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The Return of Nightwing and Batgirl [DC Reboot]

As I’ve mentioned before, the DC relaunch has the capability to shake a lot of things up.  It would seem the Bat Family is no exception.  Lets start with a few of the big news pieces.

When the relaunch comes into effect in September, it has been reported that Bruce Wayne will be the only man to wear the Batman cowl.  Logically, we can assume this means Dick Grayson is out as Batman.  I was a fan of Dick as Batman, but I never expected to see him remain the Bat forever.  What does this mean for Dick then?  Nothing official has come out stating Dick’s name, but DC has announced that one of the books to be released is Nightwing #1.  That, and the cover has been released (pictured below).

Nightwing #1 Cover

As you can see, Nightwing is one of the DC heroes that has recieved a redesigned costume.  This costume includes gauntlets very similar to those on the Batman suit.  Notice, that I said Nightwing and not Dick Grayson.  Nothing has been announced in regards to Dick wearing the Nightwing mask.  With the color change from blue to red and the slightly more aggressive looking suit one could question whether Dick Grayson is in fact Nightwing.  It has been teased in the past that Jason Todd would assume the mantle of Nightwing and the new costume looks much more like something Jason would wear than Dick.  Factor in the fact that Jason has acted as the Red Hood and Red Robin and its enough to cast doubt in my mind as to whether Dick Grayson has returned to being Nightwing. (Update: When I wrote this post there had been no official announcement as to the identity of Nightwing.  Currently DC has stated that Dick Grayson is Nightwing.  Therefore my conspiracy theory shown above was just a mental exercise.)

Next up, is Batgirl.  IGN has a cover gallery of all the upcoming first issues in the DC Relaunch.  One of which included Batgirl #1, pictured below.  If you look close you’ll see some differences from the current Batgirl Stephanie Brown.

Batgirl #1 Cover

As you may have noticed, this Batgirl does not have blonde hair like the current version portrayed by Stephanie Brown.  With Batgirl now having red hair, it would be a reasonable guess to say that Barbara Gordon, the once original Batgirl, will be re-donning the cowl.  Needless to say, this could be one of the biggest changes yet with this reboot.  One last fact that lends a big more credence to Babs coming back as Batgirl is that longtime Birds of Prey scribe Gail Simone will be writing the new Batgirl books.  Arguably, she is the writer most associated with Barbara Gordon over the last few years.  Of course, one other thing to bear in mind is that much like the possibility of Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing once more, DC has made no announcements regarding the new Batgirl.

Like was mentioned earlier, this could be one of the biggest changes to come from the DC Relaunch.  I have enjoyed Bryan Q. Miller’s work on Batgirl.  However, I do think Barbara Gordon returning to her role of Batgirl could be pretty cool.  There are a couple of questions though.  Firstly, is The Killing Joke being retconned?  In 1988 the Joker shot Barbara in the spine leaving her paralyzed in what is quite possibly one of my favorite Batman books.  I would hate to see this awesome story retconned, and I’m sure the Batman fanboys would agree with me.  Second, if The Killing Joke isn’t retconned how will they give Barbara back the use of her legs and in effect unparalyze her?  Finally, what happens to Oracle?  With Babs out as Batgirl will someone else assume the role of Oracle or will it just go away?  Hopefully someone takes over Oracle’s responsibilities.

There are a lot of questions left to be answered in regards to both the Batgirl and Nightwing relaunches.  Hopefully some facts are cleared up between now and September, but I have a feeling that DC is going to leave fans guessing as long as possible.  I can tell you this much though, if DC is screwing with us and having Stephanie Brown, the current Batgirl, dye her hair red just to mess with the fans I’m going to be really annoyed.

Update: When I wrote this article there had been no official announcement that Barbara Gordon was becoming Batgirl once more.  Since then it has been announced that Babs is returning as Batgirl.

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6 responses to “The Return of Nightwing and Batgirl [DC Reboot]

  1. Tom Baker June 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Ok. First, I cannot wait until the new season of Walking Dead either. I’d like to see where they head or if they are even going to leave Atlanta. In addition to the comics I would like to see a Batgirl movie. Something serious and not corny like the George Clooney Batman. Nothing like Catwoman either! Sorry to be lazy and combine one comment that spans two posts. It’s time for bed for me though!

    • Chris June 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Hey Tom, thanks for stopping by. In regards to the Walking Dead I’m not sure how far out of Atlanta they will make it this year. There are a lot of zombies to bypass.

      As for a Batgirl movie we’ll have to wait until Chris Nolan’s movies are over. His Bat’verse will not allow for sidekicks right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if DC makes some animated movies about members of the Bat Family like Nightwing and Batgirl.

  2. Reginald Prime June 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I mostly dont like what they did making Dick Grayson Nightwing again, if anyone ever earned to be Batman it would be him. He is Bruce Wayne’s greatest success. With Jason Todd being Bruce Wayne’s greatest failure seeing the former Robins battle over Gotham would have been biblical. They could have had a rivalry that could match The Joker and Batman.
    To me Dick Grayson is the finest Dc character of them all. Certainly the most popular of the Robins, greatest acrobatic of all time. The most beloved of the Teen Titans, his command of aero movements was most magnificent. He transformed the… pain of his tormented life into ecstatic justice. To use your passion and pain to protect the mantle and legacy of your mentor, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that oprhan little boy who roamed the roofs of Gotham and step out of the shadow of Batman was not only one of the world’s greatest heroes, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.

    • Chris June 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

      I 100% agree that Dick Grayson is Bruce’s biggest success. However, I think they made a good point in Battle for the Cowl that Dick didn’t really need to be Batman. Bruce made it a point of stating that Dick didn’t have to take up the cowl. But the only thing to get Gotham under control once more was the presence of Batman. Batman has an intimidation factor that Nightwing doesn’t have.

      I liked Dick as Batman, it was fresh and new. But I love Dick Grayson as Nightwing. He’s able to do everything Batman does but keep a postive outlook on things. Bruce is a dark person, his tragedy shapes him. Dick remembers has parents and their tragic death but he has been able to move past it. The death of his family does not define him as it does Bruce/Batman. That’s why I don’t have much of a problem with Dick becoming Nightwing once more. He’s not living in Bruce’s shadow and is his own person once more.

  3. nicholas June 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Damned, Dick Grayson is my favourite character of all time man. I was really warming up to him as batman, in fact, i really enjoyed his tenure in the bat comics, his trials and tribulations when fitting into the role of batman really reminded me of old school bat stories like the long halloween and dark victory where batman isn’t already a genius who can figure any situation out in 5 minutes and defuse it. really, i enjoyed him as batman more than Bruce after the latter came back from the ‘dead’. I’m actually incredibly saddened by the fact that he no longer is going to be batman. Regardless of how the writers make it seem like Tim Drake has been the most successful Robin/bat-family character because of his intellect, I always thought that only one other person than Bruce Wayne could be Batman, and that person is Dick Grayson, though they do play the part differently.

    • Chris June 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      I have enjoyed Dick as the Batman. You are correct it lead to a very different dynamic that was pretty fresh. Marvel did the same thing by making Bucky the latest Captain America.

      That being said I never thought Dick would stay Batman forever. I just hope they don’t treat his return to being Nightwing as a demotion. If anything Dick proved he could be Batman but is more effective being his own person. Thanks for stopping by!

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