In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Nightwing, Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl convinces Dick Grayson to look past the more toxic parts of Batman’s training.
Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Nightwing #96
In the latest issue of DC Comics’ Nightwing, Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl epically calls out one of Batman’s most toxic traits as an authority figure. While Bruce Wayne is effectively the father of the Bat-Family, he’s nowhere near perfect. As such, some of his more flawed and unhealthy perspectives have rubbed off on those he’s raised and trained, such as his Robins. This includes Dick Grayson’s Nightwing, though Barbara encourages Grayson to resist his upbringing in order to truly be happy.
In previous issues of Nightwing from writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo, Dick Grayson has been working just as hard to save and improve the city of Blüdhaven without his mask as he is with it on. Having inherited billions of dollars from the late Alfred Pennyworth, Dick has been flipping the city on its head by helping the least fortunate (a mission that has put Grayson in some hot water with Blüdhaven’s biggest criminals). At the same time, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have reignited a romantic relationship with Batgirl being one of Nightwing’s biggest and more frequent allies during the current Battle for Blüdhaven’s Heart storyline.
Now, the aforementioned arc has come to a close with Nightwing #96 and Dick Grayson’s defeat of the Blockbuster and his entire criminal empire (with help from a legion of his closest friends and allies). However, Blockbuster did escape in the aftermath, now knowing that Dick Grayson and Nightwing are the same person. While Dick believes that this means he and Barbara can’t be together because of the danger, Batgirl rejects Nightwing’s concerns and decides to instead let herself be happy regardless of the risk. Barbara encourages Grayson to do the same while also calling out Batman for instilling some rather toxic programming in his former Robin.
Agreeing wholeheartedly that he’s happy with Barbara being in his life, it certainly looks as though Nightwing and Batgirl are going to be together for the long term in the DC Universe. That being said, it is pretty funny that Batgirl had to get Nightwing to look beyond his initial belief that he couldn’t be happy while also being a vigilante superhero. That gut reaction is definitely something that had been ingrained into him by the way the Dark Knight has been operating for years.
Happiness will always be elusive and out of reach for Bruce Wayne due to his own flaws and inability to let go of his past darkness. However, that doesn’t mean Nightwing or anyone else in the Bat-Family has to follow suit. Batgirl clearly understands this and is more than comfortable pushing back against Batman’s more toxic traits (while also helping Nightwing get past them too). Nightwing #96 is on sale now.