Monday, June 05, 2006

Dick Grayson

Courtesy of Scans Daily, Neal Adams draws Dick Grayson as he was meant to be seen.

By now you've all heard Didio's vile plans for the boy, and how they were thwarted. While I do agree that thematically speaking, Grayson's death would have made Infinite Crisis a hundred times better, I can easily see the reasoning for keeping him around. His role, as demonstrated in this picture, and cemented in Infinite Crisis is vital to the Batman Mythos.

The only problem is that they insist on giving him a solo book. This character is not a headliner, no matter what you do. He is a teambook character, a supporting character and needs to be attached to a star or a group (that is not written by Judd Winick). Dick Grayson is defined by his relationships. Left alone, he angsts and whines because he's lonely and needs his superhero buddies.

Now, the intricacies of this character have been well-documented by a number of others on their own blogs, so I'm not going to get into the details. They make much better arguments than I ever could.

Instead, I offer a few comments, and this page to the argument -- because it sums up my view of the character and his value better than words ever could.


  1. I was one who thought Dick deserved his own book and it was a good one, for quite a while. It no longer is and hasn't been for at least a year. It's a shame and a pity, but I'm very glad they didn't kill him. I hate when they kill characters I grew up with. They (the teen characters who were close to my age when I started reading comics) feel like friends.

  2. I think the problems writers have been having with Nightwing are entirely because of the bigger problems people have been having writing Batman. He's Batman's foremost supporting character and for the past 15 years or so DC's been writing a Batman who doesn't want supporting characters, so what's Dick supposed to do with himself? Hopefully now that they're making a strong push to fix Batman the rest of the Batfamily will come into the right alignment.

  3. My vote is for Dick/Nightwing to star in the new Brave and the Bold, jet-setting around the world for the Wayne Foundation by day, teaming up with other heroes by night. It gets him away from Gotham, it gives him a steady job, and if you don't like Nightwing, maybe you'll like the other half of the team-up.

  4. Dick was at his best leading the Teen Titans as "Robin" - one of the most capable heroes in comics history - not "Nightwing," who is essentially a soap-opera character.

    A competent Dick leading a team who are NOT Winick's Outsiders is the only change the character should undergo.

  5. I want to chime in and say, much as I think IC would have been better if they killed Dick, I really like Tom's idea. Dick's the first real grown-up sidekick, he shouldn't be stuck as Batman's supporting character anymore. Supposedly he does have his own solo comic after all.

    But the Brave and the Bold team up thing would really give Dick a chance to shine on his own, away from the Bat-shadow, as he hasn't been able to since the Titans. It'd be good to see. :-)

    Even if I still think they should have killed him. :-P

  6. Nothing could've saved IC; killing off Dick Grayson in issue 7 would've just been trying to smother a fire with kerosene.

    I have no idea why people act like there's such a huge problem with Nightwing. There's nothing wrong with the Nightwing concept (former Batman sidekick grown up, on his own doing his own thing); he's just been handled by crap writers and editors for the last couple years. De-angst the guy, give him back his confident, swashbuckling attitude and he works great on his own or in a team.

  7. And I have to say: of all the characters DC would kill off, why Dick Grayson? He's the third most recognizable character they've got after Superman and Batman, with a pop cultural footprint much bigger than that other, endlessly-revamped member of DC's supposed "Big Three." If Didio couldn't think of anything to do with the original Boy Wonder other than kill him off, then he's pretty out of touch.

  8. Shelly -- I liked the first couple trades, but it went downhill fast. He really needs someone to bounce off of, or he loses his light.

    Fliget -- *Nod*

    Tom -- Actually, I think that's a brilliant idea. Dick needs someone to interact with to define him. There, we'd get a chance to see him itneract with the entire DCU.

    Moose N Squirrel -- Man, that's why it would have worked. EVERYBODY thinks he's immortal because he's so recognizable. It would have been genius. Instant press as they kill off someone even non-comic readers know. You think Batwoman's big right now because people are picturing Yvonne Craig as a lesbian? Imagine if DC let it slip that they killed Dick Grayson -- not say Nightwing, mind you -- Dick Grayson. And see everyone picture Burt Ward in a bloody heap. He could've been this miniseries' Barry Allen.

    And thematically, it would've worked. They built up his effect through Batman and the E-2 Superman, and he did that team-up with Suiperboy in Teen Titans. It looked like they were going for the kill, but they chickened out.

    Killing him off and getting the reaction, the response, the controversy would've proven how in-touch Didio is.

    But he's got a 5'10 lesbian bat to attract attention right now, so I guess it worked out anyway.

    As for poor Nightwing -- out of the frying pan into the fire. He's saved from the chopping block, but who will rescue him from Winick and Jones?

  9. ...Neal Adams draws Dick Grayson as he was meant to be seen. Robin, The Boy Hostage? Um, that may not quite be the ideal role for Young Master Dick.

    I LOVE the B&B idea. I've been reading The Comic Treadmill's regular paeans to the B&B "Haneyverse"; Dick could step into the Jet-Setting World-Traveller role of Haney's Batman effortlessly