Should Nightwing become the next Batman?

Should Nightwing become the next Batman?

 The mantle of Batman is arguably the most infamous and respected in the DC Universe however, Bruce Wayne will not always be the one to take on the mantle. Eventually a time will come when he must hang up the cape and cowl and pass it onto someone else… Today, we will discuss whether Nightwing should be the true air to the Batman mantle.

The Bat family is ever-expanding, consisting of characters like: Nightwing, Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, Spoiler and Signal. Undoubtedly these are all worthy candidates which makes deciding the best person to take over the mantle a difficult debate. In upcoming blogs, I will be diving deep into each character I deem a suitable candidate.   

Batman is the symbol of Gotham; he wages an unwinnable war against crime to protect the city he loves so dearly. From this we know that taking Bruce’s place as Batman requires an obsession, a drive to do better for the city of Gotham and a level of dedication like no other. Thankfully for Bruce, many of his allies share the exact same ideals as him, which can allow the legacy of the Batman to live on.

Without further ado, let us start with the first candidate to take over the role of Batman…

Nightwing

Dick Grayson, the first Robin is often people’s main choice to take on the role as Gotham’s dark knight when Bruce Wayne retires. There are several reasons for this, the most prominent being his long history with Batman and the fact that he has already worn the cape and cowl on more than one occasion and did a damn good job too!


(Credit: DC Comics)

Why is he suited to the role?

He has the ability - The skills that Dick Grayson possesses are exceptional and he is often perceived as more capable than Batman himself! I know right! Impressive. Having acquired most of his abilities from the Batman himself, he also has several skills that are personal to him. His most notable attribute being that he is the greatest acrobat on earth. He can rely on this skill to assist him in combat thus making him the formidable fighter that we know and love today. Not only is Dick though to be able to match Batman in combat, it is also frequently suggested that could even be better in combat than him as well.

There is plenty of evidence to support this with DC characters often stating that Nightwing is faster than Batman in combat. As demonstrated in a quote by Catwoman stating ‘he’s faster than Batman, only by a whisker’ which is a personal favourite of mine.

However, make no mistake, Nightwing is not just brawn and no brain, he is also extremely knowledgeable in all things needed for crime fighting. He is incredibly skilled in espionage, stealth, forensic science, intimidation, multilingualism, tactical analysis whilst being in peak human condition, having a genius level intellect and being a master detective. Yeah… He’s that good.



(Credit: DC Comics)

He has the leadership - Dick Grayson is also known for his leading role in the Teen Titans. He first joined the team when he was still under the mantle of the boy wonder, Robin. Instantly he was elected the team leader since he was the most experienced of a group that consisted of Kid Flash (Wally West) and Aqualad (Garth), with later additions of Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and Speedy (Roy Harper). He was always a born leader and suffering from a great tragedy at a young age (like Batman) forced him to mature so early.

He is looked up to amongst the Bat family and Batman acknowledges this, even stating that one day Dick Grayson will lead the Justice League. Now, if that isn’t a compliment then I really don’t know what is.



(Credit: DC Comics)

Unbreakable will - Accompanying his great leadership skills, he also has a virtually unbreakable will. This would support the cause of determination that’s needed to take on the mantle of Batman. Batman is known for his desire to do good and resist evil, so when the willpower trait rubs off on your ward, you know that you have succeed as a mentor.

One of the most important things to note is that Nightwing not only helps to protect Gotham but he also protects its sister city Bludhaven. Although Bludhaven is not near enough as dangerous or as big as Gotham City, it is no doubt extra proof that Dick Grayson is more than capable of protecting a crime riddled city as the Caped Crusader.


(Credit: DC Comics)

So, should Nightwing become the next Batman?

No, at least not in my opinion.

Dick Grayson has been crime fighting since an incredibly young age (between 8 years old to 10 years old, depending on what you read). Although he is undeniably one of the most respected and capable characters in the DC universe to replace Bruce Wayne, a huge point to counter this decision which often gets overlooked, is his transition to Nightwing…

We know that Dick spent time as Robin for a good while but began to grow apart from Bruce and became his own person and this has always been clear to see. Batman and Nightwing have the exact same mission but approach it in a different way. Nightwing’s desire for justice is based on help rather than vengeance. As Dick was growing up, he realized that he did not want to live in Batman’s shadow or follow the dark path that Bruce had been on since the death of his parents. He understands the importance of keeping up appearances and making the most of a healthy social life, unlike his adoptive father.


(Credit: DC Comics)

Would you say Bruce Wayne has a happy and satisfied life? No. Does Dick Grayson want to have the same lifestyle as Bruce? Absolutely not. Dick wants to go out and be his own man, he doesn’t want to be consumed by the darkness. But this doesn’t mean to say that he doesn’t want to fight crime, he clearly loves his role as Nightwing but he doesn’t want crime fighting to become the be all and end all of his life. Can you blame him? Of course not!

In order to operate as Batman, this has to be your number one priority, it’s a lifelong mission. It is clear to see that being Batman consumes Bruce Wayne’s life, and Dick has often stepped away from that very idea. And though Dick has taken on the role of Batman more than once and owned the role himself, it was never thought to be permanent (at least in his mind). But when in the role of Batman, it highlighted that although he was extremely capable, he never ever lost touch with who he was It which I think is extremely admirable.

 I do believe Dick WILL take over as Batman for a brief period once Bruce retires but I know for sure that it will only be a temporary thing. I’d always lean towards the fact of Dick being the first person to be asked to take over by Bruce and I think that will always be the case. I also believe that Dick will happily do it as well, but not for long. Eventually the mantle will be passed onto someone on a permanent basis, and who I think that person is will be touched on in later blog posts so stay tuned for that.


(Credit: DC Comics)

The best part of Dick Grayson’s character development over his long history is his journey to becoming his own hero, stepping away from the shadow of the bat and stepping into the light of the bird. Although my many points of saying how great Dick Grayson is (he is one of my favourite characters as you can tell) I feel the role of Batman would be the wrong journey for him. Have no doubt, he will always be the big brother of the Bat family, but I believe he has always been destined for other things.

Ultimately, this is where my upmost respect comes into play for Nightwing. It had seemed as if it was his destiny to take over the cowl, but after leaving the role of Robin, he really blossomed and came to the realization that the Batman life could never be for him (at least permanently).

This is what makes Nightwing such a compelling character, the long history of his journey to becoming a hero in his own right. He is one of the most suitable characters for the mantle of the Bat, but for me, he is not my pick.


(Credit: DC Comics)

Make sure you check out the next blog in this ‘Mantle of the Batman’ series where I will be covering… Jason Todd!