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Trouble with the curve: The evolution of Nightwing’s prodigious posterior

Of all the heroes and villains in the DC Universe, Nightwing has been recognized as having the best butt in the game. Here’s how Dick Grayson gained his well-rounded reputation.

Nightwing's evolution
Image credit: DC Comics

Nightwing is heading up the charge into a bold new future for the DCU and everyone directly following his lead has the best view in the house. The recent crossover event Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths saw Nightwing step up as a natural leader and the inspirational core of the DC Universe, taking on the assembled supervillains and darkness itself personified. However, for all of Dick Grayson’s more intangible assets, one aspect of the original Robin that has dominated the discourse around the character is how immaculately formed Nightwing’s glutes are. More than just the standard superhero chiseled ideal of perfection in the male physique worthy of a Renaissance era sculpture, fan buzz online has led the heroes and villains of the DCU to recognize Nightwing having the best buns in the business.

Here’s how Nightwing quickly became a major romantic figure in the DCU and how the most well-rounded part of his anatomy has eventually become a particularly thoroughly discussed element of his lasting legacy.

The objectification of Dick Grayson

Nightwing #10 cover
Image credit: DC Comics

Since striking out on his own, Nightwing had quietly developed a reputation as something of a ladies’ man within the DCU, a distinction that really took root as he started leading his own comic book titles. From his on-again/off-again relationships with Starfire and Barbara Gordon to a number of love interests across his solo adventures, Nightwing’s compassionate nature and stunning good looks led to him on a constant romantic rollercoaster. However, while Nightwing may have become something of a widespread superhero crush for many of those in the DCU, it is his costuming and acrobat’s physique that has led to him to becoming bonafide eye candy.

After transitioning from Robin to Nightwing, Dick’s superhero outfits somehow became more suggestive than the booty shorts he wore as the original Boy Wonder. Nightwing’s skintight costumes left little to the imagination as, whenever his daring derriere was in full view, readers could see exactly what he was working with. The positioning of Nightwing in panels as he leapt into action or surveyed cityscapes would only serve to highlight his prodigious posterior.

Nicola Scott is widely attributed as popularizing Nightwing’s bodacious buttocks during her run on Birds of Prey with Gail Simone, as Nightwing strikes a well-toned rearview pose during a guest appearance. This pose would be echoed across the character’s subsequent appearances in various series, including his own solo series. This repetition in pose and accentuated hindparts would certainly become noticed by an increasingly vocal fan base.

Nightwing’s butt of a joke

By the time Tim Seeley, Tom King, and Mikel Janin launched the ongoing series Grayson, with Dick temporarily ditching his Nightwing persona to become a globe-trotting secret agent, the character had grown into a widely recognized in-universe sex symbol for the DCU. Throughout the series, women openly ogled Dick’s fine form while the WildStorm superhero Midnighter was able to identify Dick primarily on the distinctive shape of his glutes even as Dick remained undercover, an exposure echoed by Batgirl in her own solo adventures at the time. Grayson’s tongue-in-cheek tone set the series apart from its darker Bat-Family contemporaries.

Scott revisited her own lasting mark on Nightwing’s public image, with an illustration featuring the evolution of Dick’s superhero status across his extensive history, culminating in a cheeky shot of Nightwing’s muscularly toned backside. Various artists would continue to deliver the cheesecake Nightwing imagery, either on variant covers or the occasional exhibitionist panel, including Scott as part of her expanding association with the character. If there was ever a character in the DCU to embody LMFAO’s timeless axiom of being sexy and knowing it, it’s Dick Grayson.

This self-aware presentation for Nightwing has extended beyond the comic book page. The video game Gotham Knights deliberately incorporated butt shots for Nightwing in the game as a nod to his fans and big-bottomed reputation. The third season of the HBO Max original animated series Harley Quinn would similarly point out how beautifully formed Nightwing’s buttocks are as Harley begins working directly with the Bat-Family.

The cheesecake pays off

Nightwing undercover as a stripper
Image credit: DC Comics

Perhaps partially based on the spotlight on Nightwing’s sweet cheeks and almost assuredly because of the strength of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s acclaimed run on the ongoing Nightwing comic book series, Dick has finally made it to front and center of the DCU spotlight. In addition to starring in his own solo series, Nightwing has been confirmed to lead the latest iteration of the Titans in a new series by Taylor and Scott set to debut in May 2023.

What makes this particular relaunch of the Titans noteworthy, other than the potential for more sexy Nightwing imagery that is a virtual guarantee to follow, is the Titans' current place in the DCU. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths ended with the Justice League disbanded for the foreseeable future after the team was defeated by Pariah and his Dark Army. Though attempts to reform the team were considered, it was decided that the Justice League should remain dormant for now, leaving the Titans as the premier superhero team in the DCU for the time being.

Beyond Nightwing’s solo activities and leadership of the Titans, Dick has grown to become a mentor figure to much of the younger superhero community in the DCU. More than just providing guidance and leadership to his counterparts in the Bat-Family as a sort of surrogate big brother, Nightwing has given timely advice to Jon Kent as the latter became the new Superman, even served as a teacher overseeing Teen Titans Academy. Nightwing has always had the time to lend a knowing ear, offer sage wisdom, and lead by example – he just happens to do it while simultaneously possessing the best can in superhero comic books.

With all this in mind, this really only leaves one major question outstanding: When are we finally going to talk about how Swamp Thing has the most underrated bum in the DCU?


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About the Author
Sam Stone avatar

Sam Stone

Contributing writer

Sam Stone is an entertainment journalist based out of the Washington, D.C. area that has been working in the industry since 2016. Starting out as a columnist for the Image Comics preview magazine Image+, Sam also translated the Eisner Award nominated-Beowulf for the publisher. Sam has since written for CBR, Looper, and Marvel.com, with a penchant for Star Trek, Nintendo, and martial arts movies.
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