With Aquaman recently hitting theaters, more and more superheroes are slated to get their day in the spotlight on the big screen. However, despite having graced the screen in Batman Forever, Dick Grayson was announced to be getting a solo movie at some point. With Warner Brothers Studios shuffling around the DCEU, it’s questionable if he will appear on screen again anytime soon. Dick Grayson has been a staple of DC Comics for years now and despite some recent changes to the character, he remains one of the best superheroes to date even getting to #11 on IGN’s top 100 superheroes list. While Dick is currently appearing in the DCU’s Titans his best stories are still on the comic panels. These are some of the best Nightwing stories to date in order of release.
In Teen Titans: Judas Contract, the Titans welcome Terra, a girl with the power to manipulate Earth and all Earth-related materials into their ranks not realizing she is there to infiltrate the Titans and destroy them. This story made Teen Titans the book it is today focusing on internal drama while giving the team a real adversary to fight in Deathstroke. In regards to Dick Grayson, this story gave us the birth of Nightwing and shows his ability as a team player and leader.
Batman: Battle for the Cowl by Tony S. Daniel, Ian Hannin, Sandu Florea, and Jared K. Fletcher
The Battle for the Cowl was a major DC event following the aftermath of the Final Crisis and R.I.P. With Bruce blasted to the past, Gotham is left to fend for herself while many of Batman’s reluctant allies fight for the right to the mantle in the midst of an uptick in crime. Dick is forced to take on both Azreal and Jason to reluctantly assume the cowl and continue what Bruce began. The story focusing on the internal conflicts of the batfamily and solidifies Dick Grayson’s role as the glue of the family. It is a great example of Dick’s character and leadership ability. You can grab the series with our ComiXology affiliate link.
Following Battle for the Cowl, Dick Grayson assumed the role of Batman with Damian taking the mantle of Robin from Tim Drake, who became Red Robin. Unlike many Batman stories, Batman and Robin completely changed the dynamic of the famous duo. Dick Grayson is a Batman who smiles, cracks jokes and keeps the energy light while Damian happily takes over brooding. The story is a great example of not only why Dick Grayson is a great superhero, but a great Batman.
Collecting Detective Comics #871-881, the Black Mirror arc focuses on the return of James Gordon Jr. The remorseless killer who has psychopathic tendencies acts as a ‘black mirror’ for Dick Grayson who sees his own darkness reflected within Gordon. Dick faces the implications of who he truly is and what that means for him and Gordon as he continues to protect Gotham as Batman even following Bruce return from the past at the end of Batman and Robin. Snyder’s background in horror gives this book an unsettling feel that is so vastly different from other Batman stories. It is an excellent character study for Dick.
As part of the Forever Evil storyline during the New 52 era, Nightwing’s identity was revealed on every electronic device in the world. Because of his reveal, Dick Grayson fakes his death to protect the rest of the batfamily and becomes an agent of the espionage agency Spyral. While an agent, Dick acts as an informant for Batman. While not a traditional batfamily or Nightwing story, Grayson is a fun nod to James Bond with a comic flair.
One of the best books in DC Rebirth run, Nightwing: Rebirth follows Dick’s stint as a secret agent. Dick Grayson returns to the mantle of Nightwing, now back in the signature blue, thanks to the erasure of the knowledge regarding his secret identity. Tim Seeley’s run has its ups and downs but forces Dick to face his decision and the impact it had on his family to fake his death. the costume’s colors were changed back to the traditional black and blue. The run also explores the Grayson family history and packs an emotional punch.
The most recent comic on this list and the only one-shot, Prelude to the Wedding: Nightwing vs. Hush #1 takes place the night before Batman and Catwoman’s wedding. The series featured various members of the batfamily (and for some reason Harley Quinn) take on some of Batman’s greatest foes. The book is brilliantly written by Tim Seeley (Nightwing: Rebirth) who crafts a compelling and emotional narrative between Hush and Dick. Additionally, Travis Moore’s art is absolutely stunning.
Dick Grayson has graced the panels of comics since his introduction in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940. Since then, he has had a large array of stories centered around his tenure as Robin, Nightwing, and even Batman. Every comic can be read digitally via our affiliate link.