Why Grayson cannot be Batman

#1 Edited by RitchieB (256 posts) - - Show Bio


and here is why, enjoy your read

The Dick Grasyon one day becoming Batman debate is one that most if not all Nightwing fans have had at one point or another. I am certainly no exception to this and have let it run through my mind multiple times and the answer is always No. to understand why the answer must always be No, one must first understand who Batman is.

Batman is one of the oldest comics in existence and has obviously been around a very long time.

Batman's story is a tale of a young boy named Bruce Wayne that sees his parents gun down at a very young age (usually eight) and decides that for the rest of his life he will seek vengeance on all criminals and stop them from committing crimes by force.

If one were to describe Batman in three words it would most certainly be "obsessed with Vengeance" Bruce Wayne's life is not about anything but the oath he made to bring vengeance upon the criminals of Gotham in a never ending struggle.

second one must understand Dick Grayson

like Batman Dick Grayson has been around a very long time, only behind Batman and Supes in comic book appearances.

Dick Grayson's story is the tale of a young acrobat that witnesses his parents fall to their death because the circus would not pay protection money. however Dick Grayson's back story is different than Bruce's in multiple ways. the first is Dick is always older than Bruce was when his parents died thus is better able to comprehend the situation. second Dick Grayson is removed from the place that connects him to his parents while Bruce always lives in Wayne Manor. thus Dick is allowed to heal whereas Bruce is constantly reminded of his parents. the third thing being that Dick Grayson has always been portrayed similar to Batman but always having different view points and means to accomplishing the same goal.

If one were to describe Dick Grayson in three words it would be " Healing the World." as you can see Dick Grayson is very different from Bruce whereas Bruce believes he needs to shoulder the burden and relentlessly pound criminals down but Dick Grayson moves past that and has one thing that Batman doesnt and that is hope. Dick Grayson believes that world can heal and that people will eventually do the right thing. Batman believes that he is the only thing stopping evil from overtaking Gotham City, Dick Grayson has always been seen by the DCU as a likable character. one that anyone could lean on and have a shoulder to cry on and most importantly trusts them and therefor he is deeply trusted back. that is simply not Batman. Nobody ever considers crying on Batman's shoulder and Bat's certainly does not play well with others.

now we move on to why Dick Grayson cannot be Batman

first of all you cannot simply become Batman. Batman is an iconic character that has one constant theme. Batman has such clout that as Superman says Batman is the real person and Bruce Wayne is secret identity. that is not Dick Grayson, Dick is the real person regardless of him wearing a Robin, Nightwing, or Batman costume. No matter what happens Dick will always be Dick and there is nothing that can be done to force him to be Batman. they are dramatically different people. Batman is Dark and in the shadows where Grayson is bright and is seen artistically flipping through the air.

second even if Dick Grayson was to put on the Cowl he would certainly not be Bruce. He would do things dramatically differently and would never ever turn into the dark brooding loner that Batman is. The JLA would be different and more co operative. I mean in YJ Nightwing willingly gave us his leadership position to Aqualad, Bruce would never do that. then if Dick had Bruces resources he would use it to bring JOY like he attempted to with amusement mile not like bruce with Batman Inc that was developed to stop crime.

Third , Batman is a great character and so is Dick Grayson. and I do not believe putting on a cowl will make him Batman. He will not suddenly become dark and brooding. he will not be obsessive. I mean look at Damian's Death. Bruce is obsessed and relentless trying to force things to happen but Dick is not Dick is trying to heal and in time he will come to peace with it.

Finally, Grayson has transcended Batman. not saying he is a better detective or h2h fighter or anything. But Dick is transcends Batman because he has hope. he has this ideal that by working together we can make everything ok. sure times will be rough but together people can accomplish anything. it is that belief that makes Dick better than Bats because when Batman dies there will never be another Bruce. But when Nightwing dies there will still be all those that he helped and lead to make better. mentored the other robins in becoming there own and setting on there own mission. as well as his fellow titans that he led and established connections that will last generations. Batman's legacy is vengeance, Grayson's legacy is hope and cooperation. Grayson is and always will be Grayson and no costume can change that. a costume will not make Grayson any better or more feared or more repected. what will is dick grayson's legacy and I do not believe he has to become anything to make that happen.

#2 Posted by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow (1462 posts) - - Show Bio

I would not like dick as batman never did in Batman and robin he needs to stay Nightwing. (Nice article)

#3 Posted by Extremis (3594 posts) - - Show Bio

Well Bruce will always be Batman in my book. I frankly dont like the idea of anyone else being him. But if Batman were to die I can't imagine a more appropriate person to take up the cowl.

#4 Posted by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow (1462 posts) - - Show Bio

Extremis that was nothing short of the truth it was brilliant I totally agree

#5 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (41748 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman being one of the oldest comics in existence is a bit of an exaggeration

#6 Posted by The_Lunact_And_Manic (3296 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce can't heal from a bad day, Richard can.

Simple as that.

#7 Posted by waezi2 (11955 posts) - - Show Bio

He may not be able to become THE Batman, but he could be a great Batman. Wally became Flash, Kyle the Green Lantern, not to mention the most of the members of the JSA

#8 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6721 posts) - - Show Bio

Uh, wasn't he already Batman for a while?

#9 Posted by RitchieB (256 posts) - - Show Bio


this is where I disagree. Wally became the Flash because his mentor died. Wally was still in his sidekick phase and then graduated from kid flash to the flash. Wally did it out of respect for Berry. any other GL will be GL because GL is a corps not something Hal started so its not the same. However with Dick, the idea is not out of respect but the idea that Gotham needs Batman. Dick is not still in sidekick form he is in a graduated form i.e. Nightwing. Gotham needs a hero not " a Batman" sure Gotham will take a few steps back initially but Dick putting on a cowl wont change that. Dick will always be Dick and the idea that he needs a costume to be better is dumb. Nightwing represents things that Batman never will and I am confident Dick will be a great hero when Bruce is gone. Not only that but Dick staying NW best represents his relatonship with Batman. Someone that Bruce has always trusted and is seperate from Batman. Dick never wanted to be Batman and when Batman is gone, he will step up but not as Batman but as NW which represents Grayson.

#10 Posted by mpierce2690 (331 posts) - - Show Bio

...Dick Grayson was Batman. And was great at it.

#11 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (2140 posts) - - Show Bio

...Dick Grayson was Batman. And was great at it.

@extremis said:

Well Bruce will always be Batman in my book. I frankly dont like the idea of anyone else being him. But if Batman were to die I can't imagine a more appropriate person to take up the cowl.

Both of these. Dick's already been Batman twice, nothing anyone else says can change that. I think Bruce will always be the one people think of as Batman, just as Clark will always be the one people think of as Superman, and Diana will always be the one people think of as Wonder Woman. However, this doesn't mean that there's no one else capable of filling in their mantle and doing just as good at the job as the original person did. As Batman, would Dick be dark and brooding? Hopefully not. Would he be stuck on vengeance? Doubtful. But neither of those are the real question that matters. The one that does is, does Dick need those traits to be Batman? To be Bruce as Batman absolutely. To be Batman, no. Again, he's already been Batman and he wasn't like that. Terry McGinnis was/is Batman and isn't like that. Yet nobody's going to go around and say "He's not Batman" because of that. That would be an insult to the character, just like it'd be an insult to Wally to say he wasn't the Flash because he wasn't a police officer or didn't possess one of Barry's traits. If Wally West is the quintessential example of a student taking over for the mentor and still wearing the suit right, then I see no reason to say Dick couldn't be Batman. It's about not becoming caught up in seeing a character as stuck in one certain mold, especially when even the original character has gone through changes over the decades.

#12 Posted by Alak (995 posts) - - Show Bio

@waezi2 said:

He may not be able to become THE Batman, but he could be a great Batman...

I definitely agree with this statement. Before we ask "Can Dick Grayson become Batman?", we first have to ask ourselves "what exactly is Batman?". Remember that it's just an identity, a symbol for the victims in Gotham to find salvation in and for the criminals to cower in fear from. When Gordon turns on the bat-signal, everyone in the city knows that the Batman is out on patrol. The innocent will feel safer while and the criminals will be spooked. The only crime fighter that has this much emotional impact on Gotham is the dark knight. That's how I personally choose to define what it means to be Batman. Bruce Wayne is the epitome of a character that can embody these traits simply because he invented the role. This is why Bruce will always remain as THE Batman of Gotham.

So, now that you know my definition of Batman, can Dick Grayson be Batman? I vote that he can. Yes, I agree that despite facing similar tragedies at similar ages, Dick and Bruce have grown up to be vastly different characters. It was mentioned in one of the recent comics that Dick has the uncanny ability to move on. Bruce, obviously, does not as you can tell by the way he held on to his parents' deaths, Jason's death, and Damian's death. The OP mentioned that Dick embodies hope, and nothing truer can be said about a character whose optimistic personality rivals that of Superman. However, does the lack of brooding and darkened heart automatically disqualify Dick as a candidate to become Batman? This is where I disagree. Grayson is just as obsessive about stopping crime, but he just happens to convey this in a different manner than Bruce Wayne does. Here we have a guy who has been fighting crime since the age of 9, and despite so many opportunities to exit the scene, he instead chooses to remain. When Nightwing patrolled Bludhaven, we saw him suffer from severe sleep deprivation due to his war against all major gangs in that city. We saw him dig through every possible means of taking down Blockbuster II, even when it threatened to destroy his private life. Despite his run as Nightwing, Dick went the extra mile and became a police officer to fight crime during the day time without using a mask. When Dick was too injured to fight crime, he stayed in Barbara Gordon's apartment solving America's Most Wanted cases out of boredom (4 cases in one morning if I remember correctly). Even without all that darkness that empowers Bruce Wayne, Dick still utilizes his hope of cleansing the world as an obsessive, but effective, means of wiping out criminal families. By the time his run in Bludhaven was near its end, it was very evident that criminals feared Nightwing. Citizens not only realized that he was their protector, but they also saw that he was a really efficient one. Those two things fulfill my personal criteria of what Batman needs to be able to do.

Another point I want to address from the OP's statement is the difference in sociability. Nightwing is widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) team leaders in the DC universe. This may be an attribute stemmed from his easy going personality as well as part of his upbringing by Superman (the metaphorical uncle, if you will). Does this trait disqualify Nightwing from being Batman? If you look back at my definition of what it means to be Batman, then you'll know that it is in my opinion that being sociable does not conflict with the Batman persona. It certainly conflicts with Bruce Wayne's personality, but it is definitely not detracting from the icon known as Batman. We already know that Dick is an effective crime fighter who can hold down Bludhaven on his own just as easily as Bruce can hold down Gotham. So imagine what happens when you take a powerful crime fighter, and give him a social network that literally spans galaxies. Remember all the times when all of Gotham's super villains broke out of Arkham within the same week. Bruce Wayne successfully threw them back in jail, but as a result his body was left too fatigued to effectively fight off Bane (Knightfall). Dick Grayson, on the other hand, chose to mobilize as many available superheroes within one night to take down every loose criminal simultaneously (Battle for the Cowl). I'm not saying that anyone here thinks being a social hero is a detriment to Nightwing's personality, but what I am saying is that it is something that greatly benefits Batman as a crime fighter. We saw a similar, albeit smaller, mobilization in the Court of Owls arc where Alfred has the entire bat-family assist Bruce in one of his toughest New-52 conflicts in Gotham. Therefore, I believe that friends and allies are not things that the Batman is above having.

As @waezi2 mentioned, I don't think Dick Grayson can be THE Batman. That title is exclusive to Bruce. I do, however, strongly believe that he can be a very good Batman that could very well rival Bruce Wayne's. The bat-symbol inspires fear in the hearts of villains and hope in the hearts of the innocent. Grayson has successfully done both of those things in Gotham, Bludhaven, New York, and hopefully Chicago. On the other hand, it should also be said that I think that Dick should not become Batman if given the choice, since his role as Nightwing already puts him as an A-lister in my book. Thanks for reading my wall of text!

#13 Edited by RitchieB (256 posts) - - Show Bio


Let me rephrase this because I think the intent of what I was trying to get across is being distorted.

First let me say its not of matter of could Dick Grayson become Batman. there is no doubt in my mind that he Dick could take up the cowl and is the most qualified person to do so if Bruce were ever to die or retire.

What I mean is Dick "cannot" become Batman. Batman is one a symbol, an identity, with tons of lore and legacy behind it. what I was trying to say is that a writer cannot turn Dick Grayson into Batman.meaning there is nothing that can be done to make Dick act the same way as Bruce or do the same things as Bruce.

My idea is that DIck Grayson is great because he is Dick Grayson. I REFUSE to beleive that Dick Grayson can only become the hero of Gotham if he takes up the cowl. which was the main idea in battle of the cowl. the whole Gotham needs a Batman stuff. Batman is a hero, he is a great person. but Dick should not become Batman. If Dick Grayson were to become in Bruce's place it should be as Nightwing not as a second Batman. the reasoning behind this is Nightwing and Batman are two separate heroes and represent ideologically two different things. lets take the costumes for instance, where does the Bat come from; fear. the design of Bruces costume was designed to strike fear into fear into criminals and bruce used it because as a boy Bats scared him. Look at Nightwing's costume a bright Blue bird on it. what does the bird represent? his fallen family and him becoming a hero in respect for their memory. in a sense taking a tragedy and making something positive out of it.

to put it plainly Dick Grayson CAN and WILL be the next hero of Gotham. however Dick Grayson CANNOT be Batman because Dick represents an ideological difference between "father" and "son".

Dick Grayson will be a great hero in Gotham,

In some aspects Dick Grayson will be a better Hero than Bruce.

BUT he will not be Batman, He will be Nightwing because Dick does not need to ride on the coattails of Bruce to become the great HERO and SAVIOR of Gotham.

if you are to consider who is Dick Grayson, he is the successor to Bruce Wayne. He is the only person Bruce Wayne trusts to take care of Gotham when he is gone. Bruce does not want Dick Grayson to be Batman. Dick Grayson does not want to be Batman.

Bruce wants to Dick to be the leader and savior when he is gone but do it differently then he did.

Dick will step up to the role of leader and savior as Nightwing because Nightwing is good enough to fill the role but to force Dick Grayson into the cowl is not right.

If you are still not getting what I am saying I will explain it to you this way. I am from Denver, Colorado. In Denver one universal hero for the city is John Elway. John Elway is a Great quarterback and gave Denver their first two Superbowl victories. After John Elway retired the next great QB that Denver had is Peyton Manning. I do not think Manning needs to wear the Blue jerseys and the number 7 to be the next great QB in Denver. Manning should wear the Orange jersey and the number 18. Elway is a great QB and Manning is a great QB but Manning is not Elway and does not need to copy Elway to win a Superbowl for Denver.

Just as

Dick is a great hero but is not Bruce. Bruce is a great hero but is not Dick Grayson. Dick does not need to wear the cowl to be Gotham's hero. Dick Grayson should be the hero as Dick Grayson/Nightwing not the second Batman

I am saying Dick CAN be as good if not better than Bruce, but Dick SHOULD not copy Bruce to do it.

#14 Posted by Alak (995 posts) - - Show Bio


Great analogy with the Denver Broncos (I'm a fan of the team, so I loved how you used them to support your point)! With the use of the words "can" and "should", we both come to an agreement. Will Dick be the next big hero of Gotham? Honestly, I think I'll need to see more stories (or get some good convincing) to agree to that. I thought that in Battle for the Cowl, the bat-family realized that in their current identities, no criminal will fear them... at least not to the same extent as they would fear the Batman. Maybe if we see the writers have Nightwing patrol Gotham while Batman is out of town (for an extended period of time), we can witness a gradual growth of fear imbedded into the criminal minds. It took him months to win over Bludhaven, but that's because he was it's only hope for salvation. In Gotham, Batman has the biggest and baddest crime fighting reputation. I personally don't see Nightwing and Batman co-existing equally in the same city, and when Batman retires and Nightwing is left to tend to Gotham, it'll take a long time for his name to match Batman's.

Anyway, that's derailing from the original point of the topic, but again I do indeed agree that Dick should not try to become Batman. Nightwing suits him much, much more.

#15 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (2140 posts) - - Show Bio

LOL to sum things up:

Can Dick Grayson be Batman? Yes.

Can dick Grayson be the same as Bruce Wayne? No.

Does Dick Grayson NEED to be Batman? No, and I think this last one was canonically approved by Bruce when he told Dick in a recording that he had faith in NIGHTWING being able to protect Gotham in his absence. (Shortly after Bruce's "Death" in Final Crisis)

#16 Posted by DB150 (60 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree granted dick grayson can not be Bruce wayne and then again who can but I see no reason why he can't be batman

I mean picture it like this Bruce Wayne carries the burden of his parents murder there for is unable heal and he is cold lonely and is obsessed with his role as batman unlike dick he is warm hearted and careing and unlike Bruce is not obsessed with nightwing but will always fight for what's right and defend the innocent from evils might so it all comes to this

Dick can never match Bruce Wayne's personality

But he can be batman if he chooses an expert crime fighter protecting those from whom do wrong that's how I see it

#17 Posted by Crash_Recovery (855 posts) - - Show Bio

@extremis: I was hoping that post Batman RIP, Bruce would return and act in a mentoring/detective role for a while, leaving Dick to do the legwork, not unlike they've been doing on Arrow. It didn't need to be forever, but it'd have been fun.

#18 Posted by ssbm (94 posts) - - Show Bio

@nathaniel_christopher: @alak: @ritchieb: i think all three of you have made phenomenal points towards this discussion just to put my two cents in i can see why the point should be made that dick grayson should not need to become batman to be a better hero than bruce but as for gothams hero i don't know you see batman has become gothams symbol the disappearance of that symbol means it can break it means that it is not everlasting most of the major batman villans know he is human but the vast majority of the criminal element don't they don't know what he is the same with the majority of gothams citizens my in universe defintion of batman is the same as @alak's i think that him not assuming the batman persona will lead to him not even having to start from the beggining but start a huge disadvantage in the department of fear i mean if i was a criminal i would be like we got rid of one why not the new one aswell but that is in universe out of the universe i think any batman has to have one more quality an that is the ability to do what is needed is to do what is necessary like in batman/superman: apocalypse when darsied remarked that bruce was willing to do whatever was necessary to achieve his goals i know that dick can do this but he is much less willing which debatably a bad thing but then again if he were batman i would hope daimien would be with him wich would almst eradicate that problem and many others also another thing i want to put out there is that the image of batman is that the man under the hood is replaceable so should every other major dc character i think replacing bruces group with dicks would be a good way of proving that in a kind of weird conclusion does dick grayson need to batman to be a good if not better hero than bruce no i dont think so but does he need to be batman for gotham i think he may need to

#19 Posted by AweSam (7526 posts) - - Show Bio

Dick is Nightwing and Bruce is Batman. Dick is his own character. I don't understand why everyone keeps comparing him to Batman.

#20 Posted by CrouchingTiger (148 posts) - - Show Bio

This was a great article. Now I wanna read some new 52 Nightwing lol

#21 Edited by regiebravo (1835 posts) - - Show Bio

Dick doesnt need to become Batman. In a few years Dick is going to surpass Bruce as Nightwing.

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