Dick Grayson is one of the most underrated heroes of the DC Universe. Many know him as a side-kick to Batman, as the leader of the Teen Titans, as Robin, as Nightwing, as even, at one point, Batman himself. However, to simply write him off by these names does not do justice to Dick Grayson's class of character.
Dick Grayson may not be a member of the Justice League, but he is able to hold a niche in the DC Universe that no other hero has. In fact, Dick Grayson, in many ways, exists as the heart of the DC Universe. He is, in many ways, just as good a hero as his mentor, Bruce Wayne. But in many other ways, he's even better.
10 Just As Brilliant As Bruce
Dick Grayson had the best education Bruce Wayne's money could buy. He learned countless languages, historical facts, battle strategies, etc. Despite being raised a gymnast, he found himself in an opportunity to learn much from Bruce and used it to his advantage.
Because of this, he is just as brilliant as Bruce Wayne, though is often not given credit for being just as smart. Often, he is regarded as just Batman's side-kick, not Batman's peer or equal. This puts a diminished value on the knowledge Dick fostered while under Batman's wing.
9 Has A Healthier Love Life Than Batman
Batman sure knows how to pick 'em. Catwoman, Talia Al-Ghul... Batman has a tumultuous love life with his greatest adversaries and enemies.
On the other hand, Dick Grayson has a fairly healthy love life. While he has multiple flings, his two most noteworthy love interests are Starfire and Barbara Gordon. With both women, Grayson has a healthy relationship. They communicate, work together, do things for one another that raise them up. When Barbara Gordon lost the use of her legs, Dick brought her to a circus trapeze to leave her feeling weightless.
The point is Dick is a good boyfriend.
8 Earned The Title Of Batman
In the Battle for the Cowl arc, many people wished to replace Bruce Wayne as Batman following the events of Final Crisis. But Dick Grayson earned it.
Anyone who can earn the mantle of Batman—then be willing to surrender it to its original owner once he returns—is a worthy peer to Batman. The events of this arc prove that Grayson is both a strong and clever enough hero to be Batman, but has the goodness of heart to only take up the mantle out of necessity, not out of greed or a thirst for power. This ties into the fact that...
7 Dick Is Trusted By Everyone
When pre-Flashpoint Superman appeared in the New 52 Universe, Dick Grayson stated he trusted Kal-El. Kal-El treated this like the highest honor. This is because Dick Grayson is widely trusted and beloved by the DC superhero community.
In fact, he is respected even more than Batman. Bruce Wayne is feared. People trust and love Dick Grayson. Batman behaves in a rehearsed, controlled way, but others feel Grayson's warmth and genuine interest in their needs. Perhaps this ties into how...
6 Dick Doesn't Want To Hurt His Companions
There have been multiple times when the members of the Teen Titans have "turned evil" or at least been a threat. Aside from Raven, who is often mind-controlled by Trigon, there was a time when Cyborg assimilated with a cybernetic race known as the Technis. Cyborg apparently had been completely assimilated into the machine race's homeworld, but the dormant side of him craving companionship brought him on a crash course to Earth.
The Justice League believed Cyborg was gone and decided to destroy the Technis and Cyborg all together. The Teen Titans—ted by Nightwing—refused, because they refused to hurt their friend if there was even the smallest chance of bringing him back. Dick Grayson refuses to hurt the people he loves if he is in complete control of his faculties.
This is opposed to Batman, who set up a contingency plan to subdue everyone he worked with should they turn against them.
5 Just As Talented A Fighter — Maybe Even Better
Batman has taught Dick every form of martial arts he knows. In order to fight alongside Batman, Dick had to be equally skilled.
But it goes beyond that. Dick, much like Lady Shiva and Cassandra Cain, can read the body language of any opponent to anticipate their every attack before they strike. He is able to respond to attacks before they can be issued. Because of this, he is on par with the greatest martial arts in the DC world.
He may not have the raw physical strength of Batman, but, given his lighter build, perhaps it's better he doesn't. His body is built for a different sort of fighting. One that prioritizes technical talent over power. So, to match Bruce Wayne, Dick had to become a better technical fighter.
4 Dick Is The World's Greatest Gymnast
Dick Grayson is the only human on earth who can do a quadruple somersault. As the only living Grayson, Grayson was trained not only by his family but also, without his knowledge, by the Court of Owls to be a superb warrior and fighter. This started by making him the greatest gymnast on Earth.
This is a talent Batman does not possess. This flexibility and grace makes Dick unique among DC superheroes. He is able to accomplish feats that no other human can on Earth — not even his mentor, Batman.
3 He Is A Better Leader Than Batman
Let's ignore the fact that Nightwing is the leader and founder of the Teen Titans. After all, this point is obvious and self-explanatory. Batman never founded a superhero team...except for the time he did.
When the Justice League was dragged through time, emergency protocol left behind by Batman reestablished a replacement Justice League that would exist until the main team returned. In this secondary Justice League, Batman recognized that Dick Grayson was the best to lead the team, and appointed him the leader. This shows that Batman, in his infinite wisdom, saw that Dick Grayson was a worthy leader to follow-up Superman's inspirational role as head of the Justice League. This is a role Bruce knows he could never fill, but his ward—his student—could. And did.
2 Just As Good Of A Detective As Batman (And A Better Spy)
It goes without saying that Dick is a good detective. He was trained by the world's greatest detective, Bruce Wayne. However, Dick's abilities as a detective go beyond that.
When working as a government agent, Dick Grayson proved he could use his detective skills to perform acts of espionage and spying. Using his investigative and stealth abilities, he proved himself to be an incredibly adept spy.
1 Dick Didn't Let Darkness Overtake Him
Perhaps Dick Grayson's greatest accomplishment, however, is how Dick is unlike Batman. Dick learned a lot from Bruce over his tenure as Robin, but what ultimately divided the two was how Dick could let go of the darkness that had consumed his mentor.
Dick Grayson is many things. Yes, he too suffered the loss of his family at the hands of criminals, but he found the ability to open up to his new family — to the Bat Family, to the Teen Titans. On the other hand, Bruce couldn't. He could never trust anyone else with all the secrets. One reason Bruce Wayne never takes a human life is because he fears what he will become if he starts down that path. He is only a few steps away from becoming that which he fears.
But Dick never struggled with that. He didn't want to kill because he didn't want to. He didn't feel afraid of turning into a monster if he took one life because those thoughts aren't natural for him. Dick is the light Batman needed to balance his darkness, and this is what makes Nightwing a better hero than Batman. Dick Grayson can do everything Batman can with 80% less brooding.