Dick Grayson is famed for some key milestones: the original sidekick, was the first Robin; he was the longest-serving leader of the Teen Titan; and he has perhaps the most famous butt in superhero comics (just ask Midnighter). However, he's also known for his selection of different costumes, from the Boy Wonder to Nightwing, some iconic, and others downright questionable.
That sartorial evolution was recently chronicled by artist Nicola Scott in an illustration highlighting 10 of Dick's costumes, with his near-iconic butt front and center, naturally. He's gone from subtle, utilitarian dark to Boy Wonder red to ... whatever he was going for with that prominent collar. So, it's a good time to pay tribute to one of the most versatile heroes in DC, ranking Dick Grayson's costumes, as depicted in Scott's illustration, from worst to the most butt-tastic of them all.
Classic Blue V
The first iteration of the Blue V costume is one of the least spectacular versions. It contains all the elements that would later make up the iconic Blue V, but small details make it somewhat underwhelming to look at.
The V is far thicker than it would be in later iterations, which leaves the costume looking less streamlined. The appeal of the Blue V is its sleek design. However, this one leaves much to be desired.
New 52 Red V
The New 52 tried to set itself apart by turning the V of the Modern Blue V costume red. This immediately set it apart from the prior costumes, yes, but it also in many ways made it stand out in a negative way.
Of note, it brings back the bird head to the V shape, after the "head" was absent in the earlier Blue Vs, but this small change isn't really enough.
The intense red of the suit feels so unlike Nightwing that it clashes with the other aesthetics. Nightwing has always been a hero aesthetically linked to the color blue. At the same time, it's otherwise so similar to the previous costumes that the change feels strangely arbitrary.
Second Disco Suit
The second disco outfit attempts to mediate the prior, controversial disco suit with a more conservative, restrained look. In many ways, this is a precursor to what would become the iconic Nightwing suit, with the beginnings of what would later become a "V."
However, it's too flamboyant to fit in with the later, more refined suits, while also not being gaudy enough to be as memorable as the prior disco suit. In this sense, it stands out from the rest in a way that's distinct, but also somewhat silly.
Modern Blue V
This suit refined the prior V suit, making the V slightly more narrow. It grants Nightwing a more streamlined look, making him appear more agile and quick on his feet.
But the most important distinction is the color scheme. The prior design had a sightly more muted blue, while this one has a more electric blue color scheme. This brings the suit to life in ways that the prior suits never really managed. It gives Nightwing an energy all his own.
Yes, this isn't a Nightwing costume, but Dick Grayson's Robin outfit remains one of the most iconic costumes in comic history, and appears in the original Scott picture illustrating all the costumes.
However, while the costume is not as refined as the later Robin outfits, Grayson's Robin captures the gaudiness of what a kid would imagine a superhero to be. Grayson would later refine his costume to be more practical and stylish. However, Grayson's Robin costume captures the imagination of a child who dreams of being a hero.
DC Rebirth "Blue V"
The Blue V was refined in the DC Rebirth era. In many respects, this new design is almost identical to the Modern Blue V. The big difference that is immediately apparent is the mask. The mask is blue, matching the V. The other key difference? The V has its bird head! This is a small detail that has been missing ever since the "Wings" outfit, but it's a difference that combines the best elements of the refined later versions and the rougher, albeit memorable early costumes.
It's only a little different than the prior design, but it just proves how effective that first design was that it reoccurs throughout the character's history. However, just because it's the most refined version of an already refined outfit, that doesn't mean it's the most butt-tastic Nightwing costume.
Classic "Wings" Costume
Before the V, Nightwing's symbol was an actual bird, spreading his wings and flying solo. While it looks similar to the Blue V design people have admired for years, this subtle difference puts the Nightwing's Wings costume apart from the rest.
Of note, several animated Nightwings incorporate elements of this design in their own, making it one of the most iconic Nightwing looks despite only being in the comics for a few years. Most modern designs draw from the Blue V outfits rather than not.
This is the greatest Nightwing outfit ever made.
No, really. If you were to line up all the other Nightwing outfits next to each other, as you did in the Scott image, this suit stands out from all the others for being so flamboyant and so intensely different from everything else. The artist needed to draw your eye to Nightwing's round butt in order to fight for your attention against the flamboyant, ridiculous Disco Suit.
Even decades later, people are still laughing about this suit, yet, despite that, it contains all the elements that would later become iconic features of Nightwing. The V is a flamboyant collar that reveals Nightwing's pectoral muscles. It hearkens back to the circus aesthetic of the Flying Graysons. It in every way captures Dick Grayson's character, for all it is worth. Dick Grayson is an extra, extra person. And he deserves credit for this.