Everything changes. That is the reality of life. Nothing is as we remember it. Life evolves and so do we.
Coming into the Forever Evil event we knew things would never be the same for Dick Grayson, for Nightwing. Most of the other major DC heroes, the Justice League’s, were missing, defeated, possibly dead. The villains had won, not the villains we knew but different more sadistic ones from another world. Worse still they had captured and unmasked Nightwing, the highest profile hero left standing. His secret identity was revealed to the world. The world knew that Grayson was Nightwing. Where does he go from here?
We learned where he will go this week. DC comics announced the new Grayson series written by Tim Seeley and Tom King, featuring art by Mikel Janin. The series begins in July. Honestly I felt a little column-blocked by the announcement (I started this column Monday morning). The series promises to show the former-Nightwing delving into the spy world. All the while allowing the world and his friends to believe he is dead.
Some have been critical of the direction of his new series, I simply ask why? It makes sense. Dick no longer has an identity to hide behind, his outing puts his closest friends and colleagues at risk. Before the new series was announced I had thought out a few ideas for how DC should proceed with the character. At no time did I think to kill him off. That made no sense, it would be a waste of a great character. I thought he should go into the espionage world, perhaps even leading a Team 7-style team for a time. Becoming a super-spy works.
What else would he do, just go back to being Nightwing? Another hero identity? No. For the time being there should be no Nightwing. Not Mr. Grayson and definitely not someone else taking his place. Nightwing is Dick Grayson accept no substitutes.
This avenue opens up worlds to explore, it gives writers opportunity to grow the universe. Best of all it puts Dick Grayson in situations that are far outside his comfort zone. Dick is a good man, he has always been. In a world where he has to lie to survive, even lie to his closest friends, how will he survive? How long before Dick reaches out to Barbara and reveals his secret?
Even better than the struggles Grayson would face ethically in this new world are the opportunities to bring characters into the New52 through this series. We have seen Argus, S.H.A.D.E. and the Suicide Squad, what other spy agencies abound. We have seen Amanda Waller, Slade Wilson, Steve Trevor even Cole Cash, could this series bring us Rick Flag or even better introduce us to King Faraday. Faraday could slide into this series as Grayson’s untrustworthy mentor. Dick is so used to implicitly trusting Bruce, how will he relate to someone who he cannot possibly trust. Another character who could be brought in is Travis Morgan, perhaps showing the mission that eventually reveals the world of Skataris and the origin of the man known as Warlord.
So many possibilities, so many adventures. It is time for Dick Grayson to step out of the shadow of Batman. Time for him to kick in that door and Enter Grayson.