DC’s Titans Changes Origin Of Nightwing’s Name | Screen Rant
Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Titans, season 2, episode 10, "Fallen."
Titans season 2, episode 10, "Fallen" has provided an entirely new origin for the Nightwing codename, which Dick Grayson adopted after retiring as Robin in the comics. While Dick Grayson abandoned the Robin name and burned his costume during the first season of Titans, he has yet to adopt a new identity despite mentoring a new generation of Titans in the new season.
In the comics, the Nightwing name originally came from Superman, whom Dick Grayson sought advice from shortly after being fired from the Robin role. The Man of Steel told Grayson a Kryptonian legend about a man, cast out by his family, who devoted his life to fighting crime. He was known as Nightwing, taking his name from a nocturnal Kryptonian bird. That name itself was taken from another Kryptonian legend about two ancient deities, Nightwing and Flamebird, who were bound together and destined to be continually reborn. Over the years various Superman stories have seen other heroes adopting the Nightwing and Flamebird aliases when trapped in Krypton's past or in the Bottle City of Kandor.
The origin story on Titans avoids all of this, presenting a non-Kryptonian origin for the Nightwing name. "Fallen" sees a guilt-stricken Dick Grayson incarcerated, after picking a fight with a federal agent in an airport. He did this because he felt a need to be punished for bringing about the death of Jericho Wilson. After an incredibly speedy trial, Dick was sentenced to 7 years without the possibility of probation and sent to the Kane County Correctional Facility.
Dick shared a cell with several refugees from the South American nation of Corto Maltese, who were plotting an escape when it came time for them to be flown back to their home country. One of the refugees, Luis, carved a bird-shaped emblem into the side of the cell and prayed to it, prompting Dick's curiosity. Luis explained that he was asking for assistance from Alazul - a hero worshiped by his village who "lives between the moon and the stars, and in the time of greatest need he flies down and saves you." While Dick is skeptical of the idea of "a bird that comes in the night and saves people," Luis' faith is enough to inspire Dick to take a stand and help the refugees in their fight against the guards.
While it might have been difficult to work a tie between Dick Grayson and Superman into Titans at this point (much less an appearance by the Big Blue Boy Scout himself) this new origin for the Nightwing name still feels like too much effort for too little gain. The subplot with Dick Grayson sending himself to prison as penance feels like it occurred only to pad out the season and Dick taking his codename from a South American legend doesn't hold the emotional resonance of his taking the name of a legendary hero based on something Superman told him at a difficult time in his life. The one silver lining in all of this is that we know we'll be seeing Titans' Dick Grayson as Nightwing soon enough.