With the events of Forever Evil behind us, the DC universe faces uncertain times. If you haven’t been following DC Comics or just aren’t caught up to the events in question please consider this your spoiler warning.
With the crime syndicate having been defeated the world thinks that the hero known as Nightwing is dead. During the events of Forever Evil the crime syndicate had unmasked him,thus revealing his true identity to the world, then connected him to a doomsday bomb set to explode upon his death. The harrowing tale of his rescue can be read in issue seven of that series. As thrilling as that was though, the comic book we are here to talk about is the final issue of Nightwing’s own book.
This issue serves as both a finale and introduction, as Richard Grayson is given a mission by Batman himself. The mission involves remaining “dead” and going into deep cover to infiltrate a top secret organization bent on unmasking superheroes. This mission will be chronicled in the upcoming title, “Grayson”.
Richard a.k.a Dick Grayson started as a member of the Flying Graysons, an acrobatic circus family whose murder left him orphaned and in the care of billionaire Bruce Wayne. He became the Dark Knight’s first sidekick, Robin. However when Batman’s methods become to rigid for him, Richard struck out on his own and taking inspiration from an old kryptonian folk tale told to him by Superman himself, he took to the streets as the hero known as Nightwing. Though when tragedy struck and Batman was presumed dead, the mask of Nightwing was set aside for the mantle of the bat and Grayson became The Knight.
This issue not only puts the mask of Nightwing to rest but also builds up Grayson as a man while Batman puts him through a final trial to ensure his readiness for the mission at hand. The audience will read his history as a son, sidekick, hero, and mentor as he has grown to become the man and hero the world needs him to be. This story above all else proves that the mask does not make the hero. A hero is forged by heart not costume and no matter what you call him Richard Grayson is a noble character and a hero we can all aspire to be.
Even though he grew within the shadow of The Batman, he stands as a testament of a son growing past his father but still honoring that father’s legacy and becoming a champion in his own right.
Will he ever take up the mantle of Nightwing again? It hardly matters. The DC Universe and the world of comics in general is a better place as long as Dick Grayson is in it, no matter what mask he may wear.