The DCU has technically not started yet and is set to begin with Superman: Legacy, but we do know The Batman 2 is in the works and that The Brave and the Bold Batman movie is in the pipeline. The big difference between the two projects, aside from the story and focus, one is directly in the DCU, and the other is in a parallel universe (Elseworld). And as popular as Batman is, I do not believe the world can comprehend two Bruce Wayne-led franchises. So I’m making a bold claim,
DICK GRAYSON WILL BE BATMAN OF THE DCU
Dick Grayson, the first Robin, the first sidekick, the first to step out of their mentor’s shadow, will be the Batman of the DCU. There has not been a live-action Dick Grayson in the movies since Batman & Robin, nor has there been anyone as Robin on the silver screen since. But with Dick Grayson’s immense popularity and his driving force in the comics, plus a number of other factors, it seems like now is the time to bring back the Boy Wonder, and have him be the Batman.
Why the World Needs Dick
I get that this is a bold claim and that DC not banking on their most bankable character seems like a bad idea. But it isn’t, and DC has a visionary creative at the helm with James Gunn. So if someone is going to get Dick Grayson to work and be in the spotlight he damn well deserves, I believe Gunn is the person who will make it happen. I’m also sure Gayle Simone could do it too, but that’s a whole different discussion on why she should be helming her own huge DC project. Anyway, let me break down the reasons why I’m making this claim.
Too Many Bruce Waynes at Once
This is not meant to attack people. It is to take into account the tremendous amount of various fandoms and interests of the wider population. While if you’re reading this, chances are you have read some comic books, know Dick Grayson was Robin, became Nightwing, became Batman for a bit, and is now Nightwing again, I guarantee you most of the world has no idea. I would be surprised if you went into a major public area (that’s not a convention or near a comic book shop) and asked random people if Dick Grayson was Robin, 1/10 probably would not even know what you are talking about.
With The Batman 2 likely beginning production next year (assuming the studios make a fair deal with the actors soon), by the time Brave and the Bold is set to release, The Batman 3 could very well be in production at the same time. The world will not be able to comprehend two different Batmans from the same studio being entirely different characters with the same name, coming out within a year or two of each other. It’s asking far too much for general audiences to buy into.
“So this Bruce Wayne Batman, is different from last year’s Bruce Wayne Batman and next year’s Bruce Wayne Batman is different than this year’s Bruce Wayne Batman, but actually the same as last year’s Batman?” It’s a lot to expect from people who don’t actively try to keep up with the films outside of their runs. There needs to be a defining difference because forcing a global audience to understand the Elseworld aspects will likely dilute the brand.
Dick Made Damian a Robin
Outside of the financial and marketing aspects of having two live-action Bruce Wayne Dark Knights being a nightmare, there is a major precedent for Dick Grayson being Batman, specifically the Batman to Damian Wayne’s Robin. In the comics, not long after Damian came into Bruce’s life, Bruce died. This left a major power vacuum with bad guys running amok in the absence of the Dark Knight. This led to a battle for the cowl as a successor was direly needed.
Jason Todd assumed the role while the other Robins were reluctant. However, Dick Grayson stepped up as the rightful heir, donned the cowl, and usurped it from Todd, and made Damian his Robin. Though Damian did have a Robin costume prior, he was not officially Robin until Dick Grayson became Batman.
James Gunn’s DCU Chapter 1 Conference
From James Gunn’s video conference outlining DCU Chapter 1 – Gods and Monsters, we know that the introduction of the DCU’s Batman is The Brave and The Bold, and it will be the story of “Batman and his actual son Damian Wayne.” Damian is James Gunn’s favorite Robin “…who Batman is trying to get in line…”
Something to take note of, Gunn is very keen on not ever mentioning Bruce Wayne as Batman. So the first use of Batman and his actual son, is likely referring to Bruce Wayne. But when he refers to Batman curbing Damian’s assassin training and nature, he could very well be referring to Dick Grayson. This is very conspiratorial, but there’s still an Easter Egg from the first Guardians of the Galaxy that hasn’t been found. Gunn knows how to be cryptic.
The Bat Family and The Brave and The Bold Anthology
The Brave and the Bold is specifically quoted as “the beginning of -sort of- The Bat Family.” While Gunn has been very loose with a lot of origin stories with comic book characters, I do not believe he would begin The Bat Family with Damian Wayne. Outside of Bruce and Alfred, the first member of the family is always Dick Grayson. He is the prodigal son. And at the moment, he is really popular. I’ll get to that in a bit.
I feel like I also need to clear some things up. This is not to say there will not be a Bruce Wayne in the DCU or The Brave in the Bold. But likely in the events of the film, we will get the death or disappearance of Bruce Wayne, which will lead to Dick Grayson donning the cowl and Damian Wayne becoming Robin. Imagine a film where Dick is teaching Damian and it flashbacks back to Bruce teaching Dick. The immense weight of being The Dark Knight weighs on Dick until he realizes the reason Batman needs a Robin, and that there is also family, like Tim, Barbara, and even Jason.
Plus, The Brave and The Bold is an anthology series in the comics. It often features team-ups. There is no way the title was chosen by accident. Does that mean we’ll have multiple different team-ups within the film, different stories within the film, or that the next The Brave and the Bold would be different heroes entirely? I think it means SOMETHING for sure. We won’t know officially until the film starts promoting. But with James Gunn master level knowledge of comics, this title is by no means coincidental.
DC Comics has Big Dick Energy
I’m not fully caught up on DC Comics, but where I left off, Dick Grayson is HIM. He’s the leader of the Justice League, committed relationship with Barbara Gordon, has a whole hero of the city moment where the city helped him save them, and even got his own 5th-dimensional imp, Nite-Mite. His story finally seems to be the fulfillment of why Bruce brought him into crimefighting so young, it was not so Dick would become like him, but to be better than him. And, in my humble opinion, Dick Grayson/Nightwing is just that. I mean the guy was using his fortune to actually implement programs that bring about real change instead of beating up on poor people.
Bruce Wayne’s tactics have come under heavy scrutiny lately. I mean in The Flash movie they go so far as to admit he could actually prevent the creation of criminals with his wealth. In Blue Beetle they call him a fascist. It is mainstream to hate on Bruce Wayne and is rich boy tactics. Whereas, Nightwing’s popularity and standing are at an all-time high. He’s him. What better way to please the comic book fans than to give them something that is relevant and current? Put all eyes on Dick.
Tell Me I’m Wrong
I am by no means saying this is true or a guarantee. It might even just be a part of the movie until Bruce Wayne comes back. Because like the comics, it’s unlikely to be permanent. But with no signs of Robert Pattinson leaving the role of Bruce Wayne anytime soon, I would bet the DCU chooses new Dick over another Wayne.
I am just saying the clues are there. The reasons are there. Plus the timing is right. There’s no way it is good for a global audience to have two active actors playing the same character. Dick is the first member of The Bat Family. The Brave and the Bold title is not an accident, James Gunn chooses his words very strategically. Damian Wayne is Robin to Dick Grayson. Dick Grayson was Batman. Dick Grayson/Nightwing is the better Batman. Dick Grayson will be Batman of the DCU.
Feel free to @me.
Does it make sense for Dick Grayson to take the spotlight and don the cowl in the DCU? Would you accept anyone who is not Bruce Wayne as The Dark Knight? Does the DCU have big Dick energy? Let us know what you think on social media!
KEEP READING: BOLD CLAIM: One Piece is the New Harry Potter