Welcome to our weekly Monday Demythify column!
As was revealed in DC Comics’ New 52 February 2014 Forever Evil checklist, which confirms the earlier solicitation, Forever Evil #6 will reveal the final fate of Nightwing and we will also finally learn who the identity of the hooded prisoner is of the Earth 3’s Crime Syndicate. We “may” also learn who is the all-powerful entity that decimated Earth 3, that led to the Crime Syndicate venturing to the DC New 52’s Prime Earth, as seen in Forever Evil #5.
We’ve already run down the most likely suspects for who is under the hooded mask of the Crime Syndicate and there has been further developments since then on that person’s identity.
In a future column, likely next week since Forever Evil #6 is supposed to hits stands on February 19th, we’ll also explore the likely identities of the planet-threatening entity that has moved from Earth 3 setting its sights on Prime Earth.
However, this week, we tackle the Top 5 likely “fate” options for Nightwing, Batman’s first sidekick as Robin, who had his secret identity of Dick Grayson revealed to the world in Forever Evil #1 and has been prisoner to the Crime Syndicate, seemingly also befriended (manipulated?) by their evil Batman analogue Owlman.
Possible SPOILERS for Forever Evil #6 may follow.
(5) Dick Grayson Dies
As many know, DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio has for years joked about his desire to kill Dick Grayson and therefore Nightwing. That never materialized, but the teaser cover art for the final issue of Nightwing, cancelled in April 2014, and the Forever Evil house ad are a bit bloodied. Does death come to DC Comics’ original sidekick?
I think this is unlikely since DC Comics recently killed its most recent Robin, Damian Wayne who is also Batman’s son, in the pages of Batman Incorporated. Plus, Jason Todd the second Robin and current Red Hood, has also died and returned (long story) in the past. If Dick Grayson dies, I guess Tim Drake, Batman’s third sidekick as Red Robin, may need to start looking over his shoulder as he’d be the last of the Robins for the Grim Reaper to slay.
(4) Nightwing Retired
Dick Grayson is an iconic hero, but he’s also lived through a lot of trauma from his parents dying and his efforts to be the bright beacon in Batman’ s dark life. He retired as Robin at some point in the New 52. Maybe Dick Grayson just gives up on the hero life and fills a non-action oriented role in the DC Comics New 52? Perhaps as DC Comics new Oracle? He could support and enable other heroes in their crime fighting work?
This seems unlikely since Dick Grayson, as a teen, is one of DC Comics first heroes from the Golden Age. He also a fine example of the successful aging and maturation of a character from teen-to-man in comicdom. He also had a very successful stint as Batman in recent years that legitimized him further with fans. He is A-level, Justice League material, so an active role is likely for Dick Grayson post Forever Evil.
(3) A Super-Powered Nightwing
Miraclo the super-powers granting drug seems to be making its way through DC Entertainment; from being the drug that powers an aged new Batman on Earth 2 to powering Deathstroke and Roy Harper in CW’s Arrow TV show. Perhaps Miraclo, or by some other means, Nightwing receives super-powers in Forever Evil? That would make him more powerful to protect himself from the villains that know his secret identity. That would not require Dick Grayson to abandon either his heroic identity or his civilian one. Wally West in the 1980s and after had his secret identity outed and functioned effectively as the Flash for a generation of readers. Green Lanterns John Stewart and Guy Gardner wear no masks, but possess the most powerful weapons on their fingers in the universe. It is a identity model that has worked for DC.
(2) Nightwing Dies
Unlikely Dick Grayson, who it is unlikely will die, the identity of Nightwing can die. Dick Grayson could become another masked hero and do good. However, while this is a very plausible and likely outcome of Forever Evil, the question is whether the identity of Dick Grayson dies too? So that afterwards Dick Grayson continues to live in the DC Comics New 52, but as a new hero with a new secret identity?
(1) A New Hero Emerges
My money is on a combo or #2 and #1 on this list, although Nightwing doesn’t necessarily have to die for a new heroic identity for Dick Grayson to emerge. Despite an Owlman already debuting at the end of the Court of Owls opus a few years ago, and another alternate Earth Owlman in Earth 3 Crime Syndicate’s Batman analogue, I think Dick Grayson will don the identity of Owlman at the end of Forever Evil He will then continue to fight crime, but as a mole in the DC Comics New 52 underworld. Clearly, other possibilities exist for a new nom du guerre for Dick Grayson, and you can share with me your thoughts on that, but this scenario seems plausible.
I wonder what falls out of the Crime Syndicate Olwman’s interest in him. Is Owlman really Owlman in the Crime Syndicate? Could Thomas Wayne already be dead and instead of his Dick Grayson, Earth 3’s Talon, being dead, that Earth 3 Dick Grayson is actually Owlman fighting the Crime Syndicate from within? If so, perhaps he gives that identity to “our” Dick Grayson to continue the mission of bringing down criminals from within their ranks? Hmmm.
So, what do you think is the final fate that is “decided” for Nightwing in Forever Evil #6?
Thanks for reading. All feedback welcome! 🙂
Tags: Batman, Demythify, Dick Grayson (Robin I / Nightwing), forever evil, Owlman