Richard John "Dick" Grayson was once Batman's first sidekick Robin, before going on to become Nightwing. Once he took up the mantle of Batman when Bruce was thought to be dead, but became Nightwing once again after the events of Flashpoint. After Forever Evil, Dick's identity was revealed to the world and Bruce convinced him to give up being Nightwing to become an agent of Spyral. He was created by artist Bob Kane, writer Bill Finger and by illustrator Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940.
The youngest in a family of acrobats known as the "Flying Graysons," Dick watched as a mafia boss killed his parents in order to extort money from the circus that employed them (whose name was later revealed to be Tony Zucco). Bruce Wayne, secretly the vigilante Batman, took him in as his legal ward after witnessing their deaths, and eventually as his sidekick, Robin.
Throughout Dick's adolescence, Batman and Robin were inseparable. However, as Dick grew older and spent more time as the leader of the Teen Titans, he decided to take on the identity of Nightwing to assert his independence (other teenaged heroes would later fill in the role of Robin). His Nightwing persona was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, and first appeared in Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (July 1984). As Nightwing, Dick led the Teen Titans and later the Outsiders. Following the events of the Zero Hour miniseries, he temporarily replaced Bruce Wayne as Batman, beginning in Robin #0 (October 1994) and extending throughout the Batman: Prodigal storyline. In an eponymous series, launched in 1996 and continuing until 2009, he becomes the protector of Blüdhaven, Gotham's economically troubled neighboring city. Following the destruction of Blüdhaven, at the command of Deathstroke the Terminator, Nightwing relocated to New York.
After the events of Batman R.I.P., Dick moved operations to Gotham to protect the city after Bruce's apparent death in Final Crisis. Despite Bruce's will wanting him not to succeed Wayne permanently as Batman, the chaos in Gotham following Batman's disappearance prompts Dick to take up his mentor's identity once again and has returned to operating as the new Batman. His Nightwing mantel would then be passed on to Chris Kent.
As Robin, Dick has appeared in most other media adaptations of Batman, most notably the Joel Schumacher films, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, where he was portrayed by Chris O'Donnell. The Batman animated series of the 1990s is the first one to portray his evolution into Nightwing.
The name "Robin the Boy Wonder" and the medieval look of the original costume were inspired by the legendary hero Robin Hood, as well as the famous red-breasted Robin, which continued the "flying animal" motif of Batman.
Young Dick Grayson was born on the first day of spring. His mother nicknamed him "little Robin." Little did she know how prophetic this term of endearment would be in her son's life. Also, when he was up on the trapeze, he reminded his mother of a robin.
Dick was an eight-year-old circus acrobat, the youngest of a family act called The Flying Graysons of The Haly Circus . Dick joined the act at a very young age, having been trained in acrobatics from birth. Before one appearance in Gotham City, in which The Flying Graysons were the main attraction, they were asked to pose for a photo opportunity with Jack Drake and his family, including their young son, Tim Drake. From that time on Tim's one and only hero in the world was Dick.
While on tour in Gotham City, he overheard "Boss" Tony Zucco, a well-known and feared crime lord, threaten the performers unless the circus's owner paid protection money. The owner refused, and that night Dick watched in horror as his parents' high wire snapped, sending his parents hurtling to their deaths, all while many of Gotham's elite watched on. Young Dick felt responsible, because he failed to warn his parents in time.
Shortly after the tragedy, shown in Batman: Year Three and Year One Annual: Robin, Dick was placed in an uncaring juvenile services system, on the grounds that social services was full. He got beaten up by a number of the inmates, and he was later sent to a Catholic orphanage. Bruce Wayne rescued Dick by adopting him as his ward, because the boy did not want to replace his deceased father with the billionaire. Frustrated by the lack of attention from his new guardian and the mystery still surrounding his parents' death, Dick snuck out of Wayne Manor one evening to solve the crime on his own - only to stumble into Batman, who was also investigating the murder. After waking up in the Batcave, he is shocked to learn that Bruce is really the Batman. They succeed in revealing Zucco's complicity, but he supposedly dies of a heart attack before his arrest. Seeing a reflection of himself in Dick; that he could temper compassion with a thirst for justice, Batman made the young orphan the offer of a lifetime; the chance to become his crime-fighting partner. Dick chose the name Robin, after the nickname his mother gave him, and his training began.
Robin's origin had a typological connection to Batman's in that both witnessed the crime-related deaths of their parents, creating an urge to battle the criminal underworld. This provided a bond and understanding between the two.
Bruce taught Dick fighting techniques and detective skills for a grueling 6 months. Finally, Dick had to pass a final test - "the Gauntlet". Dick had to elude the Dark Knight on the streets of Gotham for one night - from sundown to sunrise - without any outside help. Dick succeeded, simultaneously bringing Gotham gangster Joe Minette to justice. Dick took to the streets as Batman's full-fledged partner in crime-fighting: Robin, the Boy Wonder.
Dick enjoyed his first year as Robin, regarding the job as an adventure until a confrontation with Two-Face served as a rude awakening for the young hero. Two-Face had captured the new District Attorney and Batman, and had each suspended from a hangman's noose in a 'double gallows death-trap'. Robin, in trying to save the D.A., used a batarang to cut the rope of the noose. It worked, but Robin didn't account for Dent's obsession with the number two—it was a two-fold trap, and the floor gave way, dropping the D.A. into the water, where the man drowned. Robin was unable to prevent his death and received a beating at the hands of Two-Face. A beating witnessed by Batman, still tied up on the platform trying to free himself. Eventually, Batman was able to free himself and apprehend Two-Face. This event, however, scarred the young crime-fighter and haunts him even today. Rather than see Dick be further endangered, Batman "fires" his partner, sidelining the Boy Wonder for a time.
Dick continued his adventures with Batman, and began attending college at Hudson University. Robin started to take on solo missions as well, and found himself to be a capable crime-fighter in his own right. Shortly afterward, the mysterious Raven summoned Dick and several other young heroes to form a new group of Titans. Robin again resumed leadership of the Titans, and in doing so moved out of Batman's shadow.
When Robin was 17, he was shot in the shoulder by the Joker, and this scared Batman into ending his career for good. Dick realized at that point he had grown up: He no longer relied on Batman and, in fact, he and the Dark Knight disagreed on crime-fighting methodology as Batman used torture and Dick didn't like it. His newfound independence and Titans' duties in New York left less time for his former commitments in Gotham City. He also dropped out of Hudson after only one semester.
Dick rediscovered his self-worth among the Teen Titans. Batman, however, was less than pleased. He informed Dick that if he no longer wanted to be his partner, then Dick would have to retire as Robin. Dick left Wayne Manor after this falling out. Helping him through this difficult time was his fellow Titans, including Starfire, a beautiful alien that Dick had fallen in love with. Dick handed over leadership of the Titans to Wonder Girl.
Uncertain what to do, he turned to someone he knew would understand: Superman. Very briefly, Dick had considered giving up the whole crime fighting gig; but he couldn't imagine his life any other way. But if he couldn't be Robin, who would he be? Superman had the answer. Long ago on Krypton, a man was cast out by his family - just as Dick had been. He dreamed of a world ruled by justice and set out to protect the helpless of Krypton. His true identity was never revealed. He was known only as Nightwing.
The Post-Crisis version of Grayson had him become the first and only Nightwing, with his costume partially inspired by his father, who at one time wore a circus costume that was a variant of colleague Boston Brand's Deadman costume.
When all his teammates were captured by Deathstroke the Terminator, and delivered to the HIVE, Dick assumed a new identity of Nightwing and helped to free them, with the help of a new ally (and future Titan), Jericho.
Nightwing had finally moved out of the shadow of the Bat, and would lead the Titans through some hard times. Dick endured brainwashing at the hands of Brother Blood, his relationship with Starfire would suffer due to her marriage of state, he would be deeply affected by the fact that Batman trained a new Robin (Jason Todd) only for him to be seemingly killed at the hands of the Joker.
Shortly after this, during Batman: Year Three, Dick learned that Tony Zucco, the man who killed his parents, had not actually died but rather passed into a coma. As revealed in Robin: Year One, Batman feared Dick would want the gangster dead, so he "protected" the boy by telling him that Zucco was dead. After spending nearly seven years in prison with good behavior, Zucco applied for parole, in exchange for becoming a state informant of mob activity. His real intentions, however, were to retrieve a ledger containing his secrets. Just as Dick arrived to see him step out of the prison, he was gunned down by an enemy mobster from a helicopter. Despite catching the assassin and getting some closure to his parents' deaths, Dick was upset with Bruce for lying to him and keeping him away. Bruce explained that this was not his intent.
Feeling hurt and betrayed, Bruce and Dick would remain at odds with each other, never fully sorting out their strained relationship. While serving with the New Titans, Dick was searched out by an older Tim Drake, who had only one goal on his mind, for Dick to return to Robin. It was Dick's refusal to return that Tim started down the road toward becoming the new Robin. After weeks of persuading and proving his potential, Dick then returned to the Batman to plead Tim's case, with help from Alfred Pennyworth. Due to their arguments and the realization that the Batman needs a Robin, Tim Drake becomes the third Boy Wonder.
Soon after, various members of the Titans were abducted by the Wildebeest Society. This event shook up the team in a big way. The group entered into tumultuous times, where members came and went, longtime friends were maimed or destroyed, although Dick persevered through it all, and remained the heart and center of the team.
But his relationship with Starfire became strained, and problems in Gotham demanded Dick's attention. Impulsively, Dick proposed marriage to Starfire. The two almost wed, but the ceremony was interrupted by Raven, now reborn as an evil avatar of her father, Trigon. Her brutal attack on Starfire triggered changes in Dick and Kory's relationship. Starfire was implanted with a demon "seed" which causes her to leave Earth and go on a spiritual journey. The two grew apart, and Starfire eventually returned to her home planet of Tamaran.
Meanwhile, in Gotham, Bruce Wayne was nearly killed by the villain Bane who had crippled him by breaking his back. Unwilling to force Dick to come back and believing that Dick deserved to be his own man, Bruce opted to give the mantle of Batman to the unstable Jean Paul Valley, with Tim Drake, the new Robin to guide him. Unfortunately, Jean Paul proved too much for Tim to handle, and Dick returned to help. Dick intervened with Tim Drake, and when Bruce returned to Gotham healed and ready to become Batman again, the three of them along with Catwoman brought Valley down and Bruce re-assumed the mantle of Batman.
When Dick returned to the Titans, he found the government had interceded, placing Arsenal (the former Speedy) as leader of the team. Dick stepped aside and left the Titans, concentrating on problems in Gotham City. Still recovering from his broken back, Bruce asked Dick to substitute for him as Batman for a time. Dick accepted. During this time, Dick was able to confront Two-Face and lay some demons to rest. He also established a wonderful partnership with Tim which allowed for their brotherly bond to flourish. Bruce eventually returned to Gotham to reclaim his role as Batman before taking back the mantel. However, Bruce admitted to Dick the reason he had not selected him for the role of Batman originally and for the first time in a long time, Bruce and Dick began to heal their strained relationship. Bruce's respect for Dick was at last obvious.
As of the current events surrounding the Infinite Crisis storyline, Nightwing has refused to join his recently resurrected friend Donna Troy as she journeys to New Cronus with several heroes. He has instead adopted a new villainous costume and persona in order to infiltrate Lex Luthor's Secret Society of Supervillains and seemingly attempt to trouble it from the inside. Under Deathstroke's employ, he trained Slade's daughter Rose, the newest Ravager.
Deathstroke betrays Nightwing when Blüdhaven is destroyed by the Society. The Society drops the super-villain Chemo on the city, killing 100,000 people. Dick tries to rescue survivors but is overcome by radiation poisoning, only to be rescued by Batman. Nightwing confides that he let the villain Blockbuster die and asks Batman to forgive him. Batman tells him that his forgiveness doesn't matter; Dick has to move beyond Blockbuster's death. Inspired by his mentor, he proposes to Barbara Gordon, who tearfully accepts his proposal with a kiss.
Batman then entrusts Nightwing to alert other heroes about the danger that the Crisis poses. Dick flies to Titans Tower, but the only hero who answers his call is Superboy (Conner Kent). Together, they locate and attack Alexander Luthor's tower, the center of the Crisis, only to be repelled by Superboy-Prime. Prime is ready to kill Nightwing when Conner intervenes, sacrificing himself to destroy the tower, ending the destruction of the Universe.
Saved by the Justice Society, Nightwing recovers with Barbara at his side. As soon as he's able to walk again, Batman asks him to join him and Robin in retracing Bruce's original journey in becoming the Dark Knight. While Nightwing is hesitant, due to his engagement with Barbara, she encourages him to go and returns his engagement ring so he can make an honest decision for himself. While Barbara feels that it is important he re-discover himself, and until he does they're not yet ready to be married. They part on good terms, though before he departs Dick leaves her an envelope containing a photograph of them as Robin and Batgirl, along with the engagement ring on a chain and a note promising he'll come back to her one day.
Soon after his journey with Batman and Robin begins, Nightwing returns to Gotham, following Intergang's trail. He works with the new Batwoman and Renee Montoya to stop Intergang from destroying Gotham, shutting off dozens of fire spewing devices spread across the city.
One Year Later
One year later, Dick returned to New York City (his previous home base with the Teen Titans) in order to find out who had been masquerading as Nightwing. The murderous impostor turned out to be the former Robin, Jason Todd. Grayson lead the Outsiders once again, operating undercover and globally.
Nightwing followed an armored thief named Raptor, who he suspected was responsible for a series of murders. Later, Raptor himself was murdered in a manner similar to the other victims by an unseen contract killer, who proceeded to bury Grayson alive. Nightwing freed himself, but wondered about the relationship between his experience and a mysterious voice who told him that he was "supposed to be dead". Nightwing was having trouble finding things to keep him busy during the day due to the cast on his right arm. Incapacitated from his injuries, he tried without luck to find jobs and continued to research into the mysterious assassin.
At one point Dick agreed to attend a party for Bruce Wayne and their relationship seemed to flourish. Bruce praised Dick for his success on the Raptor case, and also mentioned to look into the Landman Building which hosted ex-Lexcorp scientists; most likely those who worked on the Raptor project. Dick had also continued to keep a close brotherly relationship with Tim Drake, and helped him deal with his many losses during the past year.
After dealing with the Raptor issue, New York City was plagued by a villainous duo called Bride and Groom. Nightwing begins pursuit of these two after some grisly murders, including that of the Lorens family (close friends of his after the Raptor incident). Dick grew obsessed with finding them, not knowing how far he was willing to go to take them down. Eventually, he formed a makeshift team with some "villains" to find them. They located them, and after killing some of his "team" Nightwing chased them to a cave, where Bride began a cave-in and the two were trapped there.
Titans Together Again
Some time later, Nightwing disassociated himself from the Outsiders, turning the responsibility of leadership over to his old mentor Batman. He then reunited with his alma mater the Titans after learning about a vicious attack wrought against Cyborg’s impromptu Titans East trainees. Along with Beast Boy, Cyborg, Donna Troy, Flash, Raven, Red Arrow, and Starfire, Dick discovered that the perpetrator behind this attack was the spawn of one of the Titans' deadliest villains – Trigon. Trigon had apparently had other children aside from Raven, who each symbolized the seven deadly sins. Together the Titans managed to defeat the sons of Trigon and again rescue Raven from being turned evil. Afterwars, they agreed to reform their group of Titans.
Batman R.I.P. & Final Crisis
Soon after, Batman became targeted by a group calling themselves the Black Glove. Their attacks became so intense, that they apparently drove Batman insane, and he disappeared, leaving Robin alone to defend the city. Unwilling to allow Tim to deal with everything alone, Dick gave up his life in New York to return to the city and help locate their mentor and keep control. Unfortunately, Nightwing was ambushed by the International Club of Villains. He is later seen in Arkham Asylum, frothing at the mouth and presumably drugged, believed by the staff to be Pierrot Lunaire, a member of the Club. Scheduled for an experimental lobotomy by Arkham himself, he was spared by the ICoV taking hold of the Asylum, eager to use him and Jezebel Jet, Bruce's girlfriend at the time, as bait.
Jezebel's capture was revealed to be a red herring, due to her being a part of the Black Glove; as such, Nightwing's lobotomy was still pending, but he managed to escape due to the fact that his capture and Batman's 'insanity' were both parts of an elaborate plan created by Batman to expose the Black Glove. After besting Le Bossu, Dick joined the fray between the Batman Family, the International Club of Heroes, and the Black Glove itself. Things built up to a final battle between Batman and Doctor Hurt, who battled on a helicopter that exploded, much to the horror of Nightwing and the others.
While everyone fears that Batman has died in the explosion, however, Batman survived the crash, and later joined the Justice League during the events of the Final Crisis. Unfortunately Batman was seemingly killed during his final confrontation with the new God, Darkseid, thus leaving Dick, Cassandra Cain, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake once again orphaned.
Alfred soon discovered a chamber left by Batman, which contained a holographic projection of his Last Will and Testament and a message for each of his children. In the message left for Dick, Bruce pleads that Dick not take up the mantle of the Batman, due to his belief that Nightwing and Robin can protect the city as they are.
Battle for the Cowl
Following the events of Batman's apparent death during the Crisis, Nightwing has closed down shop in New York so as to return to Gotham. He has opted to give up on having a normal job, and instead intends to put all his effort into protecting the city. Furthermore, he resigns his position as leader of the Titans, due to his duties in Gotham, along with Tim who resigns his leadership of the Teen Titans.
In the months that follow the Bat-Family along with a network of other heroes (including the Outsiders, Birds of Prey and others) is trying desperately to bring order to Gotham. Dick leads the effort but refuses to become Batman despite Tim Drake's urging due to Batman's last message to him. Meanwhile a man impersonating Batman begins his war on crime using lethal tactics and leaving slips of paper saying "I AM BATMAN". Due to Dick's refusal to step up, Tim begins a search to stop the impostor and dresses as Batman in order to demonstrate how the real Batman would have acted.
Dick meanwhile continues in his efforts to protect the city and both he and Batman's biological son, Damian Wayne are attacked by men working on behalf of a supposedly resurrected Black Mask. Dick and Damian are then 'rescued' by the gun-toting Batman, whom Dick quickly realizes is Jason Todd. Together Damian and Dick attempt to apprehend Jason, but Damian is nearly killed by a gun shot to the chest, and it is only by the arrival of the Birds of Prey that Damian is able to get proper medical help. Jason manages to escape, and nearly kills Tim Drake with a batarang to the chest.
After questioning himself, following Damian's near death, Nightwing goes forth to battle Jason, intending to take down his brother once and for all. The pair battle, all the while with Jason claiming that Tim is dead, unaware that Tim survived and was saved by Damian and the Squire. Dick takes note that Jason has finally gone completely insane, due possibly to the last will statement that Batman left for him. The battle accumulates to Nightwing kicking Jason off a speeding train. When Dick attempts to help Jason, the other man refused and falls to his supposed death, though claiming they would see each other again soon.
Soon after, Dick at last agrees to take on the mantle of the Batman, knowing that it was always his destiny. Unfortunately, much to Tim Drake's shock, Dick does not continue to take him on as Robin. Stating that Tim is more his equal and ally than protégé, Dick instead offers the mantel of Robin to Damian Wayne. Feeling betrayed and infuriated, Tim leaves. Whether due to his refusal to let go of another father, or something else, Tim comes to the belief that Bruce is still alive somewhere in the world. As such, he leaves Gotham behind in order to begin his search. But rather than continue wearing the costume of Robin the Boy Wonder, he instead takes on the mantle previously worn by Jason Todd: Red Robin.
Batman and Robin
Although he has agreed to take on Bruce's mantle, Dick continues to feel unworthy of the role, due to the constant reminders of Bruce that surround him in the cave. Feeling it is time to make the mantle of the Bat his own, Dick moves the operation out of the Manor and into the Penthouse Bunker of Wayne Towers.
During his first official week as Batman, Dick and Damian find themselves investigating a new criminal by the name of Professor Pyg and his associate Mister Toad. Unlike Dick's own relationship with Batman, during his years as Robin, Damian proves to be as cruel and argumentative as possible, even suggesting that if Dick is unable to be Batman, that he should step aside and let Damian himself take the job.
As he begins to prove himself unfit for his new role, Damian continues to be hostile towards Dick, often taunting him with the information that he wasn’t the real Batman and that he can never replace Bruce Wayne. The first time Damian does this Dick threatens to bring Tim Drake back as Robin.
Later, while the new Dynamic Duo are on patrol, they decide it is time to test their new "para-capes." On the roof of police headquarters, Commissioner Gordon laments the apparent loss of Batman as the Bat-Signal shines brightly. Suddenly, jumping from the Batmobile, the new Batman and Robin fly through the clouds and the Bat-Signal toward police headquarters.
Quickly after Dick takes up the mantle of the Dark Knight, he goes out on his first adventures as the Batman, defeating the Scarecrow in Gotham City. He soon clashes with Jason Todd, the Penguin, and Two-Face, as well as Black Mask.
Dick also allows himself to be caught on security film simply to let the world know that the Caped Crusader has returned, forever destroying Batman's mystique as an urban legend. Due to the mass jailbreaks engineered at Arkham Asylum by Black Mask, Dick also oversees the construction of holding cells at the Wayne Enterprises building to house recaptured villains. Dick has recently discovered he has more trouble than anticipated adjusting from the light body armour of his Nightwing suit to the heavy cape and restricting mask of the Batsuit. Dick also notes that the cape is too heavy for close combat. Alfred Pennyworth points out that Dick has a more airborne fighting style to Bruce’s ground and pound style. The butler then sets to work on adjusting the weight of Batman's costume, using a lighter and more durable form of Kevlar to modify into a new costume for Dick's use.
Dick has discarded Bruce Wayne's Batman costumes and has adopted several pairs of lighter, suits to fit himself in his new role. He also plans to abandon the Batcave completely. Dick describes the cave as “a war room, a lab, and an arsenal room, but without its warrior” and resolves to leave it how Bruce Wayne had originally found it, dark and empty. He discards most of the Batcave's trophies or places them in secluded storage to gather dust, including the memorial to Jason Todd, which Dick removes, remarking that it was Bruce's cross to carry, not his. Dick and Damian move out of the Batcave, saving only Bruce Wayne's original cowl as a keepsake of the original Batman.
In the first few weeks of becoming the Dark Knight, Dick attempts to stop a ring of kidnappers and their leader, Professor Pyg. When Damian tries to rescue a young girl, Sasha, she seemingly falls to her death. In reality, she has survived, but upon discovering her father had been turned into a drone by Professor Pyg, she goes insane and is taken in by a maddened Jason Todd. After Pyg has been apprehended, he is mysteriously murdered, with a single domino found in his hand the only clue to the killer. A few weeks later, the new Batman and Robin begin hunting down the last of the Black Glove organization.
When Dick later confronts the Red Hood and Sasha, Jason is shot twice in the head by a lobotomized hitman named Flamingo. Jason managed to survive the gunfire due to his domed helmet. When Flamingo attacked Sasha, Jason bravely went to her rescue claiming that the hitman's business was only with himself, not Sasha. in the ensuing battle, Damian is shot in the back and paralyzed. Dick and Jason defeat Flamingo, and the new Batman takes Jason into custody. Before being arrested, Jason observes to Dick that if a Lazarus Pit can resurrect him, it can do the same for Bruce Wayne.
Shortly afterward, a liberated Firefly attempts to torch Gotham City, allowing Batman's old enemy Hush to escape. Eventually, Dick is able to defeat Firefly, but learns that Hush is posing as Bruce Wayne. Hush is forced to cooperate with the Justice League of America and the Outsiders, only being seen as Bruce Wayne only to ensure that it appears that Wayne is in fact still alive.
Black Mask, meanwhile, has been cornered in the Devil's Square area of Gotham City by the National Guard. Black Mask's army of Arkham Asylum escapees are deteriorating without their proper medication, so he begins brainwashing innocent citizens to join the False Facers. Dick and Commissioner Gordon then attempt to negotiate the release of the Devil's Square citizens that Black Mask is holding for ransom. Dick approaches Selina Kyle, requesting her to get specific information on Black Mask's hideout. Meanwhile, the villain's Fright, Dr. Death and Professor Hugo Strange have been inducted into Black Mask's Ministry of Science, with the job of brainwashing hostages into an army of False Facers. Selina Kyle (Catwoman) isn't able to get information on the hideout, but points Dick to the re-emergence of Mario Falcone and the Falcone Crime Empire in Gotham. The Falcone crime family was actually behind the killings of members of the False Facers. To counter Falcone's attacks, Black Mask resurrects an old Batman foe named the Reaper, a minor Batman foe who had served in a concentration camp during World War II. The Reaper, aided by Strange and Fright, goes on a killing spree, adding to the chaos of the escalating gang war.
Batman and Robin stop some False Facers from stealing a shipment of pills from a hospital, several miles from Devil's Square. Dick then goes to attend Arkham Asylum's reopening gala to keep an eye on Hush posing as Bruce Wayne, aided by the Huntress and Oracle.
Also at the party are the administrator of Arkham Asylum, Mario Falcone and a Dr. Singh from Gene-Core, a company going into partnership with Arkham. Oracle, angry at Huntress for her attraction to Dick, makes her go after a suspicious girl who is present at the party. Unbeknownst to her, the Riddler was also shadowing her. However, an unknown girl breaks into Gene-Core's lab, then sets off a bomb, destroying the lab and much of the building. This explosion makes the Riddler regain his memory.
Dick as Batman then hurries to the Gotham Port, where he finds Gordon and Bullock examining the mutilated corpses of several Falcone gangsters. From this, Batman deduces that the Reaper has somehow returned. Dick and Alfred then discover that the girl who blew up Gene-Core's lab is a prolific thief, and goes by many aliases. Dick finds footage of the girl escaping the scene in a taxi, which Alfred traces to Devil's Square. Dick wants to apprehend the mysterious girl and have her bought in for questioning, so he gets past Black Mask's snipers and into Devil's Square. Batman asks some homeless children if they know the whereabouts of the girl. One young boy, known as Baby D, tells Batman that he had seen the same girl, Kitrina Falcone, with Bossworth, a henchman in the employ of the Penguin. Before he can relay any more information, Baby D, to the dismay of Dick, is shot and collapses into his arms.
After getting Baby D to safety, Dick returns to the war zone in Devil's Square to hunt down the Penguin, who seems oblivious and unaffected by the disorder in the area, continuing his usual activities. Dick breaks into the Penguin's facilities, brutally interrogating the pudgy crook on Kitrina Falcone, demanding to know how she is involved in his gang. Before Dick can beat an answer out of the Penguin, he summons Lark, one of his hench-girls, to his rescue. Pausing briefly to defeat Lark, Dick returns his attention back to the Penguin, who finally admits that Kitrina Falcone served as a minor errand girl for his criminal organizations.
After interrogating the Penguin, Dick goes to visit Baby D, who is in critical condition at the Gotham City Children's Memorial Hospital. Dick blames himself for the boy's injuries, vowing to give the child upon his recovery a mentor, a good education and a job, no matter what the cost.
Arkham Asylum, meanwhile, is being remodeled by Wayne Enterprises, under Dick's supervision, using Hush as a puppet. An accident on the construction site kills all of the scientists working for the Gene-Core company helping with the asylum's reconstruction, except for Dr. Singh, who had attended Arkham Asylum's reopening gala. Commissioner Gordon investigates the deaths and suspects foul play, but even though Dick is well aware that it looks suspicious that only Dr. Singh survived, but refuses to jump to conclusions about the accident. Damian, meanwhile, is trying to figure out why Black Mask wanted to hijack a shipment of pills while bottled up in Devil's Square. Dick, continuing into Gordon's investigation into the accident at Arkham Asylum, contacts Oracle for any information she can find about Gene-Core. Together, Dick and Barbara come to the startling conclusion that Professor Hugo Strange must somehow be involved in Gene-Core.
At Devil's Square, Black Mask orders the Penguin assassinated when he discovers that the villain may know something about his operation and has been interrogated by Batman. Black Mask's henchmen attempt to kill the Penguin, who attempts to escape Devil's Square in an armored car. The henchmen desperately resort to using a rocket launcher, which blows up the Penguin's armored car, although the criminal and his henchgirl Lark manage to escape the explosion and flee on foot.
The Huntress reports to Dick that the Penguin may have been killed by Black Mask, but the new Batman refuses to believe her. Dick deduces that the Riddler must have been hired by someone to attend Arkham Asylum's reopening gala, and decides to look into the matter further. He also concludes he must confront Dr. Singh of Gene-Core. Dick then receives the news of a terrible tragedy: Baby D had died. Now grim and hardened by the death of a child whom he holds himself responsible for, Dick vanishes into the stormy night alone to brood.
After discovering Bruce Wayne's body has been stolen from its unmarked grave, Batman and Robin take Bruce's parents' bodies to their headquarters to try to keep them safe. Deadman feels pain as his body becomes a Black Lantern and seeks Batman's aid. After Deadman alerts Batman, John and Mary Grayson arise. After getting some weapons to deal with the new Black Lanterns, Batman and Robin head to Police Central, where they encounter the re-animated corpses of some of Batman's deceased enemies. Batman, Robin, Deadman along with a returned Tim Drake (as Red Robin) managed to save Commissioner Gordon and Oracle. They are then attacked by Tim and Dick's Black Lantern parents. Dick and Tim send Damian with the Gordons to their underground base while they battle the Black Lanterns. Dick eventually orders Damian through their radios to send one of his Wingers with Mr. Freeze's gun. Grayson uses the weapon to cryogenically suspend himself and Tim, forcing the Black Lanterns to retreat as they are unable to read any sign of life from them. Deadman later revives the heroes, with Dick vowing to continue the fight against the Black Lanterns.
Later Adventures as Batman
In the most recent Batgirl series, Barbara Gordon is having lunch with her father, discussing her relationships (or lack of). When asked if there is anyone special, Babs replies "It depends on which one of us you are asking," as she glances down on her phone with Dick's name. Batman notifies her of Stephanie Brown's activities as Batgirl. However, after discovering that Barbara has approved of Stephanie as her successor, she and Dick came to an argument as he still sees Stephanie as a reckless youth.
During a battle with Yellow Wasp, Dick and Damian are approached by Donna Troy, who asks to speak with Dick. Just as Donna is about to invite Dick to join Kimiyo Hoshi's new Justice League, Dick interrupts her and tells her that he already heard the news from Cyborg. After joining, Dick helps Hal Jordan track down Green Arrow, who is then recruited to take over Roy Harper's vacant seat on the team.
During his first on-panel mission with the new team, Dick leads the JLA into battle against a mind-controlled Atlas. In the midst of the fight, Dick mentions that it feels strange to be giving orders to a veteran like Hal.
Dick is later seen working with Wally as the two scour Central City and Keystone City for Prometheus. After defeating a low-level villain working for Prometheus, the two friends reflect on their time as Teen Titans, as well as their mutual experience of taking over for their dead mentors.
Meanwhile, Jason Todd is eventually arrested and gives Dick the idea of resurrecting Bruce through the Lazarus Pit. Dick then goes to get Bruce Wayne's body. After Dick locates one of the Pit's locations in the United Kingdom, he and The Knight placed the body within the Pit. Dick and The Knight, along with Batwoman and Squire, watches and a hand emerges from the Pit. However, the man who resembles the original Dark Knight attacks them all. Dick notices the creature's fighting skills, along with its murderous nature, differs from the original Batman and realizes that this man isn't his mentor but rather some sort of clone. The clone takes Dick's plane to Gotham, attempts to kill Alfred and Damian. Dick and Batwoman arrives just in time to save them, and the clone collapses after fighting them. Now knowing that the man they've buried isn't the original Batman, Dick, along with Alfred and Damian, now share Tim's hope that Bruce Wayne is alive.
After Tim Drake returns with more supporting evidences that Bruce Wayne not only still alive but lost in time, the Justice League suspects that Darkseid's Omega Effect transport the original Dark Knight to an unknown point in time at the past. Dick believes that ever since Wayne found himself stranded, he left clues as S.O.S. in hope of someone in the future would realize what they are and arrive to get him. Alfred discovers something contradicting at Wayne Manor of the family records, suggesting that they could be clues of Bruce Wayne's whereabouts passed down through his family tree. Dick and Alfred believe that one of Wayne's supposed distance relatives in the past could be Batman himself, as most Wayne men share a striking resemblance. During his search, Dick found a secret chamber within Wayne Manor not belonged to the original Batman but apparently of a Thomas Wayne from the 17th century, suggesting that this is perhaps is the Dark Knight himself. Then he discovers the Manor's original designs would resembles the shape of a bat, like a "Batsignal." -Meanwhile, Damian's loyalty to Dick is complicated with the relationship with his mother. After Dick frees Damian from Talia and Deathstroke's control, Talia reveals that she has begun to clone her son after she realizes that Damian has completely sided with Dick despite of their apparent antagonistic relationship. The Bat Family also find themselves being stalked by members of the Black Glove.
The New 52
Dick returns to his identity as Nightwing, leaving Bruce Wayne to be the only Batman again. Haly's Circus comes to town for the first time since his parents were murdered. In his civilian identity he is attacked by an assassin named Saiko who insists that he's the fiercest killer in Gotham. Dick inherits the deed to the circus from a dying C.C. Haly and begins a relationship with his childhood friend acrobat Raya Vestri. Saiko tortures Haly for information on Nightwing's secret identity, and the old man dies in Dick's arms after telling him the circus holds a terrible secret. Investigating leads, he tracks down a supervillain named Feedback who used to be a childhood friend but doesn't learn anything.
Batgirl visits and they team up to take down a shape-shifter named Spinebender. Following Haly's clues, he finds a mysterious Book of Names in the circus that holds his on the last page. He's forced to fight a rhyming demon named Acheron when his clown Jimmy Clark is attacked by an ex-fiancee using black magic. Tracking down more leads, he fights a super-villain known as Shox for information. The circus announces they will be doing a memorial show on the anniversary of the night Dick's parents were murdered, and Saiko attacks by detonating a massive explosion. It's revealed that the circus has been training assassins for years, and Saiko was a childhood friend using Raya as an accomplice. Dick had been selected to become a new Talon for the Court of Owls, but when Bruce adopted him, Saiko took his place. The killer plummets to his death, and Raya turns herself in. Returning to the Batcave, Bruce reveals to Dick that the current Talon is his great-grandfather William Cobb.
Night of the Owls
Nightwing receives Alfred's message, which conveys the forty people the Court of Owls targeted for assassination. He goes to save Mayor Sebastian Hady and comes face-to-face with a Talon. Using lethal force on the Talon, Nightwing stabs him across the eye with his stick, as the Talon is already dead and Nightwing's stick is slowing his healing factor down. However, William Cobb, having been revived by another Talon, attacks Nightwing and stabs him in the chest.
Nightwing is captured by the Crime Syndicate of Earth 3 and has his true identity revealed to the world. He's then held prisoner. Owlman offers Nightwing freedom if he agrees to help him take down Ultraman. With nothing left to lose, Nightwing complies. Before they can act, however, Nightwing is accosted by Grid and held the Murder Machine that will detonate if Nightwing's heart isn't stopped within a set amount of time. Batman, Catwoman ,and Lex Luthor find Nightwing and Batman tries to break him free, but to no avail as the prison's wiring self-repairs whenever Batman tries to cut it. Lex Luthor stops Nightwing's heart, causing Batman to angrily beat Lex up for killing his adopted son, but Lex reveals that he fed Nightwing a muscle-hardening pill that would keep him from dying as long as they revive him immediately.
After Nightwing is revived and the Crime Syndicate defeated, Batman orders his former sidekick to retire his superhero identity and become a secret agent.
Agent of Spyral
- Main article: Grayson (Volume 1)
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- Main article: Nightwing (Volume 4)
With the Nightwing identity restored, Dick redons his classic blue and black outfit. Under the identity, he reforms the Titans with Wally West, Donna Troy, Raven, Steel, Beast Boy and Miss Martian. Together, the team come into conflict with Abra Kadabra, who have been driven insane after attempting to remove Wally from the Time Stream. Together, the group learn that someone powerful was responsible for the changes made when Barry Allen restored time.
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- Peak Human Condition: Due to years of intense and extensive training with Batman, Dick Grayson is at the natural peak of human capability (almost on Batman's level). He has displayed the peak human strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, and endurance because of his training at a young age.
- Peak Human Strength: Nightwing possesses enough strength to break a holographic construct Bane's back, throw a refrigerator and use a bed as a weapon with effort. He had even been able to damage Blockbuster. Dick can easily lift a man with one hand, flip around with a obese grown man on his shoulder with no strain, and throw KGBeast through a concrete wall. His greatest feats of strength were breaking through titanium legs, snap a Superhuman Talon's knee tendons with a single kick, break a steel door off of its hinges and supporting over 1000 lbs of rubble over his head to save people from a burning building.
- Peak Human Durability: Dick's muscles and bones are more tolerable to damage than average humans, he possessed endurance similar to his mentor and is able to survive attacks from Blockbuster, who possesses Superhuman Strength, and Osiris. He has also survived a shot from a .32 pistol that only grazed to the back of his head and continue fighting.
- Peak Human Speed: Grayson' speed is at the peak human level, able to keep up with and even surpass his mentor in speed. He has been said to be faster than Batman. He is capable of sprinting speeds of approximately 30 mph.
- Peak Human Agility: Dick Grayson possesses peak-athlete equilibrium, balance, flexibility, dexterity, and bodily coordination well above than most Olympic-level athletes. He is one of the 3 people able to do a quadruple backflip and one of the world's finest human athlete. His agility also enables him to possess gymnastic and acrobatic prowess, Dick also can survive at heights that would even concern the likes of Superman and Starfire.
- Peak Human Stamina: He is able to function for up to 4 days straight with no sleep and is capable of holding his breath for 7 minutes from training with Batman. As a teen Dick has been shown to intensely train for approximately 1 hour before the fatigue toxins begin to impair him.
- Peak Human Reflexes: Dick can evade several attacks to a degree and dodge multiple rapid gunfire bullets at near point blank range. He possesses enough skill to detect a Sniper bullet with concentration.
- Master Martial Artist: He is a master of several martial arts disciplines with an emphasis on Aikido, Kung Fu, Escrima, Capoeira, Judo, Hapkido, Taekwondo, Jiu-jitsu, Karate, Savate, Sambo, Ninjitsu, Boxing, Krav Maga & Jeet Kune Do. He has effectively combined the martial arts he has mastered into a unique harmonious style that suits his strengths. This makes him one of DCs top tier martial artists.
- Weapon Proficiency: He has displayed high expertise with various weapons including Shuriken (Wing-Dings and Batarangs), throwing knives, paired staves, and swords.
- Expert Marksman: Dick is skilled in throwing modified Shuriken (Wing-Dings) to hit thugs at a medium distance, despite occasionally giving them head-starts and even disarm others with his wingdings. He is also skilled with firearms, as he was trained by Batman and Spyral to do so.
- Master Acrobat: Grayson is a prodigious natural athlete, possessing a peak human level of agility/acrobatic skills. He is generally regarded as the greatest human acrobat in the DC universe. Batman himself is an incredible athlete in agility, but even he gives the advantage in that area over to Nightwing. As he is the only person on Earth who can do the quadruple somersault (formerly one of three, the other two being his parents). Grayson is one of the world's best human acrobat.
- Stealth Mastery: Due to his training with Batman and his time as a Spyral agent he is a master at stealth, espionage, infiltration, and sabotage. Dick is capable of breaching very high-security facilities with ease and without being detected.
- Expert Escapologist: Due to his training with Batman, he possess talented skill in escapology. He was able to escape a maze before the Flash could release himself from police handcuffs in an instant before the cop could even notice, and was able to use a Tibetan Mind Technique to escape virtual reality.
- Skilled Intimidator: He is skilled enough to get Scarecrow, who only fears Batman, to talk and, during his time as Batman, was able to contain a riot in Arkham Asylum.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Being trained by the Dark Knight himself in various fields, Grayson is shown to have a naturally high level of intelligence, though not as high as Batman's own. He was intelligent enough to build his own "Nightcar", build and program a Tech Glider, and also mentioned he can fool a polygraph.
- Master Detective: Grayson is a world class detective on par to the likes of Batman. He was able to solve a riddle by the Riddler before Batman himself even figured it out before becoming Robin and has been shown to solve mysteries and cases in a speed that even impresses his mentor. Barbara even commented that he was able to solve 4 cases in "America's Most Wanted" in a single morning and solved a homicide case that went unsolved for 14 years. He was also able to deduce clues Bruce left in the manner that suggested he was traveling through time. Dick also has an advanced degree in forensics.
- Expert Tactician: Grayson was taught in various fields by Batman and as a result, is a capable tactician. In addition to that, he is skilled in reading the body motions of others, using this skill to aid in defeating multiple armed opponents and anticipate an opponent's next move.
- Expert Leader: He is also a brilliant and experienced strategist with superlative leadership skills and adept emotional intelligence, having served as leader to the Titans, the Outsiders, and even the Justice League. Additionally, Dick's efforts to remain in contact with other heroes makes him a master at rallying, unifying, and inspiring the superhero community, a skill in which he has surpassed his mentor.
- Expert Hacker: He is skilled enough to hack into the JLA emergency override codes and hacked an alien Terminal with the use of the Tameranean Language he learn from Starfire.
- Multilingualism: Dick is of Romany descent and was raised to speak the language. Having had the finest education as Bruce Wayne's ward, he speaks with extreme fluency in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Russian, French, Swahili, Mandarin, Cantonese and has some knowledge of the alien language of Tamaran.
- Indomitable Will: Like his mentor, Grayson has a very strong will. He is able to resist Scarecrow's potent fear toxins, resist and overcome mind control from Brother Blood and the Groom. He was even a candidate to succeed the Green Lantern, Abin Sur.
- Nightwing Suit: Nightwing had four versions of his costume. Each suit was made of a version of the Nomex fire-resistant, triple-weave Kevlar-lined material. It is an excellent protection against damage, and it's also electrically insulated. Instead of a black cape for stlthing, the suit is light sensitive, darkening when there is more light in the area. The original costume was mostly blue with light blue gloves and boots. The second was more advanced with a dark blue hue and gold boots and gloves, and trimmings on the neck. Nightwing's latest suit returns to the blue and black design. The logo is now slimmer and has a bird head. The logo wraps around his chest, around her shoulders and back. The boots now have a light blue trim. The newest costume appears to be the same basic design of the third, except the blue portions have been changed to red, and he now has spikes on the gauntlets similar to Batman's. Nightwing's costume is tailored specifically to his unique style of crime-fighting. As such, his costume has fewer body-armor inlays than Batman's, anticipating a decreased need for shock-absorption and an increased capacity for motion. ("Move more, get hit less.") A caveat of this configuration can be exploited by capable fighters who are both fast and strong, such as Superman. Should Nightwing need to engage an enemy who is capable of exploiting this weakness, he has supplemental body-armor overlays which he can attach to his gauntlets, mask, shoulders, and boots. Recently he has begun using
- Nightwing Mask: The mask, in the form of his symbol, is fixed in place with spirit gum, and includes a built-in radio transmitter/receiver and Starlight night-vision goggles. His gauntlets and boots each contain eight compartments in which he can store items. They have a self-destruct feature built into them, similar to the ones in Batman's utility belt, and, as another security measure (especially when the hero is unconscious), the suit contains a one-use-only taser charge, which automatically emits a high-voltage electrical shock when someone attempts to tamper with either the boots or gauntlets.
- Nightwing Gauntlets: Each gauntlet's sections can contain a wide array of equipment, such as sonic or smoke pellets, modified batarangs ("Wing-Dings"), knockout gas capsules and throwing tracers. The right gauntlet is also equipped with a 100,000-volt stun gun.
- Nightwing Boots: Like the gauntlets, his boots can carry vital elements like flares, a rebreather, a mini-computer equipped with fax, modem, GPS and a minidisk rewritable drive. Other items are lock picks, a first aid kit, a mini-cellphone, flexicuffs, antitoxin assortment, signal flares, wireless listening devices ,and a small halogen flashlight. Held in spring-loaded pouches in the back of his costume, Nightwing carries a pair of Escrima sticks made from an unbreakable polymer that are wielded as both offensive and defensive weapons. Some depictions have displayed these tools with the mechanism to shoot a grappling hook attached to a swing line (like Daredevil's billy clubs), while, in other instances, he is seen using a "line gun" like the one Batman currently uses.
- Transportation: Nightwing has a transformable car which has a convertible chassis that can disguise itself as any similarly sized vehicle like a taxi cab or sports car. It houses a 3.7L McLaren racing engine, automatic transmission with all wheel drive, dual batteries and puncture resistant tires. The car is not only bulletproof but also bullet absorbent in order to prevent stray ricochets from hitting innocent bystanders. Nightwing once used a customized boat; this boat presumably has the same specs as the Batboat if it was not the Batboat itself. Nightwing also has his own personalized model of the Batcycle, which he refers to as the "Wingcycle". The Wingcycle is equipped with a passenger sidecar.
- Nightwing Weapons: Batarangs, smaller shurikenlike "Wing Dings", regurgitant gas (tear gas mixed with an additive agent to induce vomiting) pellets smoke capsules. His right gauntlet contains a 100,000 -olt stun gun, although his preferred weapons are two shatterproof polymer Eskrima sticks.
- Batman Suit: As Batman, Grayson's Batsuit featured a lighter cape to accommodate his more acrobatic fighting style and a utility belt with a bat-shaped buckle. He also developed "para-capes" for his and Damian's costumes which gives them the ability to glide, which may be a homage to Batman Begins. Grayson is a noticeably shorter than Wayne.
- See: Dick Grayson/Gallery
The character of Richard John Grayson in the persona of Robin was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. He was introduced in Detective Comics #38 (1940) by Batman creators Bill Finger and Bob Kane as (first) Robin. The sidekick debuted only a year after Batman and was part of an effort to soften the character of his mentor, originally a dubious, nightstalking vigilante. DC Comics also thought a teenaged superhero would appeal to young readers.
His Nightwing persona was created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, and first appears in Tales of the New Teen Titans #44 (July 1984). Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, DC Comics portrayed Batman and Robin as a team, deeming them the Dynamic Duo, and rarely published a Batman story without Robin, although stories entirely devoted to Robin appeared in Star-Spangled Comics from 1947 through 1952.
In Other Media
Batman (1960's series and film)
- See: Robin (Dozierverse)
The Batman/Superman Hour
- See: Robin (The Batman/Superman Hour)
The New Adventures of Batman
- See: Robin (The New Adventures of Batman)
DC Animated Universe
Teen Titans (2003-2006 animated series)
See: Robin (Teen Titans)
It is strongly implied that the Robin leading this series' version of the Teen Titans is Dick Grayson due to multiple references to his name and personal background. In the episode "Haunted", Raven enters Robin's mind and sees memory flashes of his parents falling to their deaths and of him swearing the oath in front of Batman while receiving his uniform. In "Fractured", Dick's name is fleetingly displayed backwards, directly referencing his identity; it is further confirmed in Teen Titans Go! #47 (the "sister comic" to the show). He is voiced by Scott Menville. He is also seen in the episode How Long is Forever? as Nightwing in the future, proving that he is Dick Grayson.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- Dick, as Robin, appeared in various Batman: The Animated Series-tie in games; with Loren Lester reprising his role for the Sega CD version of The Adventures of Batman and Robin.
- Dick, as Robin, appears as a playable character in video game tie-ins to Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
- Dick, as Nightwing, appears in Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzu, which is based off The New Batman Adventures.
- Dick, as Nightwing, appears in DC Universe Online and is voiced by Joey Hood.
- Dick, as Prime-Earth Nightwing, appears as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, voiced by Troy Baker.
LEGO Video Games
Batman: Arkham Series
- According to the DC calendar, Dick's current birthday is March 20th.
- In most continuities, Dick took the 'Nightwing' identity after hearing stories relayed to him by Superman. In Pre-Crisis, this was accounts given about Superman and Jimmy Olson's adventures in Kandor as "Nightwing and Flamebird". In Post-Crisis stories, these were actually Kryptonian legends relayed during his time as Robin.
- Also of note, Bette Kane, the original Bat-Girl, has since been brought back into continuity, now operating as a vigilante under the name Flamebird.
- Grayson has been engaged twice: first, to his long time girlfriend Starfire in the Teen Titans, though their relationship eventually dissolved; second, to Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, though the engagement has since been called off, although Dick has left the ring in Barbara's possession with the promise of asking again one day. While Dick still has feelings for both women, he has made it clear to Starfire that he no longer loves her the same way as before, but still cares greatly about her.
- By Dick's own admission, he has "a weakness" for redheads.
- Dick's parents left him a trust fund that Bruce Wayne's business partner Lucius Fox later turned into a small fortune. Although it is not comparable with Bruce Wayne's wealth, it has been enough for maintaining his Nightwing equipment; for purchasing the rights to Haly's Circus, saving Dick's former home from financial troubles; and for secretly buying the apartment building at 1013 Parkthorne Avenue in Blüdhaven. This address was also the home of the retired hero Tarantula (Jonathan Law).