This is the first of an eight part blog series that will explain why Flashpoint should never have happened to the Bat-Clan and it will start with Dick Grayson and follow through each character in order of appearance chronologically until we come full circle with Bruce Wayne at the end. (This was originally posted on my tumblr at http://mrmessyface.tumblr.com but I decided to post on here too to get your opinions as well.)
Our first entry is about, arguably, the best hero ever in DC Comics, Dick Grayson. Dick Grayson was the first sidekick ever. He was the first Robin and created a legacy. He created the Teen Titans and led the team for years. He had his own team of Outsiders. He led the freakin’ Justice League of America, TWICE.
We’ve seen him go from Robin, the little kid that distracted the villains while Batman knocked them out, to being Robin, the serious teen who didn’t like being called a sidekick and told Batman to shutup, to being Nightwing, the hotshot aerialist who stole all the redheads’ hearts, to being the Batman that made Gordon say “I don’t know which one you are but…”, to being Nightwing again and taking down his own mobs, to being the Batman that smiles.
Dick Grayson might just be the one character that has changed codenames so often that wiki sites only list him by his real name now. He has had some of the most growth in a character we’ve ever seen and one of the only characters we actually got to see grow up. Even to the point that when Tim Drake asked him to go back to being Robin, Dick basically said “I’m a grown ass man!”
When we last seen Dick before Flashpoint, he was appointed “the Batman of Gotham City” while Bruce was out being the “International Batman.” When Darkseid made everyone believe he killed Batman with his omega beams, Dick stepped up, took down all competitors, and took on the cape and cowl, and proved Batman never dies. One of the things about being Batman is you’re pretty much in charge of a whole system of roles in Gotham City. He had to oversee many decisions. This time around, Dick became the leader of the Justice League, most likely the only time anyone actually thought Batman being the leader was a good idea. He chose to make Damian Wayne his Robin so he could keep him out of trouble. He approved of Stephanie Brown becoming Batgirl. He tried to treat Tim the same way Bruce treated him when he quit being Robin.
But sooner rather than later, Bruce Wayne returned. Everyone expected him to be like “Hey Dick, take that off,” but instead the first thing he says is “Is that Damian in a Robin costume?”
I at least thought he would compliment Dick on his cool Batman logo shaped utility belt. Like always, Dick makes everything about Batman cooler. We all assumed Dick was just going to go back to Nightwing and everything was going to be like before just with a slight shift. But it wasn’t. Instead things were kinda weird. There were two Batmen running around (along with two Flashes), and it got confusing.
What should have happened instead of Flashpoint changing stuff, was just to develop a storyline that made Dick decide to become Nightwing again. (Going back to Nightwing was one of the only good things to come out of the New 52.) Yes, a Nightwing title should have returned and the first storyline should have been Dick shedding the cape and gripping the escrimas. Of course you’d have to bring in a villain that required some sort of nostalgia that made him change and feel better about it. Possibly Shrike or Two-Face would have been a good fit. Or they could have re-imagined the Saiko story (which was basically Nightwing’s version of Hush) and make him show that Dick was supposed to stand out in the first place. Everything else could have happened the same way. Finding out he was supposed to be a Talon for the Court of the Owls but was rescued by Batman before it got to happen. Being challenged by Damian as to who was the best Robin ever. All that would have fit perfectly in the Pre-Flashpoint universe.
Solution: Don’t flashpoint the universe and make Dick go back to Nightwing. And keep the blue fingerstripes. And keep Kyle Higgins as writer.
Next entry: Barbara Gordon.