Nightwing is one of the best fighters in the DC Universe and, with years of combat experience, he is prepared for any enemy, with or without superpowers.
Warning: Contains spoilers for Nightwing # 81!
As a lifelong crime fighter and former Dark Knight, At night He is one of the best fighters in the DC Universe, especially against superhuman threats. After years of experience facing enemies of all kinds, Dick Grayson is ready for anything. The last issue of At night shows just how prepared the hero of Blüdhaven really is, with combat moves specifically designed to take down enhanced humans.
Nightwing # 81 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo and Adriano Lucas sees Dick taking on his new enemy named Heartless. This ruthless criminal has been living up to his name, using a futuristic weapon to steal the hearts of his victims across the city. At first, Nightwing’s mysterious new villain seems like an easy pick for Flying Grayson, but Dick soon discovers that there is more to this monster than meets the eye.
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Confronting Heartless in the burning remnants of what was once a downtown shelter for homeless children, Nightwing initially rushes the assassin over and throws one of his signature scrum sticks straight into his enemy’s face. But when Heartless manages to turn the tables by catching the scrima stick and hitting Nightwing with his own weapon, Dick sees that he has underestimated this new threat. Realizing that his goal has improved, Nightwing decides to switch to his “counter-superhuman techniques.He begins to dance around his enemy, dodging Heartless’s powerful but inexperienced blows. Keeping his opponent physically and mentally unbalanced, he can use Heartless’s momentum against him and temporarily cut off his air supply. While their fight is interrupted by one of Heartless’s traps, Nightwing stands his ground against this super-powerful threat.
It’s no wonder Nightwing has an arsenal of counter-superhuman techniques at his disposal. After all, he was raised and trained by Batman, a man whose penchant for contingency planning has returned to hunt down his superhuman allies on more than one occasion. Not only does it make sense for Batman to come up with such techniques and train his protégés in their use, but it is entirely logical that Nightwing developed these abilities on his own. Fans actually saw another perfectly judged counter-superhuman technique in the previous issue, when Nightwing and Robin pitted Electrocutioner and Brutale against each other, using the villains’ powers to end the fight.
It’s easy to forget that Dick Grayson became Robin very early in Bruce’s career as Batman. While Bruce is obviously the bigger crime fighter of the two, he only has a couple more years of experience than his older adopted son. Not only that, but the early years of Bruce’s career were spent largely fighting human criminals, with the exception of Gotham monsters like Solomon Grundy or perhaps the carnivorous Killer Croc. Batman had barely faced superhuman threats before Dick Grayson began fighting alongside him as the Boy Wonder, and they learned to face these dangerous new threats as a team.
As the founder and leader of the Teen Titans, Dick has faced superhuman opponents for most of his life. Often, he was one of the only powerless members of the team, so it’s no wonder that he’s instantly comfortable in a situation where lesser fighters could be outdone. Heartless may be stronger, but in a one-on-one fight, it’s clear that artificial enhancement is no match for At nightskill and experience.
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