by Joel Fernandez
The original boy wonder. He was one half of the famous dynamic duo for all of his formative years. Much like his mentor, Dick Grayson was orphaned at an early age. But unlike the original caped crusader, the original Robin did not let his grief cause his personality to descend into the brooding depths of despair that would ultimately grip his soul for the rest of his life. And even though he would eventually inherit the mantle of the Batman after defeating another Robin alum, Dick Grayson made his mark on the DC universe as the inimitable Nightwing. Despite his formidable skills and palpable popularity, Nightwing as not made an appearance in a live action DC movie as of yet. Today we will make the case for why Nightwing should have his own movie.
As the story goes, Dick Grayson was the youngest of a family of trapeze performers known as “The Flying Graysons”. They were part of a traveling circus that eventually made its way to Gotham City. It was supposed to be another night of circus antics and trained animals, but things took a turn for the worst when the local mob decided to attack the circus due the the owner's refusal to pay protection money. As a result, Dick's parents were murdered right in front of him. Coincidentally, Bruce Wayne (Batman) was in the audience and therefore relived the death of his own parents vicariously through the youngest Grayson. His empathy for the future boy wonder compelled him to adopt the young orphan and eventually train him to be the first of several Robins.
At some point, Grayson grew up and thus arrived at an impasse with his mentor. Their slight divergence of philosophy caused a schism between the two that resulted in Dick being relieved of his duties as Robin. But instead of retiring, the sole surviver of the Flying Graysons decided to reinvent himself and become the masked vigilante known as Nightwing. As he was the most talented acrobat in the world, Nightwing's style was much more airborne than that of the original Batman. What's more all of his habits from his days as the boy wonder carried over to this new identity. Such as the tendency to laugh in the middle of mortal combat and make fun of his enemies, however dangerous they may be.
At his best, Nightwing can go toe to toe with the likes of Deathstroke the Terminator and win. Or he can match wits with super-villains such as Two Face or the Penguin. He is a master of several forms of martial arts and is fluent in seven languages. Nightwing's skill set is so formidable that when he took up the mantle of the Batman, nobody noticed. Nobody but Two Face, that is. The former district attorney noticed several slight differences in the two fighting styles. Most notably, the distinctly acrobatic fighting moves and possibly the biggest tell of the all. He couldn't help but notice that this “new” Batman had a tendency to smile during fights.
Being reputed as the world's greatest acrobat is no easy task. This becomes even more obvious when you take into consideration the fact that the DC universe is filled with all kinds of meta-humans and aliens. Moreover, Nightwing could become every bit as popular as Marvel's Spiderman if marketed properly. Having spent all of his formative years risking his life on the streets of Gotham and occasionally saving Batman's life, Nightwing is as good a candidate for a live action movie as anyone. Perhaps the upcoming Justice League movie can be used as a platform to show the world what hardcore comic fans already know. That the boy wonder is all grown up.
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