Nightwing joins the Court of Owls as The Gray Son in Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman Hush. The most powerful Nightwing was never a Robin.
Warning, this article contains spoilers for Tales From The Dark Multiverse: Batman Hush #1.
Nightwing was always destined for greatness, one way or another. It was no accident that Dick Grayson of The Flying Graysons was raised in a circus in his formative years. Without even knowing it, the child with incredible acrobatic abilities was being groomed for something he could never imagine. Although Dick became a Robin, he was actually meant to be an owl. Dick Grayson’s grandfather William Cobb was a member of Gotham’s creepiest secret society: The Court of Owls.
Like his grandfather before him, Dick was selected to become a Talon, one of The Court of Owls’ highest-ranking members. William Cobb was also once part of Haly’s Circus, just like The Boy Wonder himself. Everything was going as planned until Dick’s parents were murdered and Bruce Wayne came into his life. Batman became his legal guardian and took him under his wing. Dick’s acrobatic abilities were used to fight crime alongside The World’s Greatest Detective. But what if Bruce Wayne never adopted Dick Grayson?
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Tales From The Dark Multiverse: Batman Hush #1 – by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Dexter Soy – shows readers Dick Grayson as The Gray Son, a Talon of The Court of Owls. This universe’s Batman is far darker than the Batman of Earth-Prime. He spent much of his life in Arkham Asylum, gaining the skills to become Batman from different inmates. He became so horrific that he gained the title “Arkham Devil.” In this issue, The Arkham Devil is loose and he’s coming for everyone involved in the Wayne murders.
Nightwing is sent to investigate the assassination attempt on Senator Thomas Elliot, the man that became Hush on Earth-Prime. Elliot represents the president of the independent city-state of Gotham. The Court of Owls has become government enforcers under Gotham’s new political structure in this universe. Nightwing isn’t a Gray Son he is THE Gray Son, the most elite assassin among an organization filled with elite assassins. He is so skilled that he is part of the personal security detail of the President of Gotham.
Instead of the heroic Nightwing that fights for justice, Dick Grayson has become a tool of a draconian government in Gotham. He is a cog in a corrupt system that keeps order in a society in desperate need of disruption. While being interrogated, Barbara Gordon, now of The Outsiders, calls him a fascist. Nightwing has become the most dangerous he has ever been as The Gray Son without the guidance of Batman. Though this is an entirely different universe, Gray Son is actually who Dick Grayson was destined to be. Batman saved Gotham and the country from his very first sidekick by making him part of the Bat-family.
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