Dick Grayson’s recent experience suggests that being part of the Teen Titans is much healthier than being associated with Batman.
WARNING: The following includes spoilers for Robins # 3 by Tim Seeley, Baldemar Rivas, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Steve Wands and Nightwing # 88 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas and Andworld Design
Dick Grayson’s place in the legacy of Batman is undeniable. The first (and often touted as the best) Robin has long defended the heroism his mentor taught him. But he has also expressed doubts about Batman’s way of looking at the world. This doubt has come again as he has just been given a very first hand reminder of this conflict in the most tragic way. Robins # 3 proved that being a member of the Bat family has been extremely hard on Robins. Nightwing is forced to confront that pain while recognizing a much better support system in Natvinge # 88 is Teen Titans.
Dick Grayson is usually touted as the ideal result of being Robin. A brave young man who grew up surprisingly well-adjusted and noble, Nightwing is a lynchpin in the DC Hero Society. He is also treated like the older brother within the bat family. However, he only really realized his full potential by expanding his horizons. This resulted in him first becoming a founding member of the Teen Titans, and then a major leader of the team. There he developed friendships that still hold true today. Both of these issues have been highlighted in recent months, with Robins and Natvinge both with Grayson interacting with each group.
But it appears from both, which had been the better emotional outlet for the hero lately. IN Robins, Tim Drake, who was secretly imitated by First Robin, tried to convince the young heroes to let killers tied to his personal story die. Although Robins saved the day, this broke their fragile ties together. When Dick talks to Bruce about it, he’s furious at Batman’s apparent lack of concern for his sidekicks. This caused Nightwing to yell at him and decide that the Robin experiment was always a failure. It is a harsh condemnation, but not a completely inaccurate one. Batman’s distance from others has become more and more prominent recently, including the effect it has had on his allies in the process. It is an unhealthy connection when it comes to being supportive and guiding.
Meanwhile, the Titans were significantly more optimistic and encouraging for Nightwing. After coming to Bludhaven to help protect Grayson from an assassination contract, the Titans quickly united around him. They protected him and gave him the chance to change his outfit, as well as openly support him. Each Titan not only reaffirmed their love for Nightwing, but openly respected his recent actions. Together, the Titans were able to stop the event from falling into pure chaos. It’s far from Batman’s tactic of rarely handing out any kind of love. Instead, the Titans are open about their appreciation of each other and quickly functioned well as a unit as a result. Dick is not the only Robin to grow from such an exposure, where Jason, Tim, Damian and Steph also grew as they joined other teams (including the Titans).
Nightwing’s recent experiences with his accomplices have underscored how problematic the Bat family’s way of battling drama really is. They do not support each other or come to each other’s aid as they should. When Tim seemed to strike out and challenge the other Robins, they either watched in appalling silence or actually attacked him, as Jason Todd did. It is yet another reminder that despite his best intentions, Batman’s actions have also had some negative effects on his young allies. It paints Bat-Family’s latest dramas in a more tragic light, especially compared to more supportive groups like Teen Titans can be. Although all Robins have had difficult times with them, it is clearly much better than what they have encountered as members of the Bat family.
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