two women that Dick has slept with have died (one within the same issue she was introduced). Another love interest was the target of an attempted assassination. And then there's Barbara Gordon, who has been going through a Trauma Conga Line in her own book.
  • Characterization Marches On: While it still appears often in other media, Dick was a very angry and bitter character in a way not unlike Batman during his earlier years as Nightwing. It really wasn't until after the Prodigal arc and Chuck Dixon's run on Nightwing that the relationship mended stronger than ever and Dick went back to being a much more light hearted character as well returning to the role of Bruce's most loyal supporter outside of Alfred.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He's the child of circus acrobats and is thus incredibly agile.
  • The Charmer: Very much so, sometimes he doesn't even realize it.
  • Chick Magnet: Starfire, Raven, Barbara Gordon, Bette Kane, Helena Bertinelli, and Supergirl are just a few of the many that are drawn to Nightwing. Power Girl and Black Canary seem to prefer him even over Batman, and the latter comments that he could "raise a pulse in a department store mannequin". And that doesn't include the seemingly endless parade of civilians who are attracted to him.
  • Circus Brat: He still returns to the circus whenever they pass by Gotham and Bludhaven. He even ended up using his sizable trust fund to buy them out to save them from financial ruin.
  • Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder: As a spy, he's done this quite a lot, though usually for good reasons.
  • Cool Car: While operating as Nightwing, Dick painstakingly built a high-performance vehicle that could "camouflage" itself with a variety of exterior shells. He blew it up less than a year later.
  • Combat Parkour: Nightwing is quite flexible and agile because of his circus background.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Especially as Nightwing, following in his mentor's footsteps, although Dick is always portrayed as somewhat more flamboyant than Batman, owing to being a better natural athlete.
  • The Consigliere: To Bruce, in the New 52.
  • Cuddle Bug: Relatively speaking, compared to the generally grim and gritty Batman cast. However, when he's stacked against the Teen Titans, or even some Justice Leaguers, he's often played as a lesser Batman: more of a leader and people person, but no less determined, driven, and perfectionist.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: His name is Nightwing and he still excels at operating in the dark due to his time as Batman's sidekick, but there's a reason he's seen as one of the nicest guys in the universe. Just check out the rest of the trope list.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Whilst serving as Batman following Final Crisis, Starfire noted the change in Dick's demeanor from his time as Nightwing; specifically pointing out that as Nightwing, Dick's fighting style was more graceful, acrobatic and almost as if he were dancing. Dick's response was "Batman doesn't dance." Of course, this is a case of Depending on the Writer, as in the Batman books themselves, he was outright stated to be a lighter Batman.
    • His portrayal in the New 52 shows him as somewhat more violent than before, and his costume is now red and black instead of black and blue, although this does have the benefit of putting all four of the Robins in red. With his move to Chicago post-Death of the Family, this actually decreased a fair amount.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the snarkiest hero in the DC Universe. Even as Batman, he can't help himself from cracking wise.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Dick rarely has anything but fond memories of his parents after their deaths, and he's lived a pretty amazing life under Batman's tutelage. At one point in his series, he even says that while he loves his parents and misses them everyday, being honest with himself, he wouldn't trade his new life to get his parents back, even though he knows Bruce would for either of them.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Before joining Spyral, Dick and Bruce engage in a hold-nothing-back sparing match with Dick emerging victorious.
  • The Defroster: He is known for being one of the friendliest, most approachable and most charismatic heroes in the entire DC Universe. He is one of the few people who Batman trusts completely, and even has a brotherly bond with his adopted siblings: Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, and Cassandra Cain...all of whom have been some level of Ice Queen. Dick has also dated several Ice Queens, such as the Huntress, and befriended several on the many teams he's led. He is so charismatic that even some villains like him (granted, most of those being women, but still).
  • Domino Mask: Started the tradition of Robin wearing one and continues to wear one as Nightwing.
  • Dual Wielding: Escrima sticks are Nightwing's Weapon of Choice.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: Reversed when Nightwing is raped by Tarantula (Catalina Flores) after succumbing to exhaustion, shock, and wounds.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: He gets happy endings in various different timelines, thanks to Convergence. In one timeline, he marries Barbara Gordon. In another, he's married to Starfire. And in yet another, he becomes Batman.
  • Extremity Extremist: Due to his incredible agility, his fighting syle puts a lot of emphasis on kicks and he has Savate, Taekwondo, Capoeira, Muay Thai and Hapkido among his fighting styles.
  • The Face: He is most definitely the most socially competent hero of not only the Batfamily, but the entire DCU, being friends with nearly every hero and a few villains in the entire universe.
  • Faking the Dead: After the events of Forever Evil (2013).
  • Female Gaze: Dick is probably the most frequently subjected to this of any character in the DCU. Hell, IGN ranked him at #1 on their list of the sexiest men in comics, and both the list and the comments considered it a no-brainer. Comics Alliance said the same.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: In Nightwing Year One, Jason Todd didn't have a very good relationship with Dick. This is changed when the two end up in a situation where they save Alfred's life.
  • Former Teen Rebel: While Dick as an adult is regarded as a well adjusted Nice Guy with excellent social and leadership skills, Dick as a teen had an at times extremely rocky relationship with Batman, chafing against his father figure's controlling nature.
    • The same happened for Damian as their partnership became more solid after each arc in Batman and Robin, to the point the other would be willing to save the other's life.
    • Slowly happening with Helena Bertinelli in Grayson.
    • Eventually became Vitriolic Best Buds with Tiger in the same series.
  • Fragile Speedster: Downplayed but his suit allows him to use his full speed and agility with the trade off of less armor for protection. He describes his fighting approach as "move more, get hit less".

  • Genius Bruiser: As befits somebody trained by Batman, he's both a highly trained intellectual and a lethally skilled fighter.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Nightwing has led the Teen Titans, the Outsiders, and the Justice League. If he has a problem that's too big for him, he can call help from anywhere from Metropolis to Oa to Heaven or Hell.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Lampshaded in Batman: The Black Mirror. "I am a softy. And I do try to see the best in people... but that doesn't mean I'm stupid."
  • Good Is Not Soft: One of the nicest guys in the DCU and capable of punching you through a wall.
  • The Heart: He's the pillar of the Batfamily. And is called also the heart of the DCU because of how beloved he is both inside and out of it.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: It's commented in-universe multiple times that he brought joy and color into Wayne Manor after Bruce took him in. Alfred describes it as "as if color had come to our monochrome lives."
  • The Hero: While serving in the Teen Titans.
    • Even in some of the main Batman books, Dick comes off more as The Hero while Batman is a particularly dark version of The Lancer.
  • Heroes Prefer Redheads: His two most frequent love interests (Starfire and Barbara Gordon) have this in common, as do Temporary Love Interests Cheyenne Fremont and Raya Vestri. Even both his Heterosexual Life Partners are redheads. Of course, this does not preclude him from hooking up with blondes or brunettes, however. He even lampshaded it in 52 after he flirts with Batwoman before learning he's not her type:
    "Redheads. What is it about redheads?"
    "I got thing for crime-fighting redheads."
  • Heroic BSoD: After he allows vigilante Tarantula to kill Blockbuster.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Wally West, as well as Roy Harper.
  • I Have Many Names: Robin, Nightwing, Renegade, Batman, and Agent 37.
  • I Have Your Wife: Played with when the Parliament of Owls try to manipulate him by planting a bomb in Damian's head and threatening to activate it if he crosses them. As of Nightwing Rebirth #1 the Parliament of Owls are unaware that their explosive has been removed. At one point, Dick has to remind himself not to overstep with them because then they might realise that Damian is no longer in danger.
  • Important Haircut: Several times whilst serving in the Teen Titans.
  • Incompatible Orientation: In Batman and Robin (2009), Dick expresses an attraction to Batwoman (Kate Kane), who is, of course, a lesbian.
  • Indy Ploy: According to writer Fabian Nicieza, while Dick is smart (like most Bat-family members), what he excels at is "reflexive thinking", which is essentially this. While Batman is Crazy-Prepared, Jason is a Manipulative Bastard, Barbara is an Analyst, and Tim is all of the above, Dick excels at thinking on the fly.
  • Informed Ability: Several official profiles state that Nightwing's martial arts specialty is Aikido. Apparently no one told the writers, because it's very rare for his fighting style to even remotely resemble it. Especially considering the fact that his signature weapons, dual escrima sticks, are quite literally named after a different fighting style and his fights tend to make much more use of Capoeira, Karate, Jeet Kune Do and Taekwondo.
  • Interspecies Romance: With the alien super-heroine Koriand'r of Tamaran, aka Starfire, who he met as part of the Teen Titans. She was the first of his girlfriends that he was quite blatantly implied to have had sex with, they've been engaged at least once, and they were even almost married once — as in, the only reason they aren't husband and wife is because fellow Titan Raven attacked the ceremony and killed the minister before he could complete it. Though they are drifted apart in modern continuity, both still remember and occasionally sleep with each other over their former connection.
  • In-Series Nickname: During the Silver Age he was called "Robin-o" while with the Teen Titans, and during the Bronze Age was occasionally called "Batboy". He also goes by Dick rather than Richard in his civilian life.
  • It's Personal: Of all the Arkham rogues, Dick has the most personal enmity with Two-Face, stemming from when Harvey brutally beat him back when he was still Robin. Unlike Bruce, Dick is much less likely to give Harvey the benefit of the doubt.
  • Jerkass: Bad writing often casts him as an egomaniac jerk. Especially prominent when he was on the Teen Titans, where he basically was their Batman.
  • Junior Counterpart: Like Batman, his parents' deaths was his motivation to start crime-fighting, though even from his time as Robin to today, he still retains youthful energy and idealism that Batman lacks.
  • Kid Hero All Grown-Up: One of the most famous comic book examples. He's been very successful transitioning from Batman's Kid Sidekick to an independent hero. See also Sidekick Graduations Stick.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Dick has always been an unapologetic Superman fanboy. It sometimes annoys Batman, actually.
  • The Lancer: When he isn't The Hero, he's this for the Bat-Family. If Bruce isn't the one leading them, Dick will most likely step in.
  • The Leader: Unique in comics as Dick Grayson was one of the first teen sidekicks to lead his own team, and he became so good at it that by the time he became Nightwing, he was acknowledged as the most capable leader in the DC Universe! Seriously, even Superman has stepped aside to let Nightwing take command at times, and Batman has said that Dick Grayson has vastly surpassed him in terms of maintaining strong connections with virtually every superhero in the community.
  • Legacy Character: All three of his identities.
    • He was the first Robin. The rest, in order, are: Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian Wayne.
    • He was the second Nightwing, preceded by either Superman (pre-Crisis) or an unknown Kryptonian (post-Crisis). Of course, he was the first Earth superhero who used the name. Followed by Power Girl, Jason Todd (briefly and unofficially) and Chris Kent.
    • He was the third Batman. Preceded by Bruce Wayne and Jean Paul Valley, succeeded by Jim Gordon.
  • Legacy Immortality: Invoked this during his tenure as Batman.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's really fast and agile and hits incredibly hard to boot.
  • Like a Son to Me: Bruce views him as one. Though modern stories make him more of a brother to Bruce. Depending on the age gap between Dick and Bruce due to shifting continuity making their age alternate between younger or older, the relationship alternates between Bruce outright calling Dick his Son, or his Brother to his face in his rare moments of outward affection.
  • Like Brother and Sister: He's Platonic Life-Partners with Donna Troy. And he sees Supergirl as a little sister.
  • Likes Older Women: A number of his love interests, most notably Barbara Gordon, are older than him, though the exact age difference often depends on the writer. In the New 52, he's confirmed to be 21 years old, which means that some of his love interests are likely to be older given their occupations, such as a bank executive, a high-ranking secret agent, and a matron of a girls' college.
  • The Load: As Robin he usually subverts this, but not always. Let's just say there's a reason the Boy Wonder is sometimes called the Boy Hostage.
  • Love Martyr: Is one of the very few people that genuinely supports and believes in Damian, which eventually pays off when Damian actually grows to respect and care for Dick, which begins to shape him in a much more heroic person then he was when introduced.

  • Magnetic Hero: To the point where some believe his superpower is charisma. When he showed up to a fight with multiple generations of Teen Titans, Superboy noted how everyone instantly followed his lead. He also once convinced every hero on Earth, without question, to jump into a parallel dimension (saving them all). Batman even said it's one of the reasons he's proudest of Dick -— unlike Bats himself, he can gain and keep allies. So essentially, he's "Batman with social skills." A fact that was commented on by everyone from Jim Gordon to the Joker when he took over as Batman.
  • Meaningful Name: Applied via retcon in Night of the Owls. His surname "Grayson" refers to the Court of Owls, who fancied themselves the equalizing "gray" between the "white" aristocracy and "black" lower classes.
  • Missed the Call: In the New 52, Dick missed a villainous call in his backstory. The Court of Owls wanted to make Dick into a Talon, but Bruce adopting him on the eve of his parents' deaths put him out of their reach.
  • Morality Pet: All of the Robins are this, but Dick in particular is very special to Bruce. Being the "firstborn son" and all, he has helped Batman from being a far worse man, just by being there. In a fascinating example, Dick is also this to 10-year-old Damian Wayne.
  • Mr. Fanservice: It's blatant and unrepentant, and it works and it's well-acknowledged in-universe, by a number of superheroes, including but not limited to: Barbara Gordon, Black Canary, Supergirl, Power Girl, Midnighter etc.
  • Must Make Amends: Batman does this on Nightwing's behalf toward the tail end of The Joker's "Last Laugh" storyline: Batman doesn't want Nightwing to think of himself as a murderer.
  • My Greatest Failure: Early on, it was Dick's failure during his Robin days to save an innocent from being killed by Two-Face. Later replaced by him "letting" Tarantula kill Blockbuster. He also blames himself partially for both the crippling of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd since both events happened when he and Bruce were on the outs. It's notable that he took a much more active role in the mentoring of Jason's replacement, Tim Drake and generally keeps a much closer eye on the other members of the Bat-Family since.
  • Nice Guy: Thanks to having a relatively happy childhood before Bruce took him in.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Deathstroke and Red Hood have been on the receiving end of quite a few of these, from Dick.
  • Oblivious to Love: Many of his seemingly platonic friends actually have an unrequited crush on him. He's even been called "a factory for broken hearts" by Huntress.
  • One Head Taller: Inverted; both of his main love interests (Starfire and Oracle) are taller than he is. Granted, by the time he actually slept with Oracle, she... aw, that joke's too tasteless even for this site. It's also been commented on that as the new Batman, he's significantly shorter than Bruce. This is grounded in real-life, as gymnasts and acrobats have a tendency to be short.
  • The Paragon: Dick is often credited as being perhaps the most inspirational hero in the DC Universe. Even more so than Superman.
  • Parental Abandonment: Like Bats, his parents are DEEAAAAAAAD!!!!!!!!! He's had rough patches with Bruce as well, but have since become closer then ever with his adoptive father.
  • Parental Favoritism: No doubt that out of all the Robins and Batgirls, Dick is the only one that Bruce treats as an equal, sometimes even trusting him with secrets with him that Alfred isn't privy to. Bruce also admits that he's the only one who has the right to talk back to him.
  • Parental Substitute: Both Bruce and Superman fill this role for him, and he becomes one to Damian.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Is often portrayed with these when he doesn't have long hair.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: With Donna Troy. Considering his status as Mr. Fanservice and that she's the (sometimes twin) sister of Wonder Woman, this is pretty surprising.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: In the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Even today, far wittier than his mentor is ever portrayed as. Even as Batman, Dick is still cracking wise, even at gunpoint.
  • Power of Friendship: His greatest weapon. Sure, natural acrobatics and Batman-trained skills in combat and sleuthing are nothing to sneeze at, but no other hero in the DC Universe boasts the sheer number of allies he has. The guy has had his villains team up with him against bigger or badder foes. Why? Because he asked nicely.
  • Prodigal Hero: Dick Grayson had a strained relationship with Batman for the closer part of a decade. After getting fired from his role of Robin, he assumed his own identity as Nightwing. He finally repaired his relationship with Bruce in the fittingly titled run Batman: Prodigal.
  • Real Life Superpowers: Pretty much to the level of his mentor. Of all the traits on this list (Beauty, Intelligence, Skill, Charisma, Fame, Wealth, Physicality, Weaponry, and Luck) Dick has 9 out of 9. Where he differs from his mentor is that not many people believe Dick Grayson has physical powers (like the superstitious and cowardly believe about Batman)—however, Dick is so charismatic and dashing that people think he has Glamour powers. And that's not even getting to the fact that he's the greatest acrobat in the entire DC Universe.
  • Really Gets Around: Depending on the Writer, he's either a regular Casanova, or a flirt who means well and is looking for a serious relationship.
  • Real Men Cook: Dick may love cereal but he's a fair cook who already had some kitchen knowledge from his parents and gleaned more from Alfred. Tim is quite impressed by some of the meals Dick whips up while Dick is watching him.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: His relationship with Barbara Gordon. Since the 90s, they've been an Official Couple, have broken up, and then later engaged. Said engagement was retconned when plans to kill off Dick were shelved. Since then, they've been Amicable Exes, up until the New 52, which has them as Childhood Friends with a heavy dose of Will They or Won't They? that occasionally ventures into Belligerent Sexual Tension territory.
  • Resign in Protest: In some versions of the Nightwing's story, he was the one who decided to cut ties with Batman for various reasons. Regardless of the cause, in these versions of the story him quitting the position of being Robin and becoming Nightwing is this.

  • Shock Stick: His Eskrima sticks have built-in tasers.
  • Sidekick Graduations Stick: Do they ever. You'd think, with Bruce Wayne coming back, he'd stop being Batman and go back to being Nightwing, right? Not so much. However, as of DC's post-Flashpoint reboot, Dick once again resumes the identity of Nightwing.
  • Strong and Skilled: Like the rest of the Bat family, he's been through intense training and is trained extensively in numerous martial arts including Karate, Capoeira, Judo, Jeet Kune Do, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Savate, Judo and Kung Fu.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: In some aspects. The Justice League and the Gotham PD seem to prefer him over Bruce. And he's the only one of the Batfamily who's capable of beating Bruce in a fair fight.
  • Taking Up the Mantle: Ol' Dick is in the trope picture for this one. He first took up the Batman mantle temporarily once when Bruce was recovering from the Knightfall arc, and he did it again after Bruce "died" in Final Crisis and fighting Jason Todd for the title in Battle for the Cowl.
  • Technicolor Ninjas: Played straight as Robin. Eventually subverted as Nightwing (his first two Nightwing costumes were bright blue and yellow, before he settled on black with a hint of blue).
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: His relationship with Starfire of Titans fame. He's only short relative to other superheroes, but she is almost two meters tall. More, counting her hair.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He's not as preachy as Batman about this rule, but he's very much for this. He'll opt to subdue and arrest others rather than kill them, only resorting to lethal methods when he either feels he has no choice or when he's in severe emotional distress but even then, those are never permnament changes.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Does this really need explaining, old chum?
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cereal. He's almost always seen eating it for breakfast, while doing research, and late at night. He once even considered ordering a Corn Flake pizza when he ran out in one issue.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Getting shot in the head by the KGBeast resulted in him losing his memories as a superhero. The Bat-Family's initial attempts to revive these memories only made things worse.
  • True Love Is Boring: Why he's never going to settle down. Alternate continuities confirm that the only two women who have a chance of marrying him are Starfire and Barbara Gordon, both of whom he was engaged to in the main continuity at different points. Unfortunately, writers have gone to great lengths to make sure he seals the deal with neither of them.
    • Starfire and him made it to the altar before a post-Face–Heel Turn Raven interrupted the ceremony before it could be completed, and their relationship never recovered from the emotional fallout of their would-be wedding. Even then, they still flirt and occasionally sleep together.
    • See Relationship Revolving Door for how things are going with him and Babs.
  • Underwear of Power: Probably what started all the Ho Yay Shipping is because he wore these without any other form of trousers.
  • Unknown Rival: Shrike, a member of his Nightwing Rogues Gallery who claims to be his Arch-Enemy, but isn't even considered a threat.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Since the New 52 reboot, the Nightwing costume has changed no less than three times in less than 20 issues. The red suit, the red suit with finger and hip stripes, and finally the blue suit. Red Hood and the Outlaws even shows that Dick has many, many more Nightwing outfits, and that Jason's current suit (sans leather jacket) was originally Dick's.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: The perception of him Really Getting Around is mostly blown out of proportion to the actual number of women he's been involved with. Prior to the reboot, he'd probably slept with a grand total of four women.
  • Weapon of Choice: His escrima sticks.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Anyone who works with Batman has this problem, but Dick had it really bad for a while. Fortunately, he is now recognized as Batman's closest ally and favored son.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Kori. And Babs. Even after having been engaged to both of them. And now it seems to be heading towards this path with Helena. Dear god.
  • Worf Had the Flu: When he's the main protagonist of a story or leader of a team, he's as good as Batman. When he's in a Batman story, he's easily captured or wounded and taken out of the fight.
  • Working with the Ex: Dick Grayson and either Starfire, Barbara Gordon or Huntress.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The Trope Codifier for the DC Universe, as Dick Grayson's age pins down everyone else's in canon:
    • Canonically, Dick Grayson becomes Robin at age 12, after his parents' deaths. This means Batman himself is around 10-15 years older, depending on the source material, such as how long Batman's training takes and how much time elapses between Batman's debut and Robin's.
      • Jason Todd is a couple years younger, but still old enough to plausibly pass as someone Nightwing's age, given he's impersonated Nightwing. Tim Drake is a couple years younger still (remembering the Flying Graysons and noticing Batman's slow slide into decay following Todd's death), and Damian Wayne still younger, but old enough to place Bruce's relationship with Talia at over ten years old.
      • Before the New 52, Dick is one of the founding members of the Teen Titans, which means each of the other five founding members (Aqualad/Tempest, Kid Flash/Flash/Wally West I, Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow/Roy Harper, and Donna Troy/Wonder Girl/Troia) are around his age. This is especially problematic, as Donna Troy's ongoing Continuity Snarl also means she and Wonder Woman debuted far more recently in the storyline than this would allow. Retconned by New 52, however.
    • In his late teens, Grayson abandons his Robin identity to become Nightwing, which in turn made DC retcon Tim Drake into never being a proper Robin, as the timeline would have to involve Wayne losing and gaining the post-Grayson Robins too quickly, roughly one per every year and a half since Grayson abdicated, but does nothing to explain how Wayne and Todd in particular got so complicated in such a short time.
    • Per Grayson, Dick abandons his Nightwing persona at then-current age 22, implying Batman is somewhere around 32-37. This ignores characters explicitly inspired by both characters, however.
      • Green Arrow is expressly in-universe copying Batman, and comes along a couple of years later, notably already being somewhat experienced when Arrow is the first new member of the Justice League. Green Arrow is also canonically over 40, despite also being canonically younger than Batman.
      • Similarly, Green Arrow adopts Roy Harper as his sidekick, Speedy, who is also a little younger than Grayson but older than Jason Todd. Speedy then goes on to have a brief affair with Titans villain Chesire, producing their daughter, Lian Harper, who was canonically 5 at the time of her death. Since retconned away and back, this means that Cheshire and Harper would have to meet almost immediately following the founding of the Titans, and charitably when Roy was around 14 — making Cheshire a child molester as well as a terrorist.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Has had to do so when dealing with Spyral, Checkmate, the God Garden, and the Court of Owls. Sometimes playing them against each other.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Nightwing often keeps up a string of witty quips during a fight.