Most know of Dick Grayson as Robin, and later as Nightwing, but you may not have known about the hard position he was put into during the Knightfall fiasco. When Bruce Wayne’s plans fall apart after Bane and Jean-Paul Valley destroy Gotham in an unlikely combination, he arranges it so that he has Dick Grayson as Batman while he travels to figure things out. Dick Reluctantly upholds the mantel, while Tim Drake (the third Robin) is glad to experience some normalcy after the damage the last stand-in did.
Once we see Dick Grayson as Batman, the villains come out of the woodwork. Two-Face make a miraculously simple escape from Arkham Asylum due to a simple mix-up. The Penguin makes an appearance as well, but the person having the toughest time is actually Commissioner Gordon, who is able to tell that the true Batman has not returned. Still withholding trust, he agrees to help him anyhow when Dick informs him that the armored Batman will not be returning.
To the reader, they have seen three different Batman in such a short amount of time. This confusion helped scare away readers during the comic book depression, when people stopped caring. Even so, when we see Dick Grayson as Batman finally, it is a nice change of pace. The idea of Robin being trained by the master and then being able to be his replacement is a powerful thing. Of course, we learn that there is no true replacement for the real McCoy, but that does not stop us from enjoying the story.
The significance of Grayson taking on the mantle of Batman was not only a new opportunity for the character, but also a major turning point in the overall Batman story arc. Having one of Batman’s most trusted protégées take over the cowl proved that Batman’s influence on the world extended beyond his own time as an active crime fighter. Grayson’s brief tenure as Batman also demonstrated his own growth as a hero, as he honed his detective skills and tactics while also bringing his own brand of heroism to the streets of Gotham. Overall, the impact of Grayson as Batman was felt not only in the “The Prodigal” storyline, but in subsequent Batman arcs as well.
After his short stint as Batman, Grayson eventually returned to his role as Nightwing, but his time as The Dark Knight left a lasting impact on the character. Fans were able to witness a more complex and mature version of Grayson, one who had to grapple with the immense burden of the Batman mantle. This experience helped Grayson evolve into a more capable and well-rounded hero, one who could better understand the struggles of those who fought alongside him. Ultimately, Grayson’s turn as Batman served as a defining moment for the character, and it is still celebrated by fans as a testament to his enduring legacy in the DC Universe.
This story arc begins in Batman 512 and is called Prodigal. It is included in Batman: Knightfall Volume 3 which happens to be relatively cheap. So there you have it. We see Dick Grayson as Batman, and an interesting one at that. Any thoughts? Leave a comment below. Or not. I Really do not care.