Alright folks, in case that headline wasn’t enough of a warning for you, allow me to reiterate: What follows will be MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS specific to the character of Nightwing for NetherRealm’s upcoming DC-themed brawler, Injustice: Gods Among Us. So seriously, not a single comment about how I spoiled the game for anyone. Not even a sarcastic one. Don’t do it.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the business at hand. Acording to recently-surfacing footage from someone who apparently has beaten the game already, it would seem Nightwing isn’t the man we thought he was. And I mean that literally, as in it’s not Dick Grayson. That’s right, it seems there’s an even larger injustice afoot than we realized. So who, if not the boy wonder himself, is behind the domino mask and escrima sticks? Here’s the footage so you can see/hear for yourself:
I’m posting the original site’s location because the Youtube video has since been taken down, however the embedded video on CBM is still functioning at the time of this writing. In case that gets taken down as well, here’s a brief transcription of the dialogue from the cutscene. It takes place during the aftermath of a battle between Nightwing and Green Arrow that is interrupted by Batman:
Green Arrow: Sure he can be an uptight jerk, but… you abandoned him for Superman?
Nightwing: I’m not Dick Grayson.
Batman: This is Damian Wayne.
Green Arrow: …Wayne?
Nightwing: His son. But Superman’s been more of a father than you ever were…
Batman: You stopped being my son when you killed Dick Grayson. He was my son.
There you have it. I think we can all agree, this is a pretty mind-blowing revelation. One that leaves us with a lot of significant questions. For starters, this is obviously non-canon with the “New 52”, or at the very least takes place on another world (infinite worlds and all that.) Still, the question remains, what is the timeline for these events? From the video, it’s clear this takes place around the mid-point of the game; so my first question is, do you begin the game playing as Dick Grayson, only switching over to Damian after whatever event transpires that leads the genetic son to kill the prodigal son? Or does Grayson’s death become one of the events that triggers the divide in factions between team Superman and team Batman? For those that read the prequel comic to Injustice, you’ll also notice the disparity in Damian’s age. He’s much younger in the book, so another question becomes how far into the future is this event in relation to the destruction of Metropolis? (as seen in official story trailers release by NetherRealm and Warner Bros. on the InjusticeGame channel.) Also, for you eagle-eyed viewers, you’ll notice Damian is sporting a different hairstyle and alternate costume from the Nightwing we’ve seen in gameplay footage thus far. While I doubt he’ll have a different moveset, the aesthetic change is a nice touch. What does it all mean? My theory lines up with my first question, which would mean we begin the game as Dick Grayson, watch the event leading up to his death, and then begin playing as Damian from there-on-out.
I’m sure everyone’s going to have an opinion about this shocking story twist. For many, the boy wonder will always be the one “true” Robin, and the only member of the Bat-family worthy of succeeding Bruce after his inevitable departure from the mantle. Yet, many have grown attached to Damian lately, who’s rightfully earned the endearment of fans through his progression into becoming a strong hero in his own right. Regardless of current ongoing events in the comics, it’s a real surprise to see Damian stoop to killing Dick Grayson, and I’m wondering what the motivation was leading up to it. Personally, I find it hard to accept that Damian could take Grayson in a fair one-on-one fight, but that’s just to comic nerd in me looking to debate on a technical level. For the sake of story, I’m intrigued by the developer’s choice to say the least. Especially if, as I’ve mentioned previously, there does end up being an established continuity between Injustice and the Arkham franchise. Unfortunately, the untimely demise of Dick Grayson likely dismisses my theory about a possible link between the two series, as if this does take place on an alternate Earth it would require inter-dimensional travel to sort out.
So, what do you folks think of all this? Are you as surprised as I am by the shocking revelation of who’s actually behind the Nightwing mask? And how do you feel about where NetherRealm is taking the story? Such a drastic shift from continuity is sure to rattle the cages of hardcore fans. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.