Before this A-List continues, I would like to clarify something.
The complete title of this article should have been “Four reasons why I think Nightwing is a better role model and a more interesting character than Batman,” but it was way too long, so here we are.
Plus, I need you to remember this a fun piece, a subjective piece. I love these characters equally, so don’t crucify me for expressing a little opinion. Now, let me do a quick introduction: Nightwing (aka. Richard John “Dick” Grayson) was Batman’s first Robin, but after years of adventures spent together, the Boy Wonder left the nest to become Nightwing.
Why does that make him “better”? Here are four reasons.
If you’re a Batman fan, you know Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson have a lot in common. They’re both geniuses, detectives, vigilantes…and clown punchers. However, one of the main difference between them is despite all of his greatness, anyone can relate and identify with Grayson.
Why? Because before knowing him as Nightwing, you witnessed his growth as Robin.
You were there when he was hanging with the Teen Titans while struggling to be taken seriously by his mentor. You were there when he experienced his saddest losses and most importantly, you were there when he celebrated his greatest victories. Nightwing will always be this childhood friend who grew up with you — and never left.
Remember that scene? After witnessing the demise of his parents, Bruce Wayne made a vow. He swore to spend all of his life as a crime fighter to avenge their death. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty moving to see a man struggle to live by a code he created when he was 10, but it doesn’t make it any less unhealthy.
Bruce shouldn’t forget his parents’ death, but changing the way he deals with it, is something he definitely has to work on. Besides, this vow of his is sometimes driving him away from his loved ones with criminally related pasts…
Dick, on the other hand, never made a vow after his parents’ death. He’s Nightwing because…well, he trusts himself to do the right thing. He’s always here to support his family, no matter how dark their pasts are, and he’ll always be here for them.
Everybody knows Thomas and Martha Wayne. They’re old money from the most ancient Clans of Gotham. Apart from one undying satanist, there’s pretty much no one interesting in their family tree.
The “Flying Graysons” on the other hand, are way more intriguing.
William Cobb, the grandfather of John “Giovanni” Grayson (Dick’s father) joined Haly’s Circus at the beginning of the 20th century. But young William didn’t know a grim secret was hidden under the marquees of the circus. Little boys and girls were unknowingly trained as potential recruits for the Court of Owls, a secret organization controlling Gotham from the shadows.
Thanks to his natural prowess as a knife-thrower, William quickly became a star and he was chosen by the Court to become one of their immortal assassins, the Talons! Many years passed and the Graysons became an integral part of Haly’s Circus. Unfortunately, talent runs in the family, and Dick’s acrobatic skills piqued the curiosity of the Court. Fate had a promise because of the death of his parents and adoption by Bruce Wayne, Dick never followed William’s murderous path.
Let’s start with a bit of history: The ancestors of the Romani People left South Asia more than a millennium ago. They traveled for centuries, and arrived in Europe approximately in the 15th century.
Their unique traditions and peculiar history make them one of the most fascinating people on the European continent. Although, you may know them by another seriously pejorative term, we’ll stick to their proper name here.
And you know what? Mary Grayson (née Marie Lloyd) is Roma, which means Dick is one of the most diverse (and possibly mysterious) members of the Bat-Family (along with Cass, Duke, Kate and Damian).
Thanks to his mother, Dick knows a bit of Roma culture and has even mentioned Romani mythology on some occasions. But Mary is more than “Dick’s mom.” Her own childhood is film-worthy and involves adventures in Paris, a lot of acrobatic action, a plot à la Robin Hood, and a mysterious Roma boy with golden eyes.
Many years after the tragic death of the Graysons, the mysterious friend of Mary returned to Gotham as a freelance assassin of the Court of Owls with a newfound name: Raptor! In only a few Comic Book issues, Raptor became one of Nightwing’s most formidable foes and perhaps, the most important person of his rogue gallery.
P.S.: There’s a fifth secret reason why Nightwing is better than Batman, some even say that it’s a superpower on its own (clue: It starts with B, and ends with utt)…
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