|Name:|| Dick Grayson|
Robin, Nightwing, Red Robin, Batman, Red X
|Occupation:||Superhero, circus acrobat, police officer|
|Relationships:||Mary and John Grayson (mother and father); Bruce "Batman" Wayne (legal guardian, adoptive father, crime-fighting partner); Clark Kent (friend); Teen Titans (friends and teammates); Koriand'r/Starfire (major love interest); Barbara Gordon (major love interest); Batfamily; Damian Wayne (brother, sidekick)|
|Fandom:||DC Comics, Batman, Teen Titans; Batman: The Animated Series/DC Animated Universe; Nightwing; Teen Titans (animated TV series), The Batman, Young Justice (TV series), LEGO Batman|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Richard John "Dick" Grayson is a fictional character from the DC Comics universe. He is the original and most well-known Robin, and as an adult goes on to become the hero Nightwing. At different times he has also taken the mantle of Batman. He appears in many different DC media properties related to Batman, Teen Titans, and Young Justice.
Dick Grayson was introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940, and has remained a staple of much of the Batman mythos in the 80 years since.
He was born as the son of John and Mary Grayson, a young aerialist couple, and part of the "Flying Graysons". In his introduction story his parents are murdered and in the process of solving the case of their murder becomes Batman's partner as well as the ward of Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne. Later the character was used with other mentored characters in the Teen Titans title, where Dick as Robin took a leading role. His role as part of the Teen Titans later leads to a split between him and Batman and he goes on to become the hero Nightwing. He was popular enough to get his own ongoing book as Nightwing in 1996. During the Prodigal Son story line and later during the events of Batman Reborn, when Bruce Wayne was thought to be dead, Dick also took on the costumed identity of his mentor.
In the three-season TV series and 1966 spin-off feature film, Batman, the Dick Grayson version of Robin was portrayed by Burt Ward. He later provided the voice for animated versions of the character, and the actor's likeness was used in tie-in comics and crossover mini-series.
Dick Grayson first appeared in the 1995's Batman Forever, portrayed by Chris O'Donnell. He takes on the persona of Robin after his parents and older brother was murdered by Two-Face at the annual Gotham Circus. He discovers Bruce Wayne's identity as Batman, he joins Bruce in crime-fighting. O'Donnell reprised the role in the 1997's sequel, Batman & Robin where Robin has grown frustrated with playing second fiddle to Batman and feels held back as his overconfidence causes Batman not to trust him.
DC Animated Universe / Batman: The Animated Series
In the 1990s animated series we see Dick's transition from Robin to Nightwing, and the mantle of Robin is taken over by Tim Drake. Dick is also in a romantic relationship with Barbara Gordon (Batgirl).
Dick is Robin in this series, and he is the leader of the Teen Titans. His main love interest is Starfire, this relationship will later become canonical.
The Batman (2004 animated series)
Dick is a young boy in the series, and features a similar background to the comics in that Dick is adopted by Bruce Wayne. The biggest change in the series is that Barbara Gordon as Batgirl becomes Batman's sidekick first, before Dick becomes Robin.
Nightwing is a supporting character in the Batman: Arkham video game series, and is a playable character in an Arkham Knight DLC.
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Dick Grayson, and his Nightwing identity, is featured in the film as a supporting character. He returns with additional scenes in the interactive movie Batman: Death in the Family (2020).
Young Justice (2010)
Dick is Robin at the beginning of the series, and was the leader of the team at one point, but later steps down. After a five year time-skip, Dick has transitioned to the persona of Nightwing, and takes more of a supporting role.
Gotham Knights (2022)
Nightwing is one of the main characters of the 2022 video game Gotham Knights.
Fanon and common tropes in fan works
- Bruce Wayne: exploring his relationship with his adoptive parent, be it positive or contentious
- Robins: concentrating on his relationship with the other Robins, Jason, Tim, and Damian, often with him taking on a mentoring or protective role. Although, sometimes these roles can become combative, especially as his brothers mature and want to choose their own paths
- Batfamily: focusing on his interactions with the other members of the extended Batfamily
- Crossovers: Usually only within the larger DC universes, there appears to be only a very small amount of fic that takes place outside of DC, the most common being in the Marvel universe
- Cereal: Dick is a cereal-powered hug-maniac
- Apprentice fic - Dick is Deathstroke's apprentice. Based off of the apprentice arc in the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon and the Renegade arc in the comics.
- The Hawkeye Initiative: Some fans have expressed confusion over the Hawkeye Initiative, claiming that Dick Grayson, canonically the most beautiful human man in the DC Multiverse, already fulfills the purpose of an attractive male character contorting his body in a skin-tight outfit, and would be better fit for such an initiative, instead of Clint "Hawkeye" Barton.
Grayson's ethnic background was retconned to be partially Romani on his father's side via a brief mention in the comics in 1997, further elaborated in a brief storyline in 2001.
- Re: "Do you think it annoys Dick that people forget he's Romanian and not white" by theflyingwonder (2015)
- Can the rumors about Steven Yeun as Dick just…stop already, Archived version (2016)
Fanon Dick is an extra sensitive guy who wants everyone to get along and is always happy and quippy. He’s emotionally affirming, gives out hugs often, eats cereal constantly, and depending on where you are in the fandom, his most noticeable trait is his ass. Fanon Dick is portrayed as effeminate to varying degrees and tends to be highly emotive and sentimental. His intelligence usually suffers from this treatment, and he’s often taken at face value for his quips and treated as the Batfamily’s sole comic relief. He’s spontaneous and reckless, jumping into battle without a plan and making things up as he goes along while shooting off a bunch of one-liners.
Occasional fanon: happy-go-lucky, extremely tactile/octopus hugger, a bit dumb.
Something fandom often forgets is that Dick is a lot like Bruce. He’s incredibly responsible and very occupied with the Mission. He’s far better adjusted when it comes to his parents’ tragedy, so it’s not so much about fighting back the bad in the world but about protecting the good. Dick is what Bruce is most proud of in his life; he’s canonically Batman’s heir as the world’s second best detective as well as Bruce Wayne’s legal heir for the company. Fandom often turns him into a goofball or a ditz or someone who is extremely easygoing, and that is inaccurate.
Some fans find it hard to believe that this Robin [in the 2003 Teen Titans animated series] is intended to be Dick Grayson, arguing that his more brooding, obsessive, and morally questionable behaviors (especially in season 1) are [thought to be] more in line with Jason Todd or Tim Drake. Reading back through the original New Teen Titans comics, however, this is exactly what Dick Grayson was like, especially in the issues leading up to him quitting being Robin and becoming Nightwing—the Runaways/Scarapelli arc featured the exact same "Robin pushing everyone away to work on a case while Starfire attempts to get him to open up more" plot thread as [the TT03 episode] "Masks".
The concept of Dick being unable to cook is a testament to his competence. When a character is hyper competent and basically fits the “I can do everything I set my mind to” stereotype - Fandom tends to assign them incompetence traits of day to day life. The inability to cook. Living like a slob. Skipping meals. Forgetting to shower. Drinking too much coffee.
It sure wasn’t the typical portrayal in fanon pre-Flashpoint. There was maybe a little bit of it when he was shown specifically being big brother to Tim, and then more came in with Damian. I think it was a somewhat slow thing that actually had basis in how canon changed. And then there was the New52. Dick wasn’t exactly the same he’d been and tons of new fans jumped on with the New52 and animated shows as their main introduction to DC characters. Eventually, Dick shifted from a competent, capable crimefighter and detective and leader to an always smiling perfect boyscout big brother (which is a bit of a paradox because he was also a slob and couldn’t cook and lived off of cereal). The team dynamic trope took over as the bat family expanded; Dick was the happy leader, Jason was the angry but angsty one, Tim was the smart one, and Damian was the one trying to prove himself (some of the tropes changed a little, but yeah, think TMNT or Power Rangers). And as the team tropes took over, you could only have one of each kind of character. So many of the old standard characterizations in fanfic changed. Fanon Dick used to align a lot more with, for example, Outsiders era Dick. He was a bit more serious, had some angst issues sometimes, definitely had some issues with Bruce, both in and out of costume. He was reliable though, and Bruce’s right hand man. So maybe just being the oldest in an expanding family, the fact that he didn’t always hold onto old hurts the way Bruce did but actually moved on eventually and was relatively well-adjusted (compared to the rest of them) with some occasional humor and the in canon comments about how he brought light back to the Manor and in effect saved Bruce came together with the aforementioned influx of fans and the characterization shift from the New52 and animated versions until he was the happy go lucky, look before he leaps cereal fiend of fandom portrayal. I think there were a few fics with super happy hug monster Dick in 2009/2011. There were a ton by 2017.
[Re: "What are some of the Dicks skills that fic writers pawn of to Tim and Jason? I get what you mean usually they lower dick to elevate literally anyone he's come into contact with but I was wondering what you've seen?"]
To clarify, its more Dick’s dynamics that get transplanted onto Jason and Dick’s skills that get erased to focus on where Tim has the same or similar skills. And I already went into the stuff with Dick’s dynamics with Roy and Kori and others, so to focus on the latter:
Computer skills is the most notable - I’ve posted about this a lot before because its a pet peeve, that so many people think Tim like, invented hacking and Dick ‘stole’ it from him for the YJ cartoon. When actually hacking started being a thing people were obsessed with movies and such about all the way back in the early 80s, almost a full decade before Tim was created, and Dick was established as pretty much THE first hero to make a skillset out of that, even before Babs did. He’s hacked alien technology using Tamaranean programming language he learned from Kori.
And just his detective skills in general. People put a lot of emphasis on Dick’s athletic prowess and then take that to the extent of treating it like it makes him the ‘dumb jock’ of the family, like there even has to be one, which….I don’t get but whatever. But basically, there’s a tendency to slot Dick into the athlete role and have him sit back and let the others take over (largely Tim) and do the intellectual heavy-lifting which they’re supposedly better at when like…..Dick played more of a role in teaching Tim to be a detective than Bruce did, arguably. He’s a master strategist and tactician, and there are canon panels of him solving cases on television shows like America’s Most Wanted, and calling in the tips anonymously, because he’s supposed to be relaxing with an injury and he’s bored and needed to stimulate himself so he just…solves high-level cases from his couch.Like I always say, the Batfamily are a family of Mary Sues. They’re all capable of whatever the plot requires them to be capable of, at any given moment, which makes trying to ‘rank’ them in terms of skills utterly pointless and arbitrary, IMO. My only concern is when people take away things they’ve been shown doing for years because they feel there’s only room for one hacker or one weapons master or one acrobat….and its like…why? They’re all hypercompetent and emotionally dysfunctional and there’s so much to mine in that dichotomy.
I haven’t been a Dick fan since I was a kid and that’s because while back then I saw a super cool badass, nowadays I see him as one of the most boring heroes in the DCU, among other things.
- Dick Grayson & Bruce Wayne
- Dick Grayson & Clark Kent
- Dick Grayson & Alfred Pennyworth
- Dick Grayson & Barbara Gordon
- Dick Grayson & Wally West
- Dick Grayson & Donna Troy
- Dick Grayson & Roy Harper
- Dick Grayson & Garth
- Fab Five (Teen Titans) - Dick Grayson & Donna Troy & Wally West & Roy Harper & Garth
- Dick Grayson & Jason Todd
- Dick Grayson & Raven
- Dick Grayson & Slade Wilson
- Dick Grayson & Tim Drake
- Dick Grayson & Amy Rohrbach
- Dick Grayson & Damian Wayne
Dick is one of the Little Black Dress characters who is shipped with many other characters. On the slash side Bruce/Dick, Dick/Tim and Dick/Jason are probably the most common as they are intra-Batfamily pairings, but he's also paired with Roy Harper (aka Speedy and Arsenal), Garth (aka as Aqualad and Tempest), with other (former) Teen Titans, and with other superheroes whom he is friendly with in canon such as Clark Kent (aka Superman), and many others. The character is also popular with het pairings, especially with some of his different canon love interests like Barbara Gordon and Koriand'r, but is also shipped with other female characters.
In the DCAU, he is mainly shipped with Barbara Gordon, his main love interest, however some shipped him with Catwoman.
In the Teen Titans cartoon, Robin mainly shipped with Starfire and Raven. Slade/Robin is a common slash pairing, particularly in darkfic.
In The Batman series, Dick/Babs is a popular pairing.
In the Young Justice (TV series) fandom, Robin/Kid Flash, Robin/Superboy, Robin/Artemis, and Robin/Zatanna (DickZee) are popular.
- Dick Grayson/Koriand'r (DickKory Robfire)
- Dick Grayson/Barbara Gordon (DickBabs)
- Dick Grayson/Roy Harper (DickRoy)
- Dick Grayson/Wally West (BirdFlash)
- Dick Grayson/Bridget Clancy
- Dick Grayson/Helena Bertinelli
- Dick Grayson/Zatanna Zatara (DickZee, Chalant)
- Dick Grayson/Tiger King of Kandahar (DickTiger)
- Oracle & Nightwing by Jody Revenson; inspired many other stories. (Late '90's).
- Shutting Doors by James Walkswithwind, movie based Bruce/Dick (1995).
- Sea & Sky series by 'rith & Dannell Lites; epic first wave Tempest/Nightwing series. Also something of a shared universe, with a large number of associated fanworks by various authors/artists, including a wide range of DC characters. (1999 - 2006).
- Being and Belonging by Te; Tim-centric Tim/Dick. (2004).
- Hanging Work by Cereta; a much recced AU series wherein Dick Grayson was trained by Catwoman instead. (2005).
- rec list by nightwingmyboi
- everybody loves dick fic collection, compiled by discowing (ameliafromafairytale)
- untitled, Archived version Nightwing by stereowire
- oh brother don't turn, go on, go on, Archived version by Ming Doyle
- robinses by Ming Doyle (showing Robin I-IV)
- Robins by Jbadgr (showing Robin I-V)
- One for the Myspace Page by Noelleno, Dick and Tim art posted for Yuletart
- nightwing - contest entry, Archived version by Nightwing1975
- Flight: a Dick Grayson Zine https://nightwingzine.tumblr.com/ / https://flightzine.bigcartel.com/ / https://twitter.com/NightwingZine/
- [Character of the Month Archives] Spotlight #2: Dick Grayson by Kublai__Khan (2017)
- Workshop: Dick Grayson's Robin, Archived version by Bradygirl in Superhero Muses (2007)
- Workshop: Dick Grayson--Nightwing, Archived version by Wachey in Superhero Muses (2007)
- [American Comics] The Ric Grayson Saga - That time a beloved DC character went through a two-year amnesiac arc that fans from all corners hated, Archived version by beary_good (2021)
- [Video] 3 Common Misconceptions about Dick Grayson (Robin, Nightwing, Renegade - Sometimes Batman) by Xel Writer (2022)
- Dick Grayson metaarchive.today compilation organized by dottie-wan-kenobi, with contributions by several others
Example Art Gallery
Dick - Young Justice by Kiriel-Art (2017), based on appearance in the Young Justice comics
Nightwing in Arkham city by riyancyy777 (2011), inspired by his look from the Arkham City video game
DC Comics: Nightwing Blue Symbol Variant by Dark-Bahamut-Zero (2021), featuring his DC Rebirth look
Holy Hanna-Barbera! by Bob Miller, cover of Comlink #44, with Batman (1990), this piece referencing the 1960s television version of this character
- Batman comics fan fiction filtered for Richard Grayson on FanFiction.net
- Fanworks tagged Dick Grayson on AO3
- DickGrayson.netArchived from the original (dead link)
- Dick Grayson: Robin/ Nightwing/ Agent 37 Appreciation 2021 on CBR
- Dick Grayson DailyArchived
- Who the Fuck is Dick Grayson
- Thoughts About Dick GraysonArchived from the original (unavailable)
- Fanworks tagged Dick Grayson on DeviantArt
- Richardgraysonfans on deviantArt
- BLUDHAVEN (defunct)
- Nightwing (mailing list) (defunct)
- ^ People know that the whole Dick-was-Slade’s-apprentice thing ONLY happened on the TV show right? Nov 1, 2021 Tumblr
- ^ What are in your opinion the biggest difference between the comic and the fanon versions of the other Batfamily members?
- ^ Have you ever done a canon vs fanon post for the batfam? March 28, 2019 Tumblr post
- ^ i was hoping you might have some hefty characterization tips for writing the rest of the batkids? August 27, 2017 Tumblr Post
- ^ Teen Titans TV Tropes Page
- ^ while I think the 'Dick lives off of cereal and frozen food' hc can be pretty funny sometimes, I hc that Dick can actually cook pretty damn well
- ^ when was the start of Always Happy Dick in the fandom? May 4, 2021
- ^ What are some of the Dicks skills that fic writers pawn of to Tim and Jason?
- ^ The Robins Are Broken Aug 3, 2018 Tumblr post