In the past I wrote about the time when Catalina Flores raped Nightwing. However this was not the only time a woman had taken advantage of him. In the comic Team Titans from 1992, a character from the future recongized him as being her lover, and decided to use deception to get what she wanted. So yes, Dick Grayson was in fact raped twice in comic history.
The rape issue in question was during the Total Chaos story arch. A team of heroes traveled back in time to stop Lord Chaos, the son of Donna Troy (Wonder Girl). One of these so-called heroes was called Mirage, who happened to be the lover of Nightwing. The trouble started In Deathstroke The Terminator issue 14 when Mirage began posing as Starfire. This was necessary so she could break in and save her captive friend.
Later we discover that Mirage also used the situation to have sex with Nightwing. Through deception, she successfully raped him while he thought she was Starfire. Naturally, Dick was still blamed immediately afterward for the incident. Because everything is a man’s fault, it seems.
The way this was all presented seems very bizarre to me. The nonchalant mention of sexual assault is sort of brushed off as a joke, as if a man being used or abused is of no serious nature. Because men are supposed to want it, right? This one-sided double standard thing turns this joke into something as tasteless as the McRib sandwich at McDonalds.
To read this story for yourself, you need to pick up Team Titans issue 2. As previously mentioned, the story arch is called Total Chaos if you are interested in reading the entire thing. Leave a comment with your thoughts. Are rape jokes like this okay in comic books? Or anywhere, for that matter?
6 thoughts on “Nightwing Raped By Mirage”
She looks yummy.
I am so glad I found someone who actually has common sense for once. It’s always annoyed me that people always blamed Dick for this, and say that he cheated on Starfire, when it wasn’t his fault and he was actually the victim. I also got annoyed that in the comic it’s like they try justifying that he’s at fault because apparently Starfire would have noticed it wasn’t him if the roles were switched. I’ve always found this reasoning half-assed and annoying since I feel like it one of those scenarios where you think that you would know but when you’re in the situation yourself, you don’t know. I get that Starfire was hurt by this, but he was also a victim, not just Starfire. And to people that say that he consented to it, you’re wrong, he consented to having sex with STARFIRE, NOT mirage.
This is sadly not an uncommon situation, even in reverse. There are so many stories where a woman ‘cheats’ on her husband because some god thought it was funny to disguise as him, and then she gets punished for her infidelity. The fact that it was reversed here definitely does not make it any better. Maybe it wasn’t as traumatizing as it could have been, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t rape. It isn’t consent if you don’t know what you are consenting to after all.
I absolutely hate Mirage in the comics. Especially when she raped Nightwing and caused a lot of trouble for him and Starfire. I can’t blame Dick for that because Mirage actually tricked him.
This is absolutely rape and should not be taken one iota less seriously because the victim is a man–in fact it should have been a moment to show men can be raped too. If say Martian Manhunter had shifted into Tim so he could have non-consensual sex with Stephanie, there would not be a nanosecond of hesitation to call that rape and zero nanoseconds of shaming the victim.
Dick cannot be blamed for not realizing it was Mirage in Starfire’s form. He says Mirage came onto him very aggressively and his hormones had taken over: who, in the throes of passion, stops to analyze whether or not your girlfriend is a shapeshifter?!?! Why would that even occur to you, unless you live in an alternate universe where everyone can shift shape and shapeshifter rape is the number one crime?!?!
Far from consenting, Dick clearly did not want to have sex with her, saying “I don’t even know you.” It’s in fact because he said NO that she resorted to tricking him with the meta equivalent of being roofied.
And he was very much hurt by being raped. It damaged his relationships with his girlfriend and “friends.” He was victim-blamed and slut-shamed no matter how he explained he was a “one-woman man” and anything other than monogamy is “against his morals” (which had right before been a painful problem when Kory had to be with a prince on Tamaran.)
Dick is unlucky in love, but he is consistently a demisexual, evident in his actions and dialogues, and even made explicit in “Grayson”, that he is not okay with casual sex and instead needs physical intimacy to occur within emotional intimacy. So he is hurt by the meaningless sex and the infidelity as well as the betrayal and violation of rape.
*EDIT “taken one less iota”
Here’s an excellent blog on Dick’s monogamy and modesty–kinda ironic his name is “Dick”!