Enter Nightwing: Why And How Nightwing Should Appear In The Arrowverse
With the DC television universe widening with the recent release of the animated series, Freedom Fighters: The Ray just after the Arrowverse crossover Crisis on Earth-X in late November 2016, the television universe in which our beloved characters exist, really has come a long way since its debut in 2011. However, it’s the reference to Gotham City’s Bruce Wayne in early Season 6 of Arrow, that makes the audience wonder whether there are other aspects of Batman lore out there in the Arrowverse. It became known during 2017 that the upcoming series, Titans, based off the Teen Titans wouldn’t play a part within the DCTV universe. Though, the same was inclined about Constantine as well, though Constantine as a character is a part of continuity, having appeared in Arrow and will appear on Legends of Tomorrow. So, anything is possible. Honestly, have my fingers crossed on that one.
The first topic of interest within the world of Batman, after The Bat himself is his first protégé and his first adopted son, Dick Grayson. While Dick himself hasn’t had a reference with the Arrowverse, his home city of Blüdhaven has, throughout Arrow and The Flash. While has been numerous mentions to Gotham, there is every chance Dick exists in the Arrowverse. So, let’s examine the reasons why Dick or rather, Nightwing should appear in the Arrowverse and how it should be done.
Enter The Independent Hero
In our first argument, it needs to be established as to why Nightwing would be a good candidate for the Arrowverse’s slate of heroes. The first point is probably the most obvious. He’s an independent hero who doesn’t need fancy gadgets or bumbling sidekicks to fight crime and to protect the people of their respected city. Throughout the comics, Dick proved time and time again, he was more capable of playing the solo hero, rather than the sidekick role he played when he was Robin.
Despite his independent hero stance, Nightwing would likely show heroes like Oliver Queen’s Green Arrow what it’s like to save the world solo. Dick would likely maintain some of his playfulness from his time as Bruce’s protégé (as Robin), which wouldn’t sit well with Oliver who takes saving people and one’s city incredibly seriously. Doubt Oliver would like that too much.
If the Arrowverse does end up introducing Nightwing, it would add extra variety to their lineup of superheroes. After all, there’s a pattern with the Arrowverse introducing heroes that became overshadowed by the bigger heroics of Superman and Batman. Since the Arrowverse started with Arrow and spun off The Flash from it. Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow followed soon after.
Having Dick arrive on the scene would add to the non-metahumans list of heroes, which is relevantly small. He would join the likes of Green Arrow, White Canary, Citizen Cold and Heatwave who are all heroes with weapons instead of having metahuman or alien abilities. Nonetheless, having Dick join the Arrowverse would make him one of the few characters who wasn’t caught up in a freak accident that lead him to becoming a superhero.
Gives Blüdhaven And Gotham More Established Ties
Batman has been referenced a number of times throughout the four shows, however, that does not mean The Dark Knight himself will appear anytime soon. These are just passing references like the passing references to the Kents in Supergirl whenever Clark appears. What’s more is that Blüdhaven has been referenced on Earth-1 while Gotham was referenced on both Earth-38 and Earth-1. Now, this could provide a problem. With two versions of Gotham, if Dick were to appear as Robin or Nightwing, it would make sense for him to appear in Gotham first as it is where he started his superhero activities, back when he was Robin. After he became Nightwing, his home base became Blüdhaven.
While we don’t know whether there’s a Blüdhaven on Earth-38, we know there is one on Earth-1 because it has appeared various times. We also know there’s a Gotham on both Earth-1 and Earth-38. So, depending on if they introduce Dick as a child sidekick (Robin) or an adult solo hero (Nightwing) the city of origin is always there. If he does appear, it would give these cities a more meaningful purpose then just a handful of references that tie the locations to the universe.
Where To Start: Star City Or Central City
Let’s say Dick were to appear on Earth-1. Where would he begin his Earth-1 adventure? Star City or Central City? Please note, these are just fan theories.
Star City would be the ideal place for Nightwing to appear for his first appearance. What if Oliver had a gala organised and it gets attacked by thieves looking for some high powered weapon? This could be where Dick comes in and helps save the day. When he is questioned by Oliver (as the Green Arrow) as to who he is, Oliver doesn’t believe him and tells him to stay away from Star City. Not wanting to believe her husband, Felicity decides to do her own digging on Nightwing and manages to hack the Batcave’s computer, discovering that Nightwing is fact Dick Grayson, who was once the sidekick known as Robin.
Felicity tells Oliver what she knows. Oliver decides to give Dick a chance to explain himself so he goes to find him. Ultimately, Dick is surprised Oliver would even give him a go, given his personality. He even mentions how close the Green Arrow’s personality is to his adoptive dad’s.
The second option would be Central City, home of The Flash. What if Dick was just passing through the city and he saw The Flash in action and decides to pitch in? This would be great fun for The Flash himself, Barry Allen, however, it might not sit well with Harry Wells, who has a real attitude problem, but a heart of gold when it comes to his friends. If Dick were to appear, it would seem like he would clash the most with the good scientist.
Cisco would like call Dick a stick in the mud or perhaps a total dick and would probably laugh it off as a lame as hell joke. Caitlin would likely not know what to say or do about Dick or his ways of how he goes about his vigilantism.
Starting His Adventure On Earth-38
For anyone who watches Supergirl, would have caught the reference to Gotham at the beginning of Season 2 when a dad says to his son, that they’re moving back to Gotham, as National City has too much crime. Missed it? Here’s a look at that scene:
An alternate theory would revolve around Dick coming from Earth-38 and appearing in National City. The conception of this theory comes from the fact that Supergirl was the first Arrowverse series to mention Gotham. Also, it brings into play that Gotham was the first location within overall DC Comics continuity where Dick fought crime back when he was running around as Batman’s sidekick, Robin.
If this was to occur, accordingly, it would only be to assume he was acting on a favor for Clark in terms of keeping tabs on Clark’s cousin, Kara. Not to mention, Bruce earned himself a few indirect mentions by Kara and James whenever they’ve spoken about ‘Clark’s friend’.
Ordinarily, there is a final theory for Earth-38. This would include having Dick Grayson appear, thought might be better off having a totally different backstory to the one the audience is familiar with. That would be a different twist for not only the character, but the show as well, as a lot of Dick’s appearances in other DC media have told the same story, over and over again.
Ties To Established Characters on Either Earth-1 Or Earth-38
Before we wrap this little exposé up, one thing we need to establish is what characters Nightwing would associate with, if he were to appear.
• The Flash/Barry Allen — You can’t have a member of the Bat family introduced without having them team up with Barry and co. Dick and Barry have totally opposite personalities.
• Supergirl/ Kara Danvers — In the comics, Superman is a member of the Justice League. It would only be natural to have Nightwing interact with Superman’s cousin, Supergirl.
• Green Arrow/Oliver Queen — Similar in values and motives, Nightwing and Green Arrow would make great drinking buddies at best.
Sincerely, Nightwing has always been a staple for the DC universe and it doesn’t matter what comics timeline is playing out, he’s played a part in much of the universe as both a sidekick and as a hero in his own right. Despite the idea of him appearing in the upcoming series, Titans, the Arrowverse would better off with their own version of the character. Even if they have to pull a similar stunt to Marvel by having two different Quicksilvers, there is every reason Nightwing should appear alongside his fellow unacknowledged heroes.