In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Nightwing, one of the biggest differences between Dick Grayson and Batman is confirmed thanks to Alfred.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Nightwing #78
It’s a new era for Nightwing and his latest issue is key to remind readers that the former Robin is much different than his mentor, Batman. Having recently returned to vigilante work after a long hiatus, Nightwing is back as Blüdhaven’s protector. However, just as Blüdhaven has different problems than Gotham, Nightwing is a much different hero than Batman. As such, one of the biggest differences between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne is revealed in this issue, pointing to the incredible strength that Nightwing possesses as a hero.
Starting with a new creative team, the cheerful Nightwing #78 arrives from writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo. To start, the new issue looks back into the past, seeing a young Dick Grayson fighting a group of bullies alongside Barbara Gordon (the present Batgirl), whom he’s just met for the first time. After Jim Gordon picked both of them up and dropped Dick off at Wayne Manor, he got to work on the dishes, despite the fact that it was Alfred’s job, as he simply wanted to help.
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This desire to always help is something that evolves and continues on into Dick Grayson’s adulthood as Nightwing. Not only does he stop a group of thugs from beating up a three-legged dog, but he also takes the dog to the vet and back to his apartment, taking that extra step to provide care and concern beyond fighting criminals. Furthermore, something that’s pointed out in the past, as well as the present in a letter written to Grayson before Alfred’s death, is that Dick Grayson is a hero, regardless of whether or not he’s wearing a mask as Nightwing.
Not only is this a big reason why Alfred left his impressive savings to Nightwing, but it’s also an interesting concept that truly sets Nightwing apart from Batman. While this isn’t to say that Bruce Wayne hasn’t done good as Bruce Wayne, the majority of his efforts to be a hero are through transforming himself into the Dark Knight. In contrast, Dick Grayson is always looking to help, and being Nightwing is merely an extension of his desire to help all he can and protect those who can’t protect themselves. His secret identity is just as effective as his hero identity.
It’s a very dynamic distinction that Taylor points out in this issue, and it helps reinforce the concept that Nightwing isn’t just a younger copy of Batman in a different suit. He’s his own man with his own desires, drives, and struggles in life, and the way he operates on a routine basis is much different than Batman. In any case, Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have kicked things off incredibly well for this new Nightwing era, and fans won’t want to miss what happens next as the series continues from DC Comics.
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