Batgirl & Nightwing's Relationship Is Finally Defined for the Rebirth Era

Nightwing and Batgirl

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batgirl #25 by Mairghred Scott, Tom Derenick, Marguerite Bennett and Dan Panosian, in stores now.

The relationship between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon has essentially designated the pair as the Ross and Rachel of the DC Universe. The two characters are perpetually stuck in a "will they/won't they" situation that seems to be constantly changing. They've been a couple, they've been at odds, they've been friends... somehow, no matter the situation or era, they find their way back to each other.

When Robin met Batgirl all those years ago (as seen in Bargirl: Year One), Dick fell in love, while Barbara pushed him back. However, it didn't take long for the two to start dating, becoming a strong, fan-favorite couple. Eventually, circumstances out of their control pushed them apart, and the two broke up. Over time, they would grow closer again, until inevitably being pulled apart.

Since the onset of the New 52, there have been hints that the two still have feelings for one another, but nothing really concrete would come of it -- that is until the Rebirth relaunch, which saw the two characters reach a new stage in their ever-evolving story: Dick and Barbara started casually sleeping together, from time to time.

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However, Batgirl #25, which works as a finale to the title before the new creative team of Mairghred Scott, Paul Pelletier and Elena Casagrande take over the title in issue # 26, offers a bookend of sorts to the relationship between Dick and Barbara. The issue definitively defines the couple's status in the Rebirth era, by confirming that they do love each other, more than they likely will anyone else

However, it also appears to confirm that they will not, ultimately, end up together.

Batgirl #25 is essentially a Batman/Catwoman wedding fallout issue. As you likely know, the highly-publicized engagement between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle was called off when the bride was expertly manipulated into leaving her husband-to-be at the altar. Naturally, the bombshell event has had an effect on the rest of the Bat-family, who suffered the emotional whiplash of believing in happy endings only to learn the "lesson" that there is no such thing. Such is the realization that comes to Barbara, after finding out that a man she once saved has just been killed by the Joker. Madmen kill innocents, and superheroes can't find love -- there are simply no happily ever afters in Gotham City.

Some sound advice given to her by the mother of the deceased leads Barbara to reach out to the one person who has always been there for her, no matter what: Dick Grayson. And, true to form, Dick comes to her aid, to be her shoulder to cry on (and her hotel bedroom-sharing partner). As the two spend the night together, they talk about what they envision their happy endings to be -- and if those visions include each other. As the two reveal what they want, they come to the bittersweet realization that while they may be meant for each other, and they may love each other more than anyone else, they ultimately want different things. The simple truth is that they will not end up together.

Yes, Dick and Barbara, right now, are in love with each other, and they more than likely always will be. But they don't talk about the future, because the future can never be certain -- especially in a world of gods, aliens and superheroes. All they can do is focus on the nights they spend together, and be there for one another, enjoying the time they have together in the here and now.

KEEP READING: Will Dick Grayson Become Nightwing on Titans? (and Can He?)

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