The 10 Saddest Nightwing Comics

Nightwing was the first Robin that Batman ever recruited. His true name is Dick Grayson and he was raised by the Flying Graysons, a pair of acrobats who performed for Haley’s Circus. Unfortunately, they were killed by a mobster named Tony Zucco. That is when Bruce Wayne adopted Dick Grayson and trained him to become Robin.

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When Dick first departed from Batman and became Nightwing of the Teen Titans, he was an angstier figure. However, modern Nightwing is known to be the most upbeat and chatty of Batman’s various Robins. Despite that, there are still some truly sad Nightwing comics out there.

10 Nightwing Breaking Down And Killing The Joker During Joker’s Last Laugh

In Joker’s Last Laugh by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and Pete Woods, the Joker believed that he had a fatally malignant brain tumor. He broke out of the Slab prison and went on a murderous global rampage. He started using Joker Toxin to drive other inmates into a psychotic rage and he went on to spread the Toxin with other villains around the world.

Batman and his allies had their work cut out for them with this threat, and many innocent people met grayly fates thanks to the Joker and his poisoned posse. When he finally caught up with the Joker, the otherwise well-meaning Nightwing strangled the Joker to death in a moment of fury. Not wanting his first partner to deal with the repercussions of this, Batman resurrected the Joker.

9 The Death Of Nightwing During The Climax Of Forever Evil

Forever Evil by Geoff Johns and David Finch saw the Crime Syndicate, a dark reflection of the Justice League from Earth-3, conquering Prime Earth (the world of the mainstream DC Universe). As part of their scheme, Owlman captured Nightwing, exposed his secret identity to the world, and connected him to a bomb that he called “the Murder Machine.” The bomb would only be disarmed by the death of Dick Grayson.

After Batman and the Injustice League beat the Crime Syndicate, Batman and Lex Luthor had to find a way to disarm the bomb. Luthor killed Dick Grayson then resuscitated him. However, this didn’t undo all the damage that the Crime Syndicate had done to Nightwing. The world knew who he was, and they had to think he was dead. This meant that Dick Grayson had to abandon the Batman Family and his Nightwing identity.

8 When Nightwing Was Shot By The KGBeast

Batman #55 by Tom King and Tony S. Daniel saw the near-death of Nightwing due to an assassination attempt by the KGBeast. Dick was shot in the head and barely survived. He lost a part of his brain from him, and his memories of being Robin, Nightwing, a Teen Titan, and a member of the Batman Family were all removed. He only remembered the death of his parents from him.

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This story was continued in Nightwing comics, starting with Nightwing #50 by Benjamin Percy, Travis Moore, Chris Mooneyham, and Klaus Janson. Nightwing no longer knew the Batman Family and felt no love or connection to them. I have abandoned them and left to become a taxi driver in Bludhaven.

7 The Falling Out Between Nightwing And Starfire

Nightwing and Starfire Kiss

It didn’t take long for Dick Grayson and Starfire to form a strong romantic bond while part of the New Teen Titans. The two dated for a long time, but their relationship wasn’t without its struggles.

Things came to a head in New Teen Titans #100 by Marv Wolfman, Tom Grummett, and Bill Jaaska. After a trying few months, Dick and Kori’r decided to seal the deal and get married. Things made it as far as the wedding ceremony when Raven, possessed by her demonic father Trigon, attacked the wedding. The Titans survived the attack, but the empathic nature of Raven’s powers forced Starfire to accept some truths about Dick and herself. She called off the wedding and went to space to do some soul-searching, leaving Dick Grayson on Earth.

6 Nightwing And Oracle Breaking Off The Engagement

Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns and George Perez was a trying time for almost all of DC’s heroes. This included Batman and two of his Robins from him: Dick Grayson and Tim Drake. Nightwing almost died more than once during the order, and Batman decided that he and his sons needed some time alone to retrace the steps that led Bruce Wayne to become Batman.

At the time, Nightwing was engaged to Barbara Gordon, aka Oracle. He didn’t want to go with Bruce and Tim because of this, but Barbara encouraged him to go. He ended up going with Bruce and Tim, leaving his engagement ring and a promise to return with Barbara.

5 The Fallout Of Heroes In Crisis And The Death Of Arsenal

A large gathering of DC's heroes and anti-heroes in the cover image for the Heroes in Crisis miniseries.

heroes in crisis by Tom King and Clay Mann saw Sanctuary, a mental health facility for struggling superheroes, destroyed by the Flash, aka Wally West. Almost everyone inside was killed, including fellow Teen Titan, Arsenal.

Strangely enough, this wasn’t acknowledged in the titans title at the time. To find a comic with the Teen Titans mourning the loss of Roy Harper, fans must read Green Arrow #45 by Julie Benson, Shawna Benson, and Javi Fernandez. Here, audiences get to see Green Arrow, Nightwing, the Teen Titans, and the Justice League mourn the loss of Roy Harper. Nightwing and the Titans are more of a background fixture in this comic, but it’s a tearful issue involving Nightwing nonetheless.

4 The Destruction Of Bludhaven During Infinite Crisis

DC Bludhaven Chemo Explosion Mushroom Cloud

Nightwing’s greatest trial during Infinite Crisis was the destruction of his city, Bludhaven. Nightwing was the greatest protector of Bludhaven. The Secret Society of Super-Villains dropped Chemo, a walking vat of radioactive and toxic waste, onto the city of Bludhaven.

This killed over 100,000 people, so Nightwing worked to save as many people as he could. The radiation was too severe and Nightwing would have died in the city had Batman not pulled him out of the blast zone.

3 Accepting The Death Of Batman

Battle for the cowl Nightwing Batman DC

Darkseid seemingly killed Batman with the Omega Effect during the climax of Final Crisis by Grant Morrison. JG Jones, and Carlos Pacheco. The funeral for Bruce took place in Batman #687 by Judd Winick and Ed Benes. It was a tearful affair, with Superman and Wonder Woman arriving to comfort Alfred and Dick. In particular, Alfred makes a tear-jerking statement by announcing to Superman, “My son died.”

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The sorrow and tragedy of it all are offset by Dick Grayson making a declaration of his own. Batman can never die, and a new one must rise. Dick Grayson opts to become the new Batman, with Damian Wayne as his Robin.

two The (Temporary) Death Of Dick Grayson’s Robin, Damian Wayne

As Batman, Dick Grayson became responsible for Damian Wayne, who was his acting Robin. Despite Damian’s antisocial nature, Dick began to accept him as a little brother. Later, after Bruce returned and became Batman again, an assassin named Heretic killed Damian Wayne in front of Nightwing.

In Nightwing #18 by Kyle Higgins and Juan Jose Ryp, Nightwing visits Damian’s grave and reflects on how much Damian meant to him. Despite his reputation for being cold and cruel to those around him, Damian did a lot to help Nightwing during some dark times.

1 Dick Coming To Terms With Alfred’s Death

Alfred Pennyworth was killed by Bane in Batman #77 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, and Tony S. Daniel. At the time, Nightwing was still Ric Grayson instead of Dick Grayson and had no memories of his time with the Batman Family. As a consequence, Dick had no strong feelings about Alfred.

However, Nightwing had his memories restored just before Nightwing #75 by Dan Jurgens and Travis Moore. In this issue, Nightwing has to come to terms with Alfred’s death and the knowledge that he drove Alfred away when he last visited Ric Grayson. Nightwing is heartbroken and wants nothing more than to do things that would make Alfred proud.

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