DC Animated Universe

"Hey, no one can be a boy wonder forever."[4]

Richard[1] "Dick" Grayson was the original Robin, the more easy-going sidekick to Batman. In adulthood, following a falling-out with his mentor, he struck out on his own as Nightwing, later establishing himself as protector of Blüdhaven. He was succeeded by Tim Drake as Batman's partner.[5][6]


Early life[]

Young Dick Grayson

Dick as a young acrobat.

Dick is a former member of the Flying Graysons acrobatic family in Haley's Circus. He and his parents performed nightly with their death-defying high wire acts. When the circus came to Gotham City, the gangster, Tony Zucco tried to extort protection money out of the owner Mr. Haley, but he refused to cooperate. In retaliation, Zucco sabotaged their high-wire trapeze act, staging an "accident" that ended in the death of Dick's parents. Bruce Wayne, who helped to get the circus to town, was in the audience and witnessed these events unfold.

Bruce arranged with Commissioner Gordon of the Police Department to become the young boy's[nb 1] legal guardian. However, in the rather large and empty Wayne Manor, Dick became more and more detached. Alfred Pennyworth brought this to Bruce's attention, who was in his fledgling years as Batman, and had little time to spend with Dick. Eventually, Dick went out on his own and tracked down Zucco but was caught. Batman saved Dick and took him back to the Batcave, where he revealed his secret identity.[7]


After personally training Dick, Bruce allowed him to become his partner, Robin. Dick apparently worked with Batman consistently well into his university years. Therefore, he became Batman's semi-regular partner continuing to work with him on a limited basis, but also dividing his time between crime-fighting and college.

Nine years after Dick's parent's deaths, Tony Zucco resurfaced in Gotham City, putting Robin to the test. Batman forbade Robin from going after him. He promptly disobeyed and tracked Zucco on his own. He finally found Zucco, but Robin had ultimately refused to kill him and turned him over to the authorities. While Dick had thought that Bruce was simply cold hearted; Bruce got surprisingly emotional and he admitted that he didn't want Robin going after Zucco for fear of Robin being hurt or killed as a result.[7]

But this would not be the last time Batman and Robin disagreed with each other. After graduating Gotham State University with highest honors, Dick decided it was time for a change. A trust fund set up by the circus would keep him afloat indefinitely. But he began to resent Bruce's growing obsession with his mission and decreasing concern for Dick's feelings. Bruce failed to attend Dick's graduation and forced him to cut his celebration short to help him stop Joker's latest scheme.

Witnessing Batman's harsh interrogation of one of the Joker's accomplices, Robin felt he was beginning to cross a line and tried voicing his frustration to Barbara though he could not as she did not know his identity until then, only discovering it shortly after visiting Bruce to ask him about the growing rift between him and Dick and the former reveals their secret identities.

The last straw was Dick discovering that Batman knew that his girlfriend, Barbara Gordon was Batgirl and never told him, and accused Bruce of manipulating both him and Barbara into becoming his helpers. But when Bruce attempted to reason with him, Dick punched him and walked out, relinquishing the title of Robin forever.[8]


Robin quits

Dick quits and strikes out on his own.

After his falling out with Batman over the tactics he used, Dick left Gotham City and traveled the globe studying from various martial arts and crime fighting techniques. Around this time, he also gained access to a sizable insurance settlement which allowed him to be self-sufficient.

After a few years of world traveling and training, Dick returned to Gotham City. He rejoined Batman's campaign as Nightwing, but his relationships with him and Batgirl became somewhat strained. Barbara and Dick no longer shared an intimate relationship as they had in college. However, it is suggested that Barbara still had some feelings for him. In spite of this, Nightwing continued to work semi-regularly with the Bat-Team. He established himself as an equal to Batman.

Nightwing helped them trick Catwoman into revealing the location of a stolen gem. Along with Batman, he planned a clever ruse to make her show her hand. Nightwing let her get close to him so the pair could "team up". He resisted Batman's advice telling him to leave him alone; all in front of Catwoman.[3] Nightwing later helped get to the bottom of the mystery behind the Joker's fortune.[9]

During a patrol with Robin and Batman, Nightwing revisited his circus roots. While doing so, he and Batman discovered that Mad Hatter is controlling the animals in a series of otherwise inexplicable robberies. Nightwing eventually partly reconciled with his former mentor and partner after an experience with the second Robin, Tim Drake with whom he became closer since then and worked on the Bat-Team for a while longer.

Nightwing's cameo

Nightwing would later leave Gotham and establish himself as a hero in Blüdhaven.

However, Dick eventually left Gotham to establish himself in the city of Blüdhaven and thus was not present during Batman's final battle against the Joker, who had kidnapped Dick's successor, Tim and transformed him into a miniature Joker clone after inflicting weeks of torture. This event later made Bruce cut ties with Tim and Barbara, effectively ending the Bat-family, once again becoming a sole crimefighter until his own retirement years later. Grayson presumably learned of what happened due to his previous ties to the Bat-Family. He was active into late age protecting his new city, and was still alive when Bruce's successor Terry McGinnis faced the returned Joker.[5]


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"I've been taught by the best."[7]

Raised as a circus acrobat, Dick was capable of incredible feats of agility and gymnastic skills which surpass Batman's. He learned how to walk on a high wire.[10] Even as Robin, he demonstrated that he could at least hold his own with the ninja Kyodai Ken in combat.[11]

Trained under Batman, Dick mastered several martial arts (including fencing,[7] and he has a green belt in an unknown discipline),[11] stealth, and detection that make him almost rival his former mentor, sharing his level-headed and outside-the-box thinking. As Robin, Dick possessed the strength to toss around a grown man like Tony Zucco,[7] and even knock down Batman with a single punch. After receiving further training in his travels around the world following his split from Batman, Dick's combat skills became more refined and on returing to Gotham and assuming the mantle of Nightwing was much more stronger than he was as Robin.

Dick is highly intelligent, as he quickly solved a variation on the ancient Chinese puzzle box, impressing the Riddler who described him as "fairly clever," and he is knowledgeable in astronomy.[12] As a child, he was able to track down Zucco on his own.[7]


As Robin, Dick possessed various bat-gadgets and had access to almost all of Batman's possessions.

As Nightwing, he possessed similar bat-gadgets and transportations. Most notably, he wore retractable membranes between his arms and waist that allows him to glide.


Allies and friends[]

Bruce Wayne[]

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Tim Drake[]

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Tony Zucco[]

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Harvey Dent[]

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Harleen Quinzel[]

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John Grayson[]

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Mary Grayson[]

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Love interests[]

Barbara Gordon[]

Nightwing and Batgirl

Dick and Barbara.

Dick's relationship with Barbara is slightly complicated. When the two first met, neither knew of the other's vigilante identity. She became Batgirl after she had met him and chose not to tell him or anyone else. In their vigilante activities, the two were competitive against each other, but were still close. After Dick had found out that she was Batgirl, he broke off his relationship with both Barbara and Bruce Wayne, and had moved to Blüdhaven to fight crime.

Dick and Barbara began a romantic relationship again when he had returned to Gotham, but several times they had to end dating to concentrate on helping Batman. Regardless, the two still had feelings for each other and presumably still talked to each other after Dick had left Gotham again.

Selina Kyle[]

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Background information[]

  • According to Alan Burnett, when Batman: The Animated Series was in production, "Warner Bros. wasn't sure if Robin would be in Batman Returns," causing the crew to not know which version of the character the series should use. "When they finally cut Robin from the movie, we went with Dick Grayson, the one with whom most people are familiar."[13]
  • Not wanting his presence to always be required, the creative team made Dick an 18-year-old attending Gotham State University, "so when we want him in a story, we can bring him in and if we don't, he's away at college."[13]
  • Dick Grayson's Robin outfit was meant to resemble the then-current Neal Adams-designed version.[13]


Batman: The Animated Series

Feature film

The New Batman Adventures

Superman: The Animated Series

Batman Beyond

Feature film

Justice League

Justice League Unlimited

See also[]


  1. Dick's age when he became an orphan was never explicitly mentioned in any episode. His age was revealed in the credits for "Robin's Reckoning", but Part I listed him as age 10 and Part II as age 9.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dini, Paul (writer) & Yano, Yuichiro (director) (May 23, 1998). "Over the Edge". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 11 (airdate). Episode 12 (production). Season 1. Kids WB!.
  2. Gorodetsky, Eddie (writer) & Butterworth, Kent (director) (November 13, 1992). "Christmas With the Joker". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 38 (airdate). Episode 2 (production). FOX Kids.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Bader, Hilary J. (writer) & Lukic, Butch (director) (November 15, 1997). "You Scratch My Back". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 5 (production). Season 1. Kids WB!.
  4. Fogel, Rich (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (September 30, 1997). "Sins of the Father". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 2 (airdate). Episode 2 (production). Season 1. Kids WB!.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Burnett, A., Dini, P., Timm, B., Murakami, G. (Producers), & Geda, C. (Director). (2000). Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. United States: Warner Bros. Animation.
  6. Wayne, Matt (story) & DeMatteis, J.M. (teleplay) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (March 11, 2006). "Grudge Match". Justice League Unlimited. Season 2. Episode 9 (airdate). Episode 35 (production). Cartoon Network.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Rogel, Randy (writer) & Sebast, Dick (director) & February 14, 1993). "Robin's Reckoning, Part II". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 53 (airdate). Episode 33 (production). FOX Kids.
  8. Fogel, Rich (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (October 3, 1998). "Old Wounds". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 5 (airdate). Episode 17 (production). Season 2. Kids WB!.
  9. Dini, Paul (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (February 21, 1998). "Joker's Millions". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 7 (airdate). Episode 7 (production). Season 1. Kids WB!.
  10. Joseph, Samuel Warren (writer) & Sebast, Dick (director) (September 29, 1992). "Fear of Victory". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 19 (airdate). Episode 24 (production). FOX Kids.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Perry, Steve (writer) & Altieri, Kevin (director) (October 26, 1992). "Night of the Ninja". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 28 (airdate). Episode 35 (production). FOX Kids.
  12. Isenberg, Marty, Skir, Robert N. (writers) & Sebast, Dick (director) (November 24, 1992). "What Is Reality?". Batman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 45 (airdate). Episode 48 (production). FOX Kids.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "Animated Knights" by Pat Jankiewicz - Comics Scene Magazine #29 (October 1992)

External links[]