Dick Grayson appears in DCAU, voiced by Loren Lester. The series also redefined the original Robin, Dick Grayson. While much of Dick’s past remains the same, his Robin costume is modernized with short sleeves and long tights, exactly like Tim Drake‘s original Robin outfit but with a non-italicized “R” symbol. In addition, Dick is given a more serious and mature personality to match the tone of the series. The episode “Batgirl Returns” establishes that Dick and Barbara Gordon attend the same college and that they have a mutual romantic attraction to each other, but neither one knows the secret identity of the other. Their relationship is one of the plot elements of the film Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero.
Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1995)
Dick appears in many episodes during BTAS but is given the spotlight in the two-part episode Robin’s Reckoning which retells his origin story.
During a fight with some gangsters at a construction yard, Batman and Robin learn the name of their boss: Billy Marin. While Robin looks forward to going up against Marin, Batman becomes distant, and after a falling out at the Batcave, Batman doesn’t allow Robin to accompany him on the search for Marin. Robin investigates on the Batcomputer, and soon realizes that Billy Marin is not the boss’ real name. Rather, it is an alias of Tony Zucco, the man who killed his parents (which Batman already knew, but chose not to tell Robin).
The flashbacks to Robin’s origin story is based on Detective Comics #June 38, 1940.
Angered by Batman’s deceit, Robin sets out to find Tony Zucco on his own, all the while plagued by the memories of his parents’ death and how Bruce took him in as his own son. Eventually, Batman manages to find Zucco at an old amusement park, but breaks his leg during the fight. Robin finally arrives and prepares to kill Zucco in revenge.
Nightwing appears in The New Batman Adventures, voiced by Loren Lester. At the end of the episode “Sins of the Father”, Dick Grayson debuts when he remarks that “no one can be a boy wonder forever”. In the episode “Old Wounds” the fall out leading to Dick Grayson quitting being Robin is shown. Eventually he partially reconciles with his former mentor and works with Batman several times during the course of the series.
In the episode “Old Wounds”, Nightwing explains to Robin (Tim Drake) that he fought with Batman over the latter’s controlling nature and what the former saw as an unnecessarily harsh approach, causing Dick to leave Gotham as a result and returns years later as Nightwing. When on patrol on his own, Robin runs into Nightwing and he tells Robin the story of how he and Batman grew apart. The story reveals how Batgirl discovered Batman and the original Robin’s true identities, and also explains some of what went wrong with Barbara and Dick’s relationship.
In the episode “You Scratch My Back”, Nightwing makes his full episode debut and finds an unlikely ally in Catwoman in trying to expose a South American gun smuggling operation into Gotham City. In an effort to further distance himself from Batman, Nightwing tries to go it alone to stop a smuggling ring and gets unexpected help from the seductive Catwoman, who attempts a somewhat sensual relationship with him. This episode highlights Nightwing, hints at his relationship with Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and illustrates his tense relationship with Batman. The episode also contains a sequence – showing Nightwing in his loft headquarters and charging into the night on his motorcycle as his theme music plays, culminating in a shot where he stands silhouetted against the moon.
In the episode “Animal Act” a series of thefts is being committed by circus animals in a town where Nightwing’s old circus is performing. Is it an old friend that is training the animals to steal, or someone else?
Nightwing also appears in the episodes “Joker’s Millions”, “Over the Edge”, and “Chemistry”.
Other DCAU TV show Appearances and Mentions
In Batman Beyond (set many years in the future), Nightwing’s uniform (or at least one copy) hangs in the Batcave. In the episode “Lost Soul”, Batman (Terry McGinnis) borrows the Nightwing mask when his own personal Batsuit is reprogrammed with a dead businessman’s personality. In the film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Batman asks if all of the original Batman’s associates were bitter when they left to which Barbara Gordon replies “…look up Nightwing someday. Has he got stories.”.
Young Justice focuses on the lives of a group of teenage sidekicks attempting to establish themselves as proven superheroes as they deal with normal adolescent issues in their personal lives. The show corresponds to the present time of our world, a time period Vietti has called “a new age of heroes”.
Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Speedy are invited by their mentors Batman, Aquaman, Flash, and Green Arrow to tour the Hall of Justice and sit in on a meeting of the Justice League. At the last minute however they are called away. This angers Speedy who resigns from being a sidekick. The other three use this as an opportunity to prove themselves and investigate a fire at Cadmus Labs. While there they uncover a clone of Superman named Superboy. They free him and in the ensuing escape expose Cadmus’ illegal activities. Impressed with them Batman and the rest of the Justice League agree to allow the sidekicks to form their own team to run secret missions for the League. Batman establishes Young Justice in a secret cave located inside a former Justice League headquarters, Mount Justice, a hollowed-out mountain. Here the teens are trained by Black Canary, given missions by Batman and are watched over by Red Tornado. They are joined by Miss Martian, niece to the Martian Manhunter and Artemis, Green Arrow’s newest protege. The team frequently clashes with the Light, a secret Cabal of super villains, whose actions and identities are unknown to the Justice League. Young Justice also wrestles with internal problems when it is revealed that one of their members is a member of the Light. When Speedy, now going by Red Arrow, becomes a member of the Justice League he is revealed to the traitor and enslaves the entire League with magic and alien tech infused nano-mites. Young Justice is able to break the Light’s hold on all the members Justice League though several members had been briefly transported off world for reasons unknown or where.
Young Justice: Invasion
In Young Justice: Invasion, 19-year old Dick Grayson (voiced by Jesse McCartney) is seen as Nightwing. Nightwing has become leader of the Team, assigning missions to his friends and sometimes fighting side by side with them.
The second season takes place five years later. Robin, now going by Nightwing, Miss Martian and Superboy have been offered a chance to join the Justice League but have decided to remain with Young Justice. Nightwing now serves as team leader, trainer, guardian and League liaison. Kid Flash and Artemis have retired while Aqualad has left the team to be with his father Black Manta, a member of the Light. New members include Beast Boy, Blue Beetle, Robin (Tim Drake), Batgirl, Bumblebee, Lagoon Boy, Wonder Girl, and Impulse. When an alien force attempts a hostile takeover of Earth it is revealed that Justice League had, in a show of force, attacked a peaceful planet while under the control of the Light five years ago. This showed multiple alien races that Earth could be considered a viable member of their empires. After the invasion is defeated those members of the Justice League who lead the attack leave Earth in an attempt to clear their names. As more and more aliens come to Earth the people’s faith in the Justice League begins to dwindle and shift to the Reach, an alien race that offered a peaceful, diplomatic relationship. It is revealed that the Reach are allies of the Light who are looking to conqueror Earth. Their actions attract the attention of their enemy Mongul, who brings his planetary destruction weapon the War World to destroy the Reach. Young Justice is able to defeat Mongul while Aqualad revels himself to be a double agent. He provides the Reach with evidence that the Light was going to betray them and together with his team mates takes down half the Light. Meanwhile the other half brings the War World to Darkseid stating their alliance still stands.
Nightwing appears in the Teen Titans episode “How Long is Forever?”, voiced by Scott Menville. Nightwing is Robin’s identity twenty years in the future.
Nightwing has been featured in The Batman, voiced by Jerry O’Connell. In the episode “Artifacts“, the year 3027 have flashbacks to the year 2027 which features Nightwing. Although he has been active for a decade as Nightwing, he is still called ‘Robin’ by Batman and Oracle much to his annoyance. In the episode “The Metal Face of Comedy”, Nightwing (in his original costume) appears as Dick Grayson’s video game character in an online role playing game.
Barbara Gordon appears as Nightwing alongside Batman in the Smallville “Detective” story arc of the Smallville: Season 11 series. This role was originally to be filled by Stephanie Brown, but DC editorial withdrew permission to use the character after her appearance had already been announced and solicited, necessitating Gordon again replace her. After Barbara is recruited by the Green Lantern Corps as a Blue Lantern, she asks her boyfriend, Dick Grayson, to be her successor as Nightwing and thus becoming Batman’s replacement partner. Unlike previous depictions, Dick was never Bruce Wayne’s ward and protégé as Robin, and was made reference that he was a former circus acrobat-turned-police officer who works for Gotham City Police Department.
On August 31, 2017, actor Brenton Thwaites was revealed to have been cast as Dick Grayson for the upcoming web series Titans. The series is based on the Teen Titans team, later known simply as Titans, from the comics, of which Dick Grayson is a frequent member.