Real Name: Dick Grayson
First Appearance: Detective Comics #38 (April, 1940)
Group Affiliation: Bat-Family, The Titans
Gaming Credentials: Adventures of Batman & Robin (1994); Batman Forever (1995); Batman & Robin (1998); Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003); Lego Batman (2008); DC Universe Online (TBA)
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #29
Not a dream! Not a hoax! Not a misprint! Not an imaginary story!
Up until now you were probably comfortable in the fact that Batman is Bruce Wayne, but all of that changed last week when Dick Grayson made his first official outing as the Dark Knight in the pages of Batman & Robin #1!
Long story cut short: when Darkseid and the evil New Gods fell from the Fourth World, they walked the Earth as men, bringing a new reign of destruction upon an unsuspecting humanity! During the Final Crisis, evil won, and all but a pocket of resistance was enslaved to the Anti-Life Equation spread by Darkseid and his army of Purifiers.
While Mr. Terrific, Supergirl, Lex Luthor, and others turned the tables in the field; Batman escaped the shackles that bound him in the early goings, to come face-to-face with Darkseid himself! With life on Earth hanging in the balance, Batman broke the stalemate of their stand-off, willingly sacrificing himself before a blast from Darkseid's Omega Sanction eyebeam in order to fire one shot from a timegun containing a Radion bullet! The wound would end Darkseid's evil and save humanity, but for Batman, life and death have become one and the same!
The truth behind Bruce Wayne's circumstances remain unknown to both the reader, and the heroes he fought for.
When Superman returned from adventures through time and space, he reigned down upon Darkseid and the villains with a fury, emerging with what appeared to Bruce Wayne's corpse. Is this merely the vestigal shell of a man whose consciousness and soul have been thrust through time and space [a fate much the same as that which once befell Crisis hero, Sonny Sumo], or is Batman truly dead? For Dick Grayson, Alfred Pennyworth, Tim Drake, and the other members of the extended Bat-family, the facts were simple -- their mentor and ally was gone with no signs of coming back.
Despite a will and testament that compelled Grayson to leave the Bat-mantle in the grave with Wayne, Gotham City makes a compelling argument for the necessity of a Batman. When chaos gripped the city already known for it's madness, the former-Robin was forced to accept that it was always he that was groomed to be the heir to the Batman. After fending off unwanted attempts by the black sheep of the family [Jason Todd] to claim the mantle, Dick was finally able to end the brief battle for the cowl, to finally don the cape and mantle as a new Batman.
As with much of the DC Universe; Dick Grayson is slated to appear in the aptly titled MMO, DC Universe Online. Chances are you shouldn't expect the changes to carry over, however. Dick Grayson has already been announced to appear alongside the Dark Knight Detective in his better known contemporary guise of Nightwing.
The change might not be permenant enough to warrant confusing the issue in licensed media, but Dick Grayson's stepping out as Batman is more than enough to make him Hero of the Week!
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