www.cbr.com

When the New Titans Lost Nightwing to the Batman Comics Line

This is a feature called "Beg Steal or Borrow," which is about when comic book characters are abruptly pulled from one book to another. I'm not talking about when comic book characters simply migrate from one title to another (I spotlight examples of that in my feature, "Looks Like I'm Moving"). I mean examples where a writer has a character taken out of the book against their wishes. It almost always happens in team books, but sometimes it occurs in solo titles, as well.

Today, we look at how the Titans lost Nightwing to the Batman titles in the 1990s.

Robin has been part of the Teen Titans ever since the team was put together. When the team relaunched in the 1980s, he was obviously right along for the ride as the team's leader...

Continue scrolling to keep reading Click the button below to start this article in quick view.

However, the issue for years was that while Robin was part of the Titans, he was REALLY part of the Batman titles primarily. There was only a certain amount of freedom that Marv Wolfman and George Perez had with his character development. That changed when they were allowed to have him retire as Robin and become Nightwing instead...

For the next decade, Nightwing was primarily a New Teen Titans characters (the book was re-named New Titans eventually). Heck, he was THE MAIN character in the series, really, as he was the team's leader. However, things changed when his wedding to his teammate, Starfire, was interrupted by some bad guys...

Starfire split and Dick eventually tracked her down to a remote village in South America. He found her, though, right as she was heading off to space to fight some bad guys attacking the Earth (the other Titans were in space fighting the same bad guys)...

With her gone, Dick had to help defend the village and he embraced the role of a hero again for the first time in a while...

New Titans #113 (by Marv Wolfman and Bill Jaaska) was a nice tribute to Nightwing's life...

It showed a man at a crossroads...

It ended with a good bit about how he WAS the Boy Wonder, but now he was a man...

In reality, though, Dick's growth was directly related to the Batman titles effectively taking their character back, as Dick's time in the Titans had caused him to miss out on Knightfall (where Batman named a new replacement Batman), but they weren't going to have him miss Knightsend (where Batman returned to reclaim his role)...

So Wolfman now had to write Nightwing out of the Titans. He had him decide to leave the team officially in New Titans #114 (art by Rick Mays and Will Blyberg)...

He tells Arsenal later in the issue, leaving Arsenal as the new leader of the team...

And he and Starfire officially break up...

A new team of Titans then formed under Arsenal's leadership (and Sarge Steel's oversight)....

Wolfman was allowed to at least have the #0 issue introducing the team be framed around a mysterious visitor to Steel's office...

Who was, of course, Nightwing...

Nightwing then briefly took over as Batman (as once he got the role back, Batman needed some time off)...

and then got a new costume, as he was firmly a Batman character once again...

If anyone else has a suggestion for an example of a comic book character being ripped from a series, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

Arrow Monitor feature
Arrow Reveals One Character Has Been Working For The Monitor All Along

More in CBR Exclusives