With March 20 being highly regarded as the in-story birth of Dick Grayson I thought it would be appropriate to explain why he is one of the most important characters in comicdom. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to use “Dick Grayson” in the title of this entry; however he is undeniably the most prominent character in the Nightwing role, so nuff said. Why would I make such a claim as this?  Well… because it is true. Dick Grayson is the centre of the DCU. Let us count the ways.

                First, he is a golden age character and one of the original characters in DC’s hero stable. He debuted only eleven issues after Batman and even predates Wonder Woman by over one year (where DETECTIVE COMICS #38, being Robin’s first appearance, was released in April 1940 and Wonder Woman’s first appearance was in December of 1941). I often wonder why Wonder Woman (pardon the pun) is part of DC’s trinity when it feels Grayson is the rightful heir.  Obviously the criteria to be a part of the trinity is more detailed than being an O.G.           

                Secondly, he is arguably the first ever sidekick to a super hero, who himself is also a super hero. Robin is undoubtedly the sidekick from whom all other notable sidekicks were influenced. Look at the unlimited number in DC since April 1940; Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and the list goes on and on. Not only did the creation of Grayson influence more sidekicks into the DCU, but over at Timely (now Marvel) Comics Bucky Barnes, a sidekick to Captain America, was introduced. All of this was a direct result of Robin, the Boy Wonder. And if that isn’t enough, Dick Grayson was also the first teenaged super hero (Spider-Man, eat your heart out).

                Robin was also the first sidekick to truly grow into his own solo character. He formed the first group of teenaged heroes in the form of the Teen Titans, which would eventually rival the popularity of even the X-Men, and had a number of solo stories which ultimately culminated in Grayson adopting the Nightwing persona and receiving his own on-going series. As Nightwing he has shown to be an icon among the non-meta heroes and a hero to even the godlike meta’s.

                 In a sense these are simply examples in awesomeness. Perhaps the true example of how Grayson is the centre of the DCU is that he is the measuring stick of all time lines. Dick Grayson is the character that we all use to determine the age of any given character. Want to determine how old Batman is? Well, Grayson was age X when he became Robin, which was when Batman was age X, so that means present day Bats is X (I am refraining from turning this into a “how old is Bruce Wayne” post).

Thus, Grayson is the centre of the DCU. The many characters which inhabit that universe only age when he ages. The universe only moves forward when he does. And as Robin grows into Nightwing  and then into Batman, everyone grows along with him, but never without him. As Winnick and Didio found out, he cannot be killed, only elevated.