When he was a child, Dick Grayson's parents were murdered right in front of him. Sound familiar? Yeah, that might be why Bruce Wayne took the young boy on as a ward. Grayson then took on the persona of Robin, fighting crime alongside Batman, before branching out on his own as Nightwing. But Batman wasn't always the best role model; especially in early comics, he had a habit of gruesomely disposing of his enemies without a second thought. So it makes sense that some of that instability rubbed off on Nightwing, leading to some violent Nightwing moments in DC Comics history.
This list contains some of the bloodiest Nightwing comics moments. From killing the Joker to taking down criminals in Blüdhaven, Nightwing has dome some pretty brutal things. Vote up the most gruesome Nightwing moments from DC Comics.
Nightwing Is Raped by Tarantula
Often cited as one of the most controversial moments in comic history, Nightwing vol. 2, #93, depicts Nightwing being raped by Tarantula.
As Nightwing is battling Blockbuster, Tarantula arrives on the scene with a gun and ends the villain's life. Horrified by what he just witnessed in addition to being physically worn out from his fight with the villain, Nightwing goes into shock and lies on the rooftop. Tarantula then takes advantage of Nightwing's weakened state and rapes him as he says, "Don't touch me..."
This is easily one of the most disturbing and intense moments in Nightwing's history and is also the first instance of a man being raped in the DC Comics universe.
Nightwing Murders the Joker
In the 2001 crossover series Joker's Last Laugh, the clown prince of crime finds out he is suffering from a brain tumor and decides that he wants to go out with a bang. He wants his last laugh to be death at the hands of Batman - or a member of the Bat-Family.
After discovering Robin's shredded uniform (Tim Drake, at this point), Nightwing goes to confront the Joker. The Joker, always being one to taunt his opponents, tells Nightwing that Robin, whom he claims he just killed, hit harder than that. Giving Joker his last laugh, Nightwing, in a surprisingly out-of-character move, murders him, beating him to death with his bare hands, a scene which other members of the Bat-Family, including a very much alive Robin, walk in on. Disturbed, Nightwing leaves the room, in disbelief of what he just did.
The Joker is later revived, but it is clear that Nightwing crossed a line that members of the Bat-Family do not cross.
Nightwing Announces His Return by Smearing His Symbol on a Villian's Chest in Blood
DC's New 52 reboot of Nightwing wasted no time introducing us to a more violent, vengeance-fueled Dick Grayson. Vol. 1, #1, Traps and Trapezes, opens with Grayson beating a baddie to a pulp, leaving his symbol smeared in blood on the villain's chest. Then, the story - which revolves around Grayson revisiting the circus that he grew up in - kicks off. What an introduction, right?
Nightwing Clears a Criminal's Throat
Nightwing vol. 2, #118, opens with a shocking image: the former Boy Wonder slashing the throat of a criminal while asking, "You got something stuck in your throat?"
This was a very out-of-character move for Nightwing, so it's not much of a surprise that it was not actually Dick Grayson that committed the murder, but fellow former Robin Jason Todd's doing. Todd had impersonated Nightwing, and when Nightwing finally confronts him, he suggests to Grayson that the two fight crime as a duo. Nightwing refused due to Jason's lack of hesitation to kill, but he did save Todd after he was thrown from a rooftop later in the run.