Nightwing (1996-2009) #33
"But I don’t fear them. There’s a big difference."
I miss when Bruce was allowed to smile.
I always liked the idea of Bruce making sure the Bat Kids could handle any number of weapons, including guns. I think that says a lot for how seriously he took safety.
Just a little apropos to agent Grayson and the potential use of guns as per that panel that’s going around. I really hope that gun he holds only stuns.
I wish Batman was depicted like this more often. Many of his villains are mentally ill and victims of tragic circumstances, it would be nice to see him try to help them as much as he helps the people they put in danger because of their problems.
I tear up every time I watch this show. “I had a bad day too, once.”
Best version of Batman. Best version of Harley.
I prefer Batman when he wasn’t a ultra-paranoid nutjob.
This this one thousand times this! What I freaking hate is that that crazy, joyless version of Batman is considered the “default” or even “better” version because of stuff like shitty writers (oh hi there Frank Miller) and the Nolanverse movies, which in themselves are a deconstruction of that version of Batman. Nolanverse Batman is unsustainable. Nolanverse Batman is completely without a lot of his support network for the majority of the trilogy. Nolanverse Batman pushes people away and ends up having to stop being a superhero in order to reclaim his humanity. That is practically skywriting saying “comics Batman is obviously different to this, this is an interesting AU.” I truly love the Nolanverse movies, I think they’re brilliant, but god do I hate it when they’re misinterpreted into comics canon. Also, Nolanverse Batman isn’t full-on crazy joyless Batman either; he quips, he teases people, he fucking smiles.
Bruce Wayne’s Batman is one of, quite possibly foremost of, my favourite superheroes, but not for any of the reasons that seem to be glorified about him in those psychotic versions. Yes, he gets obsessive. Yes, he is an utter control freak. And those are his flaws, not his strengths.
You wanna talk to me about Batman’s strengths? Talk to me about the fact that he’s the adopted single father of five kids (yes I’m counting Damian because the way he was brought into the family is analogous to adoption).
Talk to me about the fact half of his information networks are made up of ex-cons he’s rehabilitated into education programs where they flourish, and the other half are Arkham inmates who he acknowledges as the leaders in their field. Talk to me about the fact that most of the time, they’re willing to give him the information he needs.
Talk to me about the fact that he became a superhero out of the self-awareness that the trauma of losing his parents so mentally scarred him that he knows he can never be well-adjusted, but he wants to use his warped perspective to do some good so no child will ever have to endure what he did again.
Talk to me about the fact that he became a governor on the board of Arkham Asylum not to persecute but to protect the inmates, because even though they perpetrate utterly abhorrent acts they are still people with rights and even the capability to one day reform.
Talk to me about how many times he’s paid for Harvey’s surgery, and the fact that Harvey still refers to Bruce as his one friend who’s always stood by him.
Talk to me about him sponsoring Harley’s parole and laughing as she backflipped with joy.
Talk to me about the fact that, because he knows he can get stupidly stubborn and out-of-control, he surrounds himself with people who refuse to take his crap (Alfred, Babs, Selina, Dick, Jim, Leslie, etc) because he knows sometimes he needs to be stopped.
The real Batman is not some psychotic sadist who hates people and never smiles.
The real Batman is a grumpy socially awkward dad with badass friends, plenty of issues but also a moral compass, a strong belief in human rights and the ability to reform… with a soft spot for people as maladjusted as him.
Except no substitutes.
Dick Grayson is trading his superhero suit for secret-agent cool.
Batman’s former sidekick embarks on a new life as an undercover superspy in the comic book Grayson, an action-adventure series premiering July 2 from DC Comics. It’s written by Tim Seeley (Revival) and Tom King, a former CIA counterterrorism operations officer.
After a career of being overshadowed by his cape-and-cowled father figure, this is a chance for Grayson “to take off the mask and step out on his own in a world where he’s not simply being another hero like the hero he grew up with,” King says.
Batman, though, wants him to transition to a different heroic life for the greater good — it’s “a hard sell,” Seeley says — and tells him why he needs his former partner to stay dead, not only to the world at large but to Batgirl, Alfred Pennyworth and the rest of the “Bat-family.”
"Obviously, he’s a part of a legacy," Seeley says. "He’s been Robin, he’s been Batman, and now he’s out in the cold by himself."
Adds King: “He’s doing something that’s going to cause pain to his friends and family, but he believes in the cause. That tension between having to do something good but having the cost of it being pain to his family, it drives him a little crazy.”
Grayson’s new employer is the international spy agency Spyral, an organization created by writer Grant Morrison for his Batman, Incorporated series. King sees it as representative of today’s intelligence community: They’re the people who stop bad guys from doing bad things, yet to do that, they employ questionable tactics such as mind erosion.
"He has to save the world, but he’s dealing with an organization that may go beyond his comfort zone," King says.
Seeley likes putting Grayson in this strange position, working for a group “that purports to be on the side of the angels, but clearly, there’s some weird stuff going in. Their penchant for manipulation instantly makes them nefarious.”
King, who started working for the CIA after 9/11, intends to bring to Grayson the emotional feel for what it’s like to work undercover, have bullets shot at you and cope with the the inherent pressure of being an intelligence agent.
"It’s bliss to serve a higher cause and save people," he says, but "the hard part of it is it’s tough to go home and lie to your family and pretend to be a different person."
For the supporting cast, Seeley is planning to reintroduce some familiar DC characters but also to create a new mythos for Grayson, including his own archenemy.
"He’s always been a character who hasn’t had a villain associated with him," King says. "We want to give him his Lex Luthor, his Joker."
Also, Grayson is one of the few superheroes “who is considered a sex symbol by ladies,” Seeley says. “We’re leaning into that.”
At the very least, he is getting a wardrobe makeover, courtesy of Grayson artist Mikel Janin: Gone is Grayson’s mask, and his new outfit reflects the blue-and-black color scheme of his Nightwing togs and features a “G” on his chest, reminiscent of the old “R” from his Robin days.
In terms of tone, Seeley describes Grayson as a “world-hopping” action comic, and King wants every issue to feel like a TV episode of Mad Men or Breaking Bad in that it causes a conversation.
"It’s DC’s The Americans,” King says. “This is something where, at the end of it, you have to go and talk about it.”
I have mixed feelings about this. I would read a comic that was Dick just hanging out watching TV, but I hope they do this right.
Working for a CIA-type organization does not seem like Dick. If done the right way (staying true to his character’s optimistic core), this could be very fascinating - kind of like when Dick cleaned up the Bludhaven police department. But if Dick becomes too dark and starts buying into “the ends justify the means” claptrap, it will be dark indeed and an egregious betrayal of the character.
I guess I just have a hard time seeing anything written by “a former CIA counterterrorism operations officer” as heroic.
If Dick tries to root out corruption in the superspy world while also fighting crime, fine. But if Dick gets turned into some flag-waving, ‘Merica-spouting, CIA-esque operative, I will be PISSED.
And he better not kill anyone. I know he had a gun when he was a cop, but it was never that prominent.
We did get some recognition of the female fanbase, but I don’t want Dick to turn into the DCnU James Bond. There’s nothing wrong with James Bond, but that’s not who Dick is.
And they better not stop calling him Dick (or Richard). I mean it. If they do, I will cry bitter, bitter tears. and tweet my sorrow at as many people as possible. You have all been warned.
*SCREECHES IN FRUSTRATION*
For god’s sake, if any of the Batfam was going to go CIA/spy, it would be Tim. Jason might do it for a while just for kicks (I mean that’s sort of what he does with the Outlaws anyway). But Dick? God no. Let’s remember please that Dick was a POLICE OFFICER for a long time. Dick works within the law if at all possible. Working outside of the law (ala CIA counterterrorism unit) isn’t his style. Again, if anything, it’s Jason’s. And god I HATE the fact that it looks like they’re playing up the whole “Dick is overshadowed by Bruce” thing. No. Dick grew out of that YEARS ago. That character development has gone and passed them by. And god almighty, why does Dick look like Jason? WHY?
Dick is Nightwing. There is no “striking out on his own with no help.” Dick THRIVES on people and teamwork. This could possibly be very interesting, but I swear to god if they try to make Dick into this James Bond figure, I will kill them.
As I was reading the article again, it also sounds like Bruce is the one asking Dick to take on this job. Did anyone else get that interpretation or am I misreading it?
"Batman, though, wants him to transition to a different heroic life for the greater good — it’s “a hard sell,” Seeley says — and tells him why he needs his former partner to stay dead, not only to the world at large but to Batgirl, Alfred Pennyworth and the rest of the “Bat-family.”"
You would think I would have better reading comprehension, but I’m unsure if this means:
-Bruce wants him to take on this role and hide it from the other family members or
-Bruce doesn’t want him to do this and instead wants him to “stay dead”
On a second reading it sounds like Seeley has some grasp of Dick’s character: he mentions that this is outside Dick’s comfort zone, so that gives me hope.
Since Dick will work for Spyral a part of me kind of hopes that Bruce asks Dick to do it. It would solve a couple of problems:
-why would Dick do something that seems so un-Dick-like? Bruce asked him to. I would buy that. Yes, it still puts Dick a bit in Bruce’s shadow, but Dick would do anything for Bruce.
This sounds a bit like the Outsiders, which had good and terrible Dick moments.
I just really hope the writers don’t interpret “female fanbase” as “Dick has sex with everyone.” Granted, I might be in the minority, but I don’t want to see my favorite characters having James-Bond amounts of sex. I don’t want to see Dick going through ladies like Bond did. It wouldn’t feel right, yet I fear the DC dude-bros think that’s what “considered a sex symbol by ladies” means. [Also, DC: it’s more than just ladies!]