Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just how many people know that Dick Grayson is Nightwing?

Over the past few months, I've been dutifully reading through the entire "Nightwing" series, chronicling Dick Grayson's run as the title character. As the comic has progressed, I've noticed that Dick seems to have a disturbing propensity for allowing people to figure out his secret identity. Now, it's obvious that Dick's Titan teammates would know who Dick was, since the original Titan's have known each other since they were basically young teens. Certain members of the Justice League also know Dick's identity thanks to his relationship with Batman. The other members of the Bat-family would also be privy to Dick's secret, obviously. My problem is that so many other non-heroes seem to know that Dick and Nightwing are one and the same.

First, we'll look at Deathstroke the Terminator. I guess I don't have much of a gripe with Deathstroke knowing the secret, due to the fact that Deathstroke had Terra infiltrate the original Teen Titans all those years ago, which gave Deathstroke the identities of all the Titans. Tim Drake figured out who Dick was after watching Dick in action fighting some criminals. Now, we know that Tim eventually goes on to become Robin, but that is just another example of Dick being sloppy when it comes to holding on to his secret. Jason Todd is another Robin who knows who Dick really is, but I kind of forgive Dick of that, and blame that more on Batman himself. Of course, now that Jason is evil, the fact that he knows Dick's identity could be kind of problematic. Now, moving on to the "Nightwing" comic book, we discover that several people have discovered Dick's identity due to his alarming incompetence. First off, we have Captain Amy, Dick's commanding officer on the Bludhaven Police Department. Dick's later partner on the Bludhaven Police Department also seems to have an idea that Dick is more than meets the eye.

During this time, Blockbuster discovers Dick's secret identity, and begins to destroy his personal life. Tarantula also finds out that Nightwing is Dick Grayson, making that two criminals with that knowledge. Deathstroke's daughter, Rose also comes across Dick's identity, thanks to her father. There is also a strong possibility that if she didn't realize it at the time, mafia princess, Sophia, also either knows Dick's secret, or has a strong feeling that Dick is Nightwing. In the first storyline after the events of "One Year Later", Dick has already allowed fashion designer, Cheyenne to discover his secret identity.

Now by my count, the people who know Dick's "secret" identity seem to numbers in the dozens, including several villains. My question is, why has Dick allowed so many people knowledge of his secret identity? Batman is insanely secretive when it comes to his secret identity, and the current Robin, Tim Drake, also seems to be very secretive when it comes to revealing his secret identity. Tim even managed to keep his identity secret from his own father for several years. Dick on the other hand just seems to allow anybody to know his secret identity, regardless of there orientation, good or evil. I wonder exactly why Batman allows Nightwing to continue to operate in such a lose fashion. Shouldn't Batman have a long talk with Dick about the importance of a secret identity?

I just figured I'd bring this topic up since I have a feeling that IF Bruce Wayne was to die during Final Crisis/Batman R.I.P.(which I'm still not completely sold on yet), Dick would have to be considered the leading candidate to take over Batman's cowl. My problem with that is with Dick being so loose with his secret identity, should he really be considered the front runner to take over the role of Batman? In my eyes, Bruce Wayne is one of the most paranoid heroes there is when it comes to protecting his secret identity. Dick Grayson is on the other hand, is a hero who at times, seems to have no regard as to his secret identity. I'll readily admit that Dick Grayson has developed into one of my favorite characters, but should a character like Dick really be considered the front runner to take up the mantle of Batman?

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