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Nightwing’s First Idea For a Codename Was Absolutely Ridiculous


Dick Grayson’s transition from Robin to Nightwing wasn’t without its problems, with Dick’s first option for his Nightwing name being totally off-base.

Spoilers for Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #12!In DC Comics, Dick Grayson’s Bat-Family codename, Nightwing, is one of the best and most memorable names ever put to paper. But after a date with Supergirl gone wrong during his Robin years, Dick’s first idea for a new superhero title would have been a terrible career move.

The original sidekick to The Dark Knight of Gotham City and the first person to hold the mantle of Robin, Dick Grayson eventually stepping out from under the shadow of the Bat to become Nightwing was one of the best decisions Dick ever made, setting him apart from other Batman-related heroes in a unique and wholly character-defining way. Inspired by the Man of Steel himself, Superman, to strike out on his own, Dick took on the Nightwing moniker after learning about a legendary Kryptonian hero of the same name, making his original idea of wanting to call himself “Dark Eagle” an entirely laughable — and completely out of character — name for this one-time Boy Wonder.


Related: Nightwing Proved He Will Always Be Like Batman (Despite Not Wanting To)

Dick Grayson’s Dark Eagle Moniker Wasn’t The Best Superhero Name

nightwing dark eagle codename

A codename dreamed up in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #12, by Mark Waid and Emanuela Lupacchino, the thought of bringing this Dark Eagle persona to life came at a time when Dick was still Robin, and in his youthful ignorance, thought he could take Supergirl out on a date in the hopes of making her weak in the knees like a low dose of kryptonite. Crashing and burning miserably as their compatibility only went as far as working together in the field of battle, Dick contemplates changing his entire identity to hide his shame and embarrassment and even goes so far as to sketch out what will eventually become a future Nightwing design while outright declaring, “I’m thinking I could call myself Dark Eagle, or something.”

Dick Grayson's Robin and Nightwing costumes in DC Comics

A ridiculous name that sounds more like a knockoff character than anything of substance, Dark Eagle would have been a weird choice to run with as it technically fits with the bird/flying rodent angle of Bat-Family vigilantes but makes no sense for who the Nightwing character would eventually become on a grander scale. Wanting to step away from the doom and gloom of Batman’s world and into the light as a more hopeful and positive hero, Dark Eagle as a name doesn’t elicit those feelings one bit, directly contradicting Dick’s wants as a person and staple member of the superhero community and flying in the face of what Nightwing stands for as well as where the name originally came from. Since Dick took inspiration from the aforementioned Kryptonian legend called Nightwing — a beacon of hope and progress for the people of the planet to be inspired by — Dark Eagle, in comparison, seems edgy and uninspired for a hero that has never been one to brood and who always finds time to encourage and motivate others around him.

It’s a good thing Dick got over his terrible date with Supergirl because if he hadn’t, fans would have been forced to pretend like Dark Eagle was the right choice for this iconic DC Comics hero. Nightwing was and still is the best name for Dick Grayson’s vigilante identity, so here’s hoping he doesn’t get an idea for another!

More: Nightwing Is Still Trying To Forget His Deadliest Mistake

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest #12 is now available from DC Comics.


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