Any of you geeklings that have been reading Discover Geek for a while know that our favorite comic book characters tend to be the villains. That’s fine because, for most people, their favorites are the heroes. Who does that leave? It leaves The Others, the Alfreds and the Oracles; it leaves the Robins and the Bucky Barnes’s.
Inspired by the appearance of Speedy in our Green Arrow action figures collection, we decided to start covering those who are too cool to be as neglected as they are. The first on our list, understandably, has got to be Nightwing.
Don’t know who he is? You don’t even need to. These 12 Nightwing shirts will give you a good crash course.
1. Robin is All Grown Up (But Not in the Rugrats Sequel Way)
There was a lot of debate over the end of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Batman trilogy. Just who was Joseph Gorden Levitt’s character, Robin or Nightwing? Technically, comicverse-wise, they’re one in the same, but Nolan didn’t really subscribe to that original storyline — nor should he have had to — and so, arguably, he could’ve gone straight to Nightwing since Batman had fled the whatever you call the place bats stay. This Nightwing shirt is of the original Nightwing, Dick Grayson after he decides he’s done being Robin. It’s the ideal T-shirt for somebody that’s finally getting to make it on their own.
2. This Officially Licensed Retro Nightwing Shirt Flies Solo
It even says as such. Nightwing looks badass on this design and the message, I fly solo, could come in handy in a variety of different times and places. You could be stuck, your Limbo gifts not helping to get you out of it; maybe the last thing you heard from too many people was that you can’t do something. Just like Dick Grayson, you can. He’s there to prove it. When the non-Bale Batman decides to ditch, he takes up the Caped Crusader’s place so that Gotham never has to worry about feeling unsafe. There’s so much strength in being autonomous, and even though he has Barbara and Damien at times, he did everything that he did by himself.
3. Sons of Nightwingarchy: Superheroes on Bikes
Where Batman has his Batmobile, Dick Grayson’s got his Wingcycle. He started riding a motorcycle as Robin and continued through to an upgraded one as Nightwing. Why mess with perfection? He did give driving a car a go and, while his version of the Batmobile looked even better than Batman’s, it ended up bring trashed and I guess in Gotham they just don’t bother taking out vehicle insurance when every single one of them is going to be destroyed at some point. I mean, that’s a heck of a lot of insurance policies and I feel like if they were taken into account, rich kids like Bruce Wayne and Ollie Queen might not be so rich for long. They’d either get less money or be done for fraud. Boring. I personally think Nightwing has the right idea here.
4. Nightwing Crossing Universes to Stick it to Spider-Man
Nobody needs a net, especially not the son of circus performers. As a kid, Dick saw his parents die tragically (I mean, he’s a superhero, so obviously he saw his parents die tragically and ended up an orphan) as their high wire snapped at the circus. Half of Gotham saw them fall, and Dick kept the guilt inside of him that he’d overheard the possibility of it happening before he did and said nothing, forever. I’m sure he still feels it. There’s got to be some mark on a person to make them give up everything to protect others, and there’s got to be some sense of masochism in there somewhere. This Nightwing shirt has him living life without a net and can have you doing the same too.
5. Gender Swap Nightwing is a BABE
Marcus Williams’s SWAPTOBER comic book heroes are so good. Swaptober is an open art challenge for anybody that wants to join in. It focuses on taking your favorite superheroes, villains or sidekicks, and flipping their gender because why not? Women are just as powerful — if not more — than men, and with the exception of Wonder Woman, girls get the crappy end of the stick when it comes to comic book verse movies. Think of Black Widow’s screen time in the Avengers movies, of the forced relationship between Peter Quill and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (though I will say the Gamora/Nebula storyline in the second film was perfect), and the whole of the X-Men movie franchise. It’s kinda exhausting and lame, and while gender doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything anymore, seeing badass girls makes us girls feel like the badasses we are. #GirlsAreGeeksToo
6. If You Like Simplicity, This Nightwing Logo Shirt Should Do You Well
When you think about Superheroes, a lot of it must be quite like branding a business. No, hear me out. You’ve got an idea, right, of what you want to be and who you want to be. Take Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne has a fear of bats. Okay, he thinks, I’m going to be a bat. So everything he does is branded with bats, the color black, and there’s nobody else can touch on the Batman brand (even when somebody takes over like Dick, albeit temporarily). To be a Superhero, you need a good logo, and Nightwing’s is one of the coolest. Get this Nightwing shirt if you want to have a logo-off with your Green Lantern friends. It’ll be a barrel of laughs.
7. You Might Think Nightwing and Blue Are OTP but Wait ’til you See RED Nightwing
Cool, huh? I’m not sure why DC decided to switch up the Nightwing costume from blue to red, but what I do know is red is one of my favorite colors. Maybe it’s got something to do with taunting Spider-Man, once again, across dimensions (and universes and companies), maybe he just misses his beginnings as Robin and wants a little vivacious spice in his life. Maybe he’s frisky. Whatever color he wears, he does look awesome, and I don’t think there’s anybody that would say otherwise, whether they prefer one color to the next. And honestly, maybe red is the new black. YOU DON’T KNOW.
8. Uh Oh, Get Ready, It’s Getting Cute Again
Sit back, geeklings. Get your Oreos out of your Batman cookie jars and your cold milk out of the fridge, for it is time. This Nightwing shirt plays on the chibi style to a crazy degree. Not every Superhero fan wants the realistic sort of designs, which is something I’ve started learning since discovering all the awesome geeky gifts we’ve uncovered since our inception. Some of us just want things to be cute, okay.
9. Nightwing Comes Out on a Full Moon, Does That Mean He’s a Werewolf?
As far as Nightwing shirts with the hero himself on them go, the design of this one might secretly be my favorite of the bunch. Standing in front of the moon, surrounded by bats, Dick Grayson looks ready to take on the world. Picture yourself in it, and picture yourself feeling able to take it on too, because it can happen. All you’ve got to do is believe in yourselves. If Robin can peel away from the bat who’s afraid of bats to become his own superhero, ANY of us can.
10. Take the Night Life Home With You on this T-Shirt
Or family, if you’d rather look at it like that. This is a shirt that has a fair bit of the Batman Family on it. For a kid that started off as an orphan with nobody but himself and his family’s faithful butler, Batman sure made a mark on other impressionable young outcasts. Can you imagine what their Thanksgiving dinners are like? Poor Alfred, that’s all I can say. My guess is that Nightwing is all about the turkey, the new Robin the wishbone, and just for our benefit, let’s take the time to picture the Red Hood trying to eat with his mask on.
11. Another, Bluer Retro Nightwing Shirt, You Say? Got You Covered
As does this shirt. Literally. Like, it literally has you covered. I like t-shirts that are fitted, which this one is, leading to a fairly happy-yet-disgruntled Scarecrow fan that this is of Nightwing and not him. Still, we take small victories where we can get them, and if I was going to align myself to a good guy, it’d be Nightwing. Carnie to Carnie and biker to biker, I feel like we’d get along. (Can I call myself a biker if I just have a cycle? What if I call it a Nightcycle?) Anyway, Nightwing looks great on this design and I’ll take on anybody who wants to argue it after I’m done admiring his cleavage.
12. This Nightwing Shirt is Soft, Fitted, and Smarter than Oracle
And it’s such a great picture of Nightwing, one that really gets his character down. If you still aren’t convinced of his greatness (Gray…tness? No?) then just do a little googling and you will be. Anybody who already does love Nightwing should find one or two shirts on this page to obsess over, and if two, why limit it to that? This shirt is a fitting way to end our list as it mixes his logo with Nightwing himself to show him how much we care about him. So much so, there’s never been a bad word said about him. And, given I say so many bad things about so many superheroes, surely that’s testimony enough.