The student is finally starting to surpass the master, at least in the court of public opinion, as fans are starting to prefer Nightwing over Batman.
Dick (Grayson, Batman’s first underling, Robin) would spend some time determined to break out of his mentor’s shadow. This would put him on the path to leading the Titans and, eventually, adopting the Nightwing persona in 1984. Both the Titans and Nightwing have since become DC’s new premier heroes ever since Nightwing was positioned at the center of the Dawn of DC.
That does not means DC Fans are all for this. That is a DC Comic’s decision.
The new promotion for Nightwing and his team does not come without merit as the spots have been earned. For years, Nightwing’s popularity has continued to grow immensely. His fan base has expanded to the point that he’s starting to become favored more positively than even Batman.
The push to remove legacy super-heroes and the end of copyright protect for those characters are some reasons why they (publishers) are pushing it.
There isn’t a singular reason as to why this has happened. Instead, there are multiple reasons contributing to Nightwing’s overwhelming success in the comic space.
And I can easily list several.
There are currently 10 DC titles (both limited and ongoing) with “Batman” in the title that are either active or due to begin publication within the next couple of months.
As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can spoil it. As much as Batman is adored by so many people, it’s easy to get tired of the character when there is so much of him to go around.
Nightwing, on the other hand, has yet to be exposed to the same level. Even now, as Nightwing leads DC into a new era, he only stars in two titles, Nightwing and Titans.
Because that is all he can sell?
Batman is in so many titles because DC Fans like him so much, and DC is/was pushing Batman as he is their current money maker in comics.
That does not include spinoff titles of other Bat-Family members or other titles that feature Batman among the cast of recurring characters. Such titles, though, significantly add to the pile of Batman content currently running at DC.
Because most of those characters/titles have such well developed characters and can easily have adventures of their own WITHOUT having Batman in there to push the story along. Yet as a Bat-Family, Batman does make an appearance, as does any other DC characters.
Across several decades, readers have watched the character (Dick Grayson/Nightwing) grow from humble beginnings to face new challenges that go far in developing his identity to who he is today. He has evolved from a sidekick who looks up to Batman into a hero in his own right who set out to from his own path independent of his mentor. Seeing that growth in real-time is rewarding for readers who check in every month. He’s quite literally been seen growing from a Boy Wonder to a teenager figuring out his place in the world, to an adult hero who happens to be the face of DC.
In an industry where characters almost never really age much, Dick Grayson/Nightwing is a prime example of how to properly do it.
A bad example is Jon Kent (aka superman son of kal el). Who the writer just aged to fit his story (while destroying the dynamics of the Super-Sons).
In terms of public opinion, Nightwing is slowly starting to overshadow Batman as everyone’s favorite DC hero.
Well, it does not help that DC has been on a push to remove legacy superheroes. (be it from their G5, Dawn/etc.)
And Batman they destroyed one of the things that makes him so special… Bruce Wayne uses his wealth to not only thru his charities and foundations, but in creating all the Bat-Gadgets.
They STOLE this from him. While Alfred Pennyworth’s estate’s Billions was then given to Dick Grayson/Nightwing.
So Dick is now doing in Bludhaven what Batman was doing in Gotham. Using his money publicly to help the citizens. Using his money to help fight crime.
DC Comics handicapped Batman, and that some of Batman’s story/story arcs have been weak while Nightwing’s have been generally strong does not help.
It was stated somewhere that today’s hired comic writers are having a very hard time writing stories for the legacy super-heroes (the characters have done so much for so long, how can you add to that legacy), while newer/younger (and race/sex swapped) characters offer new avenues to explore.
Even thought, as a DC fan/collector, I have lots of Superboy & Legion of Super-Heroes, Legion of Super-Heroes, Legionaries, L.E.G.I.O.N/R.E.B.E.L.S., and been collecting Nighting since he had his own monthly titles since 1996 (even the short lived Grayson series), The Titans/Teen Titans/New Teen Titans/etc. were more of a miss than a hit for me. And I never collected much of them.
For a group, the JLA, Legion, Justice League (with Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Fire & Ice, etc) I found all more enjoyable over Titans, even thought the Titans (and its various series) have been around since the late 1960’s, and even after cancelation after cancelations, always returned to monthly series not long after, I just never could get into it to collect like I do Batman or Superman or Flash or etc.
And just like the Suicide Squad or the Doom Patrol, the Titans were very low on my interest.
If in the end, this new push helps DC create more sales, more fans, etc. good for them. But after having gone thru The New 52, Infinite Frontiers, etc. all I see is them pushing out more of the current fans/collectors for a “new” demographics that has yet to appear interested in buying DC to the level they want. (From what I have read/saw, this younger audience is more into Anime/Manga than into comic books, and I don’t see that changing any time soon).
Here’s a question: which version of Nightwing’s suit would you consider to be the best? I like the New 52 red look personally. Looks sharper. The classic Blue and black for 90s fans and then you have the original one with the feathery looking shoulder design. (Those are the only 3 versions I can think of without going into animated variations)