Thursday, November 16, 2006

Profile: Robin 1/Nightwing

Dick Grayson, Robin 1/Nightwing
First appearance: historically speaking, Dick Grayson first debuted in 1940 in Batman, though by today’s standards, that would be regarded as the Robin of Earth-2, who, while he grew up, he never took on a different codename for himself, and has since been written out of continuity. If it’s the Silver Age we’re talking about, that’s a good question. I would say that the Dick Grayson we know today debuted in the mid-1950s. He took up the role of Nightwing in 1984, at the time taking his name from an old Kryptonian legend, later on just thinking of the name himself in post-Crisis years.

Current status: still a member of the current Outsiders, though whether you could call him a leader with the way it’s being written is remains in question.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in Nightwing #93, he was raped by a villainess called Tarantula.

That does sound hard to believe, doesn’t it? But, in the age of the internet, little seems hard to swallow anymore. The writer, Devin Grayson, and DC themselves, admitted that this was what happened, but put it lightly, saying that they had “non-consensual sex.” There are plenty of search results available on Google, and you can see which ones are the best.

It took seven issues until Nightwing went after Tarantula in issue #100, beat her in a battle and took her to jail, and even that was underwhelming.

What’s wrong with how this was done? It was pointlessly written, in the ways of a sloppy fanfic. In fact, now that I recall, Devin Grayson did dabble in fanfiction writing before she’d turned to comics writing, but which doesn’t make this any good.

Seeing as this took place during the same year as Identity Crisis came out, one could wonder: was it done as some kind of a moral equivalence to put alongside Sue Dibny’s own violation at the hands of Dr. Light, to show that they’re capable of writing a story in which even a male character is victimized? There’s no way to be sure, but, what proof does DC have that the audience is asking across the board for even male characters to undergo rape?

Whether the victim is male or female, it’s not justified and it’s not called for either way. Period.


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