Warning: spoilers for Nightwing #82 are ahead.
For Nightwing, being better than Batman is an ongoing challenge that Dick Grayson has taken on in DC Comics. Though his life has not been without its fair share of tragedy, several members of the Bat-Family and beyond look towards Dick as a well-adjusted role model who renders an important alternative to Bruce Wayne. This has been immediately addressed in the current Nightwing run by writer Tom Taylor, creator Bruno Redondo, colorist Adriano Lucas, and letterer Wes Abbott, which is shaping up to be one of the best takes on the character yet. Showcasing the essence of Dick Grayson’s attribute, including his improvements on many of Batman’s mistakes, this back-to-basics approach prompts followers of why they cherish Nightwing in the first place.
Nightwing # 82 brings all this to the forefront, as Nightwing demonstrates that he understands one of the greatest artilleries in Batman’s arsenal, horror, a little better than the Caped Crusader himself. After breaking into Melinda Zucco’s home and get beaten up by her bodyguard, Nightwing called off the back-up from the rest of the Bat-Family and their collaborators. Even though his friends and family contemplated his life was in imminent danger, Dick said it was not absurd that Zucco’s parties acted in accordance with the rules that they did, stating that, “They protected themselves from a cloaked adult who separate into their home.”
Despite the fact that he was attacked and had his identity as Dick Grayson revealed to Melinda Zucco, Nightwing does not braced it against her for reacting the nature that she did, because he understands that fear makes people react in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t. Unlike Batman, Nightwing tends to not take things personally and does not give the response that Melinda had to his break-in color his judgment of her. This contrasts sharply with Batman, who is open about abusing panic as a artillery in his fight against crime, but often misconstrues parties and punishes them when they are scared by his tactics.
The difference that Nightwing has from Batman in his approach as a superhero is that he understands that sometimes the best solution is not to heighten a fight, but to listen to those who have not gotten the chance to speak. Not every conflict can be solved through intimidation, physical force, or psychological fear, and Nightwing assistances massively from his ability to talk his road through a difficult situation.
This current turn for Nightwing has shown how averse Dick Grayson is to haras people as a means of gathering information. And while Batman is known as the world’s greatest sleuth, he has, on numerous occasions, come knowledge out of beings by scaring them. In Nightwing # 79, Dick was humbled after he inadvertently startled children at a homeless encampment due to his masked illusion. This caused him to send his puppy, Haley, and Tim Drake’s Robin in the next matter to gather information on Bludhaven’s brand-new devil, Heartless, on his behalf because, “People are more affable with a winsome dog.”
The greatest lesson that Nightwing has learned about fear is that he can do plenty of good for people without making them afraid of him. This builds on his existing characterization as the member of the Bat-Family who is supposed to be “better than Batman” in his activities as a superhero. That said, with a new type of threat on the horizon with the upcoming Fear State event, fans will soon get a glimpse of how this will play out for him as Scarecrow starts a brand-new fear-based attack. If their relationship to fear is what separates Nightwing and Batman, then their response to its weaponization will be even more telling of their fundamental differences.
Read more: screenrant.com