Saturday, 25 April 2015

Celebrating 75 years of Dick Grayson

Even in Speedos, he was cooler than you'll ever be.

It’s weird to think that we’ve had Dick Grayson for nearly as long as we’ve had Batman. He’s a character I grew up with. I was first introduced to him in Batman: TAS, when I only knew to call him Robin. I couldn’t help but love the character; I guess I saw so much of myself in him, or at least what I had hoped to become. He was a hero, no doubt. But unlike Batman, Dick allowed himself to smile, crack a joke, fall in love, and genuinely enjoy being a super hero because- don’t lie- you think it’d be awesome too.

When I became interested in comics, the New 52 Nightwing (volume 1) was the first DC trade I bought and I fell in love with the character all over again. He again, became relatable as hell and still exhibited all of those character traits I admired. The guy has become iconic to the DC. You say “Batman and...” and you’ll never have people say “Superman” as their first answer.
Which makes me confused. Is DC celebrating the character’s 75th anniversary? By announcing a threequel to The Dark Knight Returns- a series that has nothing to do with Dick Grayson.
I know what people are going to say “He’s a sidekick. What did you expect, the same attention as Batman?”
Well, yes.
See, Dick isn’t just a sidekick. He was the sidekick. The original sidekick. The reason sidekicks abound so much today. Not just that, he was the sidekick to do it all. He founded superhero teams like the Teen Titans, he went out on his own as Nightwing and even took up the mantle of Batman. Sorry, Tim Drake fans, but there was only one sidekick in the DCU to successfully become the character that trained him.
My point is that Grayson’s worth celebrating. So how do we do it? Well, here’s my suggestions:
Nightwing: The Series
Fan Films are a mixed bunch, the bad ones are so very bad. The good ones are… usually, only pretty good, but when you see what else is out there, the ones that are just good become worth celebrating. Nightwing: The Series is one of those; it’s got great camera and is visually stunning and, in fact, is only let down by the poor dialogue. The series is still thoroughly entertaining, and worth a look on a day like today.
Well… there are these things called comics...
In all forms, he rocked.
What? You mean the things like movies, but are actually semi well-written? Yeah, they still exist. And luckily, there’s plenty of books to read if you want to celebrate Dick Grayson. If you like him as Robin, there are the classic The Batman Chronicles. Prefer him as Nightwing? Not only is the N52  series in TPB print, but DC is reprinting the Pre-52 series in TPBs that are absolutely packed. Grayson is set to hit TPB soon, but you can still catch up on digital.
Whatever you do, celebrate the character. He’s well worth celebrating.

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