Dick Grayson is a character that has evolved more that the average comic book character. Starting out as a child in a circus whose parents were killed, he soon went on to become Batman's first sidekick, Robin. The two worked together for years and even formed a father/son relationship. Dick was no longer just a circus boy. Eventually he needed to move out of the shadow of Batman.
Spending more time away from Gotham, as Robin, Dick took on leadership of the Teen Titans. The team consisted of sidekicks trained by the best. The time then came for Dick to firmly cut his roots from Batman. Giving up the identity of Robin, Dick created the new identity of Nightwing.
It was as Nightwing that I first started reading Dick Grayson's adventures. With his stylish high-collared costume, his days as a kid sidekick were long gone. Dick Grayson become more identifiable as Nightwing than as Robin.
When it appeared that Batman died, Dick finally accepted that he should take on the mantle of the bat and become Batman, even though this was not Bruce's wishes. Having graduated to this next level, perhaps the ultimate level, of being a superhero, why would Dick take a step back and return to his former identity of Nightwing?== TEASER ==
There's a lot that we don't know just yet. With the current set up of Batman, Incorporated, it makes sense that there would be more than one Batman. Batman's association with Wayne Enterprises makes it plausible that a Wayne Employee could even be under the cowl. What we do know is come September, there will be one Batman and that Batman will be Bruce Wayne.
Most characters take on an identity and stick with it. We have seen the sidekick characters graduate to a new name and costume. Wally West went from Kid Flash to Flash, Roy Harper went from Speedy to Arsenal to Red Arrow to Arsenal again, Donna Troy went from Wonder Girl to...whatever she's calling herself these days, etc. You don't often see a character revert back to their younger identity. While Nightwing more than proved himself as a hero and leader, he moved up on the superhero ladder to become Batman. Now he's going back.
It's been mentioned that Batman, Inc will be taking a hiatus until 2012 as the new relaunched (not reboot) titles come out. What could cause Dick to hang up the cowl?
One possibility is the dangers to Wayne Enterprise employees. It might be better if Batman separated himself from his close relationship with the company which puts them all at risk should any of Batman's crazed enemies want to get revenge. This could be the case but doesn't really call for there only being one Batman. We already know that Batwing, the Batman of Africa will still be operating.
What if Dick and Bruce had another falling out? This doesn't seem like a likely scenario. They have gone through so much and Bruce's death and journey through time has only strengthened his bond with his family. Operation side by side with Dick as Batman shows that he now considers Dick to be his equal.
The most likely reason is that Dick never really wanted to be Batman. He fought the idea during Battle for the Cowl and finally embraced the idea, knowing that Gotham City needed a Batman. In his early adventures as Batman, we saw the thrill he experienced. Batman never smiles but Dick couldn't help himself. Anyone would feel a rush fighting the bad guys dressed as the Dark Knight.
In Battle for the Cowl, Bruce's message stated that he didn't want Dick to be Batman. Bruce knew that Dick was his own man. When Nightwing #1 is released in September, Dick is said to be embracing his former mantle as Nightwing. We have seen incredible growth as Dick finally accepted the duty of being Batman, especially seen in Scott Snyder's Detective Comics issues. But Batman was never what Dick wanted to be, as fun and thrilling as the identity could be.
Is it a good idea for Dick to return to a version of his old costume? The lack of a cowl is risky. Wearing a little mask isn't the best disguise, especially now that Dick has been working with/for Batman, Inc at Wayne Enterprises. Dick has worked with Commissioner Gordon, handling things that would later be turned over to "Batman." Vicki Vale was able to put the pieces together and with today's technology and photo recognition, it would be a piece of cake for people to figure out what Nightwing's tiny mask was hiding.
Dick may be getting comfortable being Batman but he stated several times he wasn't used to having a cape. Even if the recent Detective Comics #877, Dick had to dive into Gotham Harbor and having a heavy bullet-proof cape doesn't seem like the best thing to swim with.
Even though I felt Dick was the best choice to replace Bruce as Batman, it just never felt right. I've been used to and have loved Dick as Nightwing. I do think it is the identity he should use and keep as he's worked so long in building it up. Giving up being Batman does feel like he's taking a step back but as long as Dick takes the experience he's gained an applies it to being an even better Nightwing, you won't hear any complaints from me.