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Off My Mind: Dick Grayson's New Direction

He's hanging up the tights and become a secret agent. Will that be a good or bad thing?

When FOREVER EVIL #1 was released, we all saw that Dick Grayson was in a pretty sticky situation. Caught off guard by the Crime Syndicate, he was captured and unmasked on television. For a hero that's long kept his secret identity well-guarded, this was set to change his status quo.

We've seen superheroes have their identities revelaed, sometimes by their choice. It wouldn't necessarily be the end of the road for Nightwing. There could be the question of what is Richard Grayson's connection to Batman? It could be easily found out that Dick was Bruce Wayne's adopted son (is that still a thing in the New 52?). With Bruce Wayne having funded Batman Incorporated and Dick's upbringing as an acrobat in Haly's Circus, he could have easily applied to be an associate of Batman's. There's also the fact that the general public might not be fully aware that Nightwing used to be Batman's full partner as the original Robin. In other words, it could've been danced around.

Dick's capture by the Crime Syndicate almost made all of that out of the question.

When Dick was found by Batman and Lex Luthor, he was attached to the Murder Machine. Made from technology from Apokolips, the chances of freeing Dick didn't look too great. While we have to wait for FOREVER EVIL #7 to see how he gets out, we do know he will manage to become free.

Once free, what would be his options?

While some heroes may be able to operate without a secret identity (they seem to be more common at Marvel), Dick has too many people close to him and too many crazy enemies. What it comes down to is too many villains are evil enough to try to go after Dick's loved ones as revenge or to use as leverage against him. Dick's always been a character that has embraced his relationships while Batman has kept them to a minimum. The only way to keep them all safe is for Dick Grayson to die.

We could still have the character we all loved if "Dick Grayson" had to "die" in order to keep his loved ones safe.

Last year we saw that Thanksgiving Day teaser for BATMAN ETERNAL.

Upon seeing a mysterious blonde figure with a familiar mask sitting next to Tim Drake, many assumed this was Dick Grayson. He could simply dye his hair and maybe take on a different costume and identity. If the world believed Nightwing was dead, why would they assume some new vigilante had anything to do with him. We may find it hard to believe that characters can hide their identities behind a tiny domino mask but when there's nothing or nobody to associate them with, their identity remains a mystery.

From the news yesterday, we know that is not Dick Grayson. (Who is it? Was it meant to be Dick but the idea thrown out? Is it supposed to be Calvin Rose? Jean-Paul Valley? Someone else?) The world will believe Dick Grayson is dead while he goes off to become a spy.

This is something that could work but obviously there are some concerns. And we're just basing this off one single image.

Dick's supposed to be dead yet he's not making any attempts to hide his face. He'll even allegedly be wearing a suite with a big "G" reminiscent to the "R" from the Robin suit. With an identity publicly exposed, you would think some sort of change would be attempted. His hair appears to possibly be shorter. Maybe he should consider some facial hair or something? But spies don't usually sport beards, right?

Dick is using a gun. That's a huge no-no for Batman. Yes we saw Harper Row use a gun in the future spoiler issue, BATMAN #28, but that wasn't a regular gun. Will Dick insist to his new employers that he will only use guns that incapacitate but don't kill? How much say will he have with his employers? He would indeed be an asset to their organization but he's also relying on them to keep his secret as well as the lives of his loved ones.

It seems crazy. It will be hard to accept for die hard Nightwing fans. But it's not the first time he's gone through changes. He used to be Robin, the Boy Wonder. He left that behind and moved out Batman's shadow.

The good news is he'll be joining Spyral. That's the spy organization we saw in BATMAN INCORPORATED. It's also the one that Kathy Kane, the original Batwoman, is a part of. We saw in BATMAN INCORPORATED #13, you don't mess around with her.

Last July, I wrote about why it was time for the return of Kathy Kane. With her involvement, it makes some sense that Dick Grayson could operate with the world believing he was dead. Kathy, herself, was thought to be dead. She was killed by Bronze Tiger, or at least in the previous continuity. Even Batman, the World's Greatest Detective, had no idea she was alive. After her encounter and revel to Batman, she said:

"Stick to what you do best. And don't try to find me. I don't exist."

If Kathy could hide her identity from the world, they should be able to keep Dick Grayson's identity a secret as well. Will Batman even know what Dick's up to? With all the craziness that happened during FOREVER EVIL, people would likely overlook a tiny detail like that when you consider the entire moon was moved out of orbit.

Dick Grayson as a spy just seems wrong. But of course we'll check it out. Change can be good. We have to have open minds and all that. If characters don't go through changes, they could become stagnant. This gives us the opportunity to explore more of the darker areas of the DC Universe with a espionage twist. It is unfortunate because we were enjoying Nightwing's new adventures in Chicago but this could be fun. It'll take some getting used to but at least Dick Grayson won't be dead.

And if it means we get more Kathy Kane in the New 52, I will be all for it.

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Posted by hart7668

It'd be funny seeing Dick interact with other agents and how he stacks up physically.

Edited by Outside_85

Remember how Dick looks in the Beyond Universe and couple it with this new career and you pretty much end up with:

Edited by G-Man

Fighting with a gun and a martini.

Staff
Posted by danhimself

just basing this off this one image and the interview I'm going to say that I don't like the idea of this...I'm willing to give it a try but right now I don't like it

Edited by thewalkingdeadpool18

Remember how Dick looks in the Beyond Universe and couple it with this new career and you pretty much end up with:

Well this organization basically sounds like SHIELD anyway. Freaking DC.....

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

How does Dick being a spy feel wrong?

Dick was trained to use firearms by Batman when he was becoming robin, he's also carried a gun when he was a policeman. Batman doesn't care if Red Hood, Batwoman or Blue Bird uses guns so why would he care if Dick does?

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Edited by spidershamrock

I was angry about it but I've processed it. I doubt it will be a permanent thing so I'm not as angry as I was. That being said, I still think this is really stupid and pointless

Posted by AmazingWebHead

It'll probably only last until the next Crisis. (And there WILL be another)

What I want to know is who's that with the purple hoodie near Tim?

Posted by darkbeam

How does Dick being a spy feel wrong?

Dick was trained to use firearms by Batman when he was becoming robin, he's also carried a gun when he was a policeman. Batman doesn't care if Red Hood, Batwoman or Blue Bird uses guns so why would he care if Dick does?

This.

Posted by danhimself

It'll probably only last until the next Crisis. (And there WILL be another)

What I want to know is who's that with the purple hoodie near Tim?

Spoiler

Edited by G-Man
Staff
Posted by Bl00dwerK

Could be good, I guess. I plan to read it just for the spy-factor...

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

I don't like this idea. But I don't hate it. As I find my way slowly leaving the Company of DC, I will not deny that I will be checking this out. Dick Grayson is my favorite character in DC, and one of my favorite characters overall, so I will do my best to continue supporting him, even though I don't completely support this idea.

Edited by G-Man

@jonny_anonymous: It 'feels' wrong because that's an opinion? Dick has been a lighthearted and fun character. He wore bright colors and was very flashy in his movement and style. Being a cloak and dagger spy character is a departure from that. Obviously based on what I've written in the article, I'm not against the idea. I am going to give it a shot. But it doesn't feel like the Dick Grayson I've read for years.

Staff
Posted by Breadspread

I'll be checking this out, for sure.

Posted by RustyRoy
Posted by AmazingWebHead
Posted by thewalkingdeadpool18

@jonny_anonymous:

Well conidering alot of the bull Marvel "ripoffs" Hold as much ground as this "ripoff"....Besides i'm not implying that it's rip off my point is although i know it wasn't suggested is that i like DC not having these good guy spy organizations like SHIELD. That's Marvels thing it's another thing to keep a difference in the universes. DC works better when the good guys are cops and Superheroes that's it. No higher up spy organization.

Posted by PhantomArtist

i HATE this change. all his comics is about him being an independent new hero and now he joins a spy group (way to be "independent") and dont get me started about the gun but putting that aside i just cant ACCEPT him as anything other then a super hero not a spy and i REALLY REALLY hope this is either a joke or a "what if series" (sort of like the deadpool kills the marvel universe comic) this is really taking everything about nightwing i love and flushing it. (i will buy the comics and read them but i wont accept it and just keep asking for a NIGHTWING series)

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@g_man said:

@jonny_anonymous: It 'feels' wrong because that's an opinion? Dick has been a lighthearted and fun character. He wore bright colors and was very flashy in his movement and style. Being a cloak and dagger spy character is a departure from that. Obviously based on what I've written in the article, I'm not against the idea. I am going to give it a shot. But it doesn't feel like the Dick Grayson I've read for years.

But he's basically trained to be a gadget wielding ninja, he's the closest hero in DC to being a spy that I can think of and it doesn't mean he'll turn all grim, I mean Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible wasn't exactly moody.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous
Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

@amazingwebhead: Brown has been already been in an issue of Batman. She's been back lol.

Edited by The Stegman

I'm personally excited for this, and I think Dick will make a great spy, I mean think about it

-He's one of the best trained martial artists and acrobats around

-He's trained by Batman in the art of stealth, deception, and infiltration

-He's handsome and charming, so he has the James Bond seduction going for him

-He's proven to be a great leader or second in command, depending on the situation.

Really, when I think about it, out of all the DC heroes who AREN'T already spies, Dick is probably the best candidate.

Posted by Krypton-115

For now all I can say is that it feels weird. Dick is my favorite of all Robins for a good couple of reasons and Nightwing is one of my favorite heroes in the DC universe, so seeing Batman's acolyte taking a James Bondsy turn feels strange for sure. Will I be reading GRAYSON? Sure, not only because I like espionage thrillers with a superhero twist, but mostly out of curiosity. For now I'm looking at the new Dick Grayson as the Winter Soldier meets Batman.

Edited by iceslick

@g_man: I'm thinking his memories will be wiped like the Winter Soldier. Ever thought of that Tony? It's the only excuse I can think of why would he become a spy and use a gun. Maybe he doesn't know who he is anymore and where he comes from. I know it's crazy to copy something from Marvel. But comic book companies copy each other all the time. So, it doesn't really bother me if they do and it's gonna be a little different anyway because it's in the DC Universe and it's Dick Grayson. I doubt Dick Grayson will be exactly like Bucky Barnes, even if his memories are wiped.

Edited by Captain13

I have no problem with good changes (Red Lanterns, Sinestro Corps, Talons, The Machine), but this seems to be a bad change because it strays too far from the core setting of the character. When Marvel did this to 616 Spider-man by replacing him with Doc Ock, I missed out on 2 years of real Spider-man stories. There are consequences for readers like me when Marvel or DC does this.

Also, this change is more bothersome because DC really doesn't know how to use their legacy characters in a way I find compelling. Once there was a time when young heroes struggled with the weight of history and finding a place in the tapestry of heroism. That's all gone. And Dick Grayson, in particular, is a weaker character because of it. What happened to the leader of the next generation? What happened to his identity? What happened to his friends and family? What happened to his history? They just keep taking stuff away from this character and adding nothing to make up for what was taken.

Why can't he lead a team of Titans? Why can't he team up with a Wally and Donna, even if they are new versions? Why can't he just be Nightwing? Ugh. And this happens just when Wally is returning, so you know they aren't going to properly fix the mess that is Teen Titans.

Posted by GraysonDC

Once...in the shadows, then out of the shadows...now master of shadows

Posted by youknowwhattodo

I'm excited for this, I mean I try and keep my expectations low because personally I don't think it's wise to hype up things to ridiculous degrees. But that being said, there really isn't anything about this announcement that is really troubling. Hopefully his role in the DCU will end up being similar to Nick Fury or Black Widow in MCU (which is pretty big).

Online
Posted by Captain13

GRAYSON #2

Written by TIM SEELEY and TOM KING

Art by MIKEL JANIN

Cover by MIKEL JANIN

1:50 Variant cover by ROB LIEFELD

On sale AUGUST 13 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.

We've taken his friends. We've taken his family. We've taken his identity. We've taken his history. This month, what is "Dick Grayson?" The answer will change the DC Universe Forever and leave you thinking, "WTF Certified."

Edited by Squalleon

Once...in the shadows, then out of the shadows...now master of shadows

Deep.

Posted by xelanihc

I am okay with it. I am just glad he isn't dead. I always thought Dick would have fit into Checkmate as one of the non-powered agents when Greg Rucka was writing it. This isn't too far off that. So I am game.

Edited by richardjohngrayson

@amazingwebhead said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

@amazingwebhead: Brown has been already been in an issue of Batman. She's been back lol.

Sorry that I can't track down every single piece of printed material and purchase it the instant it's released with my limitless amounts of both time and money.

It has been reported online since before she came back. No need to get mad. The news has just been out for awhile.

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@captain13 said:

I have no problem with good changes (Red Lanterns, Sinestro Corps, Talons, The Machine), but this seems to be a bad change because it strays too far from the core setting of the character. When Marvel did this to 616 Spider-man by replacing him with Doc Ock, I missed out on 2 years of real Spider-man stories. There are consequences for readers like me when Marvel or DC does this.

Also, this change is more bothersome because DC really doesn't know how to use their legacy characters in a way I find compelling. Once there was a time when young heroes struggled with the weight of history and finding a place in the tapestry of heroism. That's all gone. And Dick Grayson, in particular, is a weaker character because of it. What happened to the leader of the next generation? What happened to his identity? What happened to his friends and family? What happened to his history? They just keep taking stuff away from this character and adding nothing to make up for what was taken.

Why can't he lead a team of Titans? Why can't he team up with a Wally and Donna, even if they are new versions? Why can't he just be Nightwing? Ugh. And this happens just when Wally is returning, so you know they aren't going to properly fix the mess that is Teen Titans.

You realise that all this crap you are moaning about will happen? I mean it's a forgone conclusion. It's happened before and it's obviously going to happen again because people like you force comic companies to tell the same god damn stories over and over. So why not, just for a little while, let them tell new stories in new situations? Would that be so god damn hard to ask?

Posted by Munsu

I think DC is at a loss with the character. They don't really know what to do with him. He no longer has any friends or created the Titans. His friends and history with the Titans have been given to Jason and Tim and in the reboot and Dick has been left with basically nothing. So trying to write the character like how he used to be wasn't really working when those old stories and relationships are gone.Hopefully the new series doesn't get too dark. It doesn't fit his character.

Still, I think exposing his identity is going to turn out to be a complete waste, as I really don't see why many would care that much given everyone already knows Bruce funds Batman Inc. and Johns seems to have no interesting in following up on the story he introduced, so it is going to be a rough handful of years while DC constantly tried to "fix" Dick's character and continues to reset his direction every new arc.

Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee

@amazingwebhead said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

@amazingwebhead: Brown has been already been in an issue of Batman. She's been back lol.

Sorry that I can't track down every single piece of printed material and purchase it the instant it's released with my limitless amounts of both time and money.

It has been reported online since before she came back. No need to get mad. The news has just been out for awhile.

Yeah, wow really. Was just trying to be helpful and this guy goes full blown offensive.

Posted by richardjohngrayson

@captain13 said:

I have no problem with good changes (Red Lanterns, Sinestro Corps, Talons, The Machine), but this seems to be a bad change because it strays too far from the core setting of the character. When Marvel did this to 616 Spider-man by replacing him with Doc Ock, I missed out on 2 years of real Spider-man stories. There are consequences for readers like me when Marvel or DC does this.

Also, this change is more bothersome because DC really doesn't know how to use their legacy characters in a way I find compelling. Once there was a time when young heroes struggled with the weight of history and finding a place in the tapestry of heroism. That's all gone. And Dick Grayson, in particular, is a weaker character because of it. What happened to the leader of the next generation? What happened to his identity? What happened to his friends and family? What happened to his history? They just keep taking stuff away from this character and adding nothing to make up for what was taken.

Why can't he lead a team of Titans? Why can't he team up with a Wally and Donna, even if they are new versions? Why can't he just be Nightwing? Ugh. And this happens just when Wally is returning, so you know they aren't going to properly fix the mess that is Teen Titans.

You realise that all this crap you are moaning about will happen? I mean it's a forgone conclusion. It's happened before and it's obviously going to happen again because people like you force comic companies to tell the same god damn stories over and over. So why not, just for a little while, let them tell new stories in new situations? Would that be so god damn hard to ask?

I feel you Johnny. The backlash from some is a bit much.

Edited by Munsu

@g_man: It feels more like Jason Todd. It's cray how DC has switched their characters in the reboot. Dick is now the secret spy while everyone has to think he is dead while Jason is the one leading and is friends with the former Titans going on big colorful space adventures and stuff.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

@amazingwebhead said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

@amazingwebhead: Brown has been already been in an issue of Batman. She's been back lol.

Sorry that I can't track down every single piece of printed material and purchase it the instant it's released with my limitless amounts of both time and money.

It has been reported online since before she came back. No need to get mad. The news has just been out for awhile.

I knew she would be back, I just didn't know it had happened yet. And I was semi-joking.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

@arturocalakayvee said:

@richardjohngrayson said:

@amazingwebhead said:

@arturocalakayvee said:

@amazingwebhead: Brown has been already been in an issue of Batman. She's been back lol.

Sorry that I can't track down every single piece of printed material and purchase it the instant it's released with my limitless amounts of both time and money.

It has been reported online since before she came back. No need to get mad. The news has just been out for awhile.

Yeah, wow really. Was just trying to be helpful and this guy goes full blown offensive.

I was trying to be funny. Trying and failing, obviously, which I am sorry about.

Posted by redhoodx

I hate this change because there trying to give dick an angle that Jason Todd and even more obviously Bucky Barnes have. Him using a gun, him possible killing people, him not even changing his identity which is the point when he was outed by the syndicate. I'll buy the first issue but I'm sure he won't fit this Jason Todd like antics. This also sucks for Jason Todd fans because now it makes him look less unique and just another former robin gone to the grey side of life.

Posted by UncannyCyclops

I like Winter Soldier and I like Nightwing. So theoretically I should like this. Shall find out soon enough.

Posted by kivatt

@jonny_anonymous: Yes, yes it is. You are asking comic book fans, the Superboy-Primes of the real world. They will complain, and moan about everything.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

People acting like Marvel is the only media company to use spy orgs lol also Winter Soldier comparisons are way off. Haters gonna hate

Posted by LyraFay

I think its an interesting idea. DC whilst has secret spy organsations (Checkmate, ARGUS...Cadmus), they use them differently to Marvel (I think that's down to the company arriving in the 60s and latching on the Cold War/James Bond elements of the era and stuck with it.) DC has them has a human threat to the mythical superheroes who work the earth but hardly spying/conspiring like Marvel. So this should be interesting especially since Dick Grayson is turning 75 next year.

Posted by GraysonDC

@squalleon: universe= uni meaning one or together + verse meaning versus or against.... together we r against...and this is y the world is the way it is...how far down the rabbit hole do u wish to go?

Posted by RulerOfThisUniverse

It sounds interesting.

Posted by hart7668

I mean if people wanted bold - I guess this would be it. Short of permanently killing him of course.

Posted by Herokiller12344

That's a terrible idea. I read Superhero Comics for Superheroes not secret agents.

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