Nightwing has spent more time in The Bat’s shadow than anyone else in the Bat-family, with the exception of Alfred (and let’s be honest, no one overshadows Alfred.) To say that Bruce had a formative effect on Dick, and Batman a formative effect on Nightwing, would both be significant understatements. Yet, in all of his time with Bruce as Robin, Dick never became him. On the contrary, in fact, the time they spent together seemed to drive Dick away from Bruce’s path, which is honestly what Bruce wanted in the first place.
Nightwing owes many, many things to Batman. His training, the second half of his upbringing, and yes, a piece of who he is, in personality. You can’t spend time around Batman and not be molded by him, however Nightwing has distinguished himself in several major ways, the first of which is a forward-looking attitude. While Bruce broods on the death of his parents, Dick has learned to heal from his parents’ death, and look forward into a brighter future.
Tragedies can shape us in many ways. We are hurt by them, but we also heal from them. While a tragedy changes you, fundamentally, you have a say in how it changes you. You can choose to dwell on the darkness, and be swallowed up by it. Or, you can choose to reject the abyss – to look towards a brighter future. Sometimes this may take help from others, sometimes it just takes a deep and honest conversation with yourself. Nightwing has chosen to see how good a tomorrow can be created, rather than think on how bad a past he has experienced.
Nightwing is Nightwing because he is his own, independent person. Regardless of which origin story you’re reading on him, one central theme stays: a drive to stand on his own two feet, and follow his own path in the world. Nightwing has established himself as his own, unique hero, with his own take on things. While his skills are more than enough to set him among the elite, he remains a more humble, good-natured character than most of the other “grimdark night-heroes” he associates with.
It’s important in life to be your own independent person. Too often, we find ourselves overwhelmingly influenced by those around us. While it’s true, you can’t stop the people you associate with from shaping you in some way, shape, or form, you can stop associating with certain people. You can make a choice to surround yourself with positivity, rather than negativity. You are your own person, just like Nightwing, and no matter how strong a personality you may find yourself surrounded by, you can always stand for yourself, and your principles.
Live YOUR Legend
I’m going to refer to an old, old BaGC post series here: Be the HERO of Your Life. Nightwing, as we’ve mentioned, has created his own persona, independent of what others may think or want of him. He’s got his own methods, his own reasons, and his own set of guiding principles. This puts him in conflict with others, sometimes, but he doesn’t use this as an excuse to change these principles. Instead, he uses it as a reason to examine and reinforce his own principles, and in turn, examine who he spends his time with.
Nightwing understands his own path, his own legend. He knows what he wants to represent in the world, and the values he wants to espouse. You need to figure out your own story, and find your own path. If you don’t know the road you want to walk on, how are you going to walk it? You need to take the time to have a deep conversation with yourself, and figure out what you want your legend to be. Just like Nightwing did.
For me? The legend I want to create, and the legacy I want to leave, is helping people to live more boldly, change the world for the better, and become more awesome than they already are.
You are your own hero. Don’t settle for being someone else’s sidekick. Decide what YOUR legend is going to be.
That’s it for our time with Nightwing! I hope you enjoyed it! I’ll see you again on Monday with a new post!