Dick Grayson, The First Robin, The Second Batman

Dick Grayson's first appearance (1940)

One of the most interesting developments to happen in Comics recently, is Bruce Wayne’s successor to the Bat-Mantle: Dick Grayson. The following paragraph is a very condensed summary of Dick Grayson’s seventy year history in comics:

Since his inception 70 years ago, Bruce Wayne(Batman)’s age has always been between his late twenties and mid thirties. In pop culture, he’s always been partnered with Robin, the first one being Dick Grayson. Robin made his debut in Detective Comics 38th Issue in April 1940—-Just 11 issues after Batman’s first appearance. His origin is similar to Bruce Wayne. Grayson was a circus acrobat, and watched his parents fall to their deaths. Earlier in the story, mobsters harassed the circus for protection money and threatened to do something awful. A sympathetic Bruce Wayne adopts the orphan and trains him to fight crime. Grayson (as Robin) fights crime with Batman at only ten years age. During the Seventies, audiences hunger for a darker Batman and the DC editors made Grayson finally old enough to go to College. His appearances as Robin in the Batman series become less frequent, though he continues to star in a comic known as the Teen Titans. In 1984 he retires his Robin identity. He becomes Nightwing and leaves Gotham to protect the fictional city of Bludhaven until 2006. In Grant Morrison’s 2009 storyline “Final Crisis,” Bruce Wayne “dies” and Dick Grayson takes up the cape and cowl.

Grayson in his various costumes; Center: in his last Nightwing uniform (1996-2009) Right: his classic Robin uniform Left: The Nightwing costume he wore in 1991-1995

recommended storylines
Since taking on the identity Batman, Grayson has been part of two highly acclaimed storylines:
2009-2010
Batman and Robin (issues 1-16) by Grant Morrison

and

2010- present
Detective Comics (Issues 871 – 876) by Scott Snyder.

The above two storylines bring a fresh characterization for Batman after seventy years of having Bruce Wayne under the mask. Grayson is a lighter-hearted and more optimistic Batman than Wayne. Other writers in DC comics initially struggled writing Grayson as Batman, doing little to change Batman’s personality—grim and intense.The Morrison issues listed above are a quirky and cerebral read, dense with symbolism. It’s emotional core focuses on the relationship of Grayson and the newest Robin. Snyder’s arc in Detective Comics is easier reading and is a more traditional Batman story—-the shadowy art and fast pace of the writing feels like a thriller.

A Smiling Batman (From Batman #703)

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