I’m currently operating Mission: Cheer Myself Up, so I am posting one of my very favorite scenes in the history of comics - Dick becoming Nightwing for the first time, in Tales of the Teen Titans #44.
Jericho kind of ruins the moment, but. Anyway. I have always loved how Dick talks about all of the people who loved him and shaped him into the man he became before he takes on the identity that ultimately ends up defining his adult career. There’s a tendency sometimes to treat Dick becoming Nightwing as having been his way of rebelling against Bruce - I disagree. I think it was a way of breaking free from Bruce, absolutely. A way of coming out of The Batman’s shadow and making himself a new identity as his own man, a hero in his own right and not anybody’s sidekick.
But I definitely think it did NOT come from a place of anger or rebelliousness. I think you see very much in this scene, that he became Nightwing with the full recognition of everything that Bruce had done for him and how much he owed him. Bottom line, I have always seen Dick’s Nightwing identity as one that comes from a place of LOVE - one that he took on from a mindset of loving and appreciating all of the most important people in his life. Because honestly, I think Dick is exactly right here when he says that he is the sum of all the people who have influenced him and given his love. Bruce, Clark, Kory, the other Titans - those relationships define who he is. So I love that those people and his love for them (and theirs for him) are foremost in his mind when he becomes Nightwing.
One of the things I find endlessly, endlessly lovely and compelling about Dick as a person is not only how open he is to influence and be influenced by other people, but also how capable he is of acknowledging that influence and taking strength and identity from it, sldkjfsljdf my looooooooove ♥♥♥♥♥♥