You may have heard of Dick Grayson, Batman’s former sidekick Robin who later became Nightwing. Since this character was born Richard John Grayson it doesn’t take a lot to conclude that Ric Grayson is the same person. But why the name change? Who is he really and how did this happen?
The story arc with Ric Grayson began in Batman 55 (Affiliate Link) (volume 4) from 2018. This issue had a rather startling and sudden twist near the end when we see Nightwing shot in the head by a man named KGBeast. (Stupid name? I agree.) For the next few issues Batman tracks down his enemy and breaks his neck but doesn’t conclude who hired KGBeast to shoot Nightwing. In typical DC fashion, you would have no idea that he actually survived the bullet through his head unless you happened to read a completely different series. Nightwing Issue 50 reveals that not only did he survive the attack (with little to no explanation) but happened to begin calling himself Ric Grayson. It is implied that he began doing this due to his injury.
When thinking about who is Ric Grayson, consider that he had become a completely new person. He denies his former life and decides to create a new future for himself, regardless of what he may have been in the past. So you may be wondering, does this Ric Grayson character ever become Nightwing again? Of course he does. Could you imagine if one of DC’s characters was removed? I mean they had a whole comic just for him and he’s clearly a fan favorite. Think about the comic book crash of the 90s. Superman “died” and Batman had his back fractured. With two of the most popular comic book characters out of commission things went sour quick. Add a dash of “let’s make five collectable versions of the same comic” and a pinch of lying about comics being valuable collectibles and you have a recipe for disaster. Sprinkle it with hype from Wizard Magazine and forgettable characters, story and art from Image and you have a cookie-cutter industry crash.