Good news Wing-Nuts, Dick Grayson lives through the RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE mini, and "beyond!" Grant Morrison's saga that began in 2006 with BATMAN #655 comes to a close this October with THE RETURN, but Morrison will return immediately to the Bat-verse in November to begin a new era and a new title- BATMAN INC.

            The interesting news continues to roll out as the illustrator on the series has been announced in the form of artist Yanick Paquette, who is bringing back the yellow oval to Bruce Wayne's Bat costume. But of course, here comes the bad new is... Dick Grayson will not only remain Batman, but he will be only one of twelve Batmen! Yes, all this seems to be coming to a quite anticlimatic end; the elevation of Grayson to the number one hero in comicdom, number one comic book on the stands... and Dick Grayson, you are finally at the same level as Knight and Squire.

            No Nightwing for us.

            The August 10th L.A. Times article ( http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/08/grant-morrison-.html ) states BATMAN INC. is essentially a team book that will include Dick Grayson, Knight  and Squire, El Gaucho and eight others. Grant Morrison will most likely pull something fantastic out of his bag of tricks but, what I'm simply asking for is some sort of glimmer of hope for Dick Grayson's A-list status, that he so rightfully deserves. While I am confidant that Pete Tomasi will be spot on with characterization in BATMAN AND ROBIN and tell the Grayson stories that we want to read, Dick will certainly be ensured to continue to live under the shadow of the Bat.

            It's Dick Grayson Deja Vu' for me. Editorial seemingly is using the popularity of Dick Grayson to continue to catapult the popularity of the Bat. Prior to BATMAN AND ROBIN, Batman sales were low, so Dick Grayson was made as Batman to help increase said sales. Year or so later, once sales are in the Top 10, Bruce Wayne is brought back to the Bat mantle and Grayson is kept on to maintain his core base of fan-ship as just another Batman, albeit continuing to star in his own series.

            This all makes me think of the mid-nineties when the Nightwing on-going series was first contemplated in the dark recesses of DC Editorial. I have to assume, looking back, that his solo title was placed under the Bat-Family due to his popularity in NEW TEEN TITANS. While Chuck Dixon and company did an excellent job creating a series that still stands as one of my all time favorites, and the series does superbly showcase Grayson's solo skills and abilities, the motive of that series seems to be he same as present day ... use Dick Grayson to catapult Batman sales. Using Dick Grayson to catapult Nightwing sales?...now that I'd be cool with, but this whole thing feels like a waste of the character and a pretty anticlimactic ending to a pretty awesome arc in BATMAN AND ROBIN. I'm of the belief that Nightwing was brought to Bludhaven to literally live under the shadow of the Bat and thus, bring along with him his fan following, solely to escalate sales of Batman books, and I fear history is repeating itself.

Funny that while Dick was featured in a team book, he was more independant than any other time in his lifespan thus far. All the rest of his career has been shrouded by the looming Bat shadow. On NTT he was an independant. During NEW TEEN TITANS we witnessed Grayson embracing a persona that, while inspired by his mentor and idol, is an identity all his own. I can't help but wonder if Dick would have come closer to "A-List" status had his excellent solo series not been under the thumb of the big bad bat.

            So I have decided to put this theory to the test. Starting with NEW TEEN TITANS #39 I will attempt to read and review every Nightwing appearence I can get my hands on up to current continuity. NEW TEEN TITANS, TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS, TITANS and NIGHTWING shouldn't be a problem, but I don't think I'll catch every small minor, minescule, minute appearance ever, but his main series will be read and reviewed by yours truly in an attempt to look at the in story life of Dick Grayson, the youngest hero and first to grow up, as he becomes Nightwing, leader of the most popular super hero team in comic book history and eventually is granted his own solo series.

Coming Soon: Review of New Teen Titans/Tales of the Teen Titans 39-44.