Learn how Nightwing was almost killed during the Infinite Crisis…
Didio Confesses: Nightwing Was Targeted for Death
From a DC Nation panel at Wizard World Philadelphia 2006:
The Pulse reports: “When asked if there was a character that he would have liked to see killed during Crisis, Didio pointed to Nightwing as his choice. He felt as though the natural progression of the storyline should have lead to his death. Geoff Johns was vehemently opposed to killing Nightwing.”
Newsarama reports: “When each panelist was asked who they would have killed, if given their druthers, as part of Infinite Crisis, Johns declined to answer; however, Didio, after discussion, said, “I wanted Nightwing dead,” and explained that, if you follow the Nightwing story through the miniseries, you can see fairly clearly that he was supposed to die. ”
from Infinite Crisis Hardcover: “Infinite Discussions”
An interview with Inifinite Crisis Writer Geoff Johns, Artist Phil Jimenez, Editor Eddie Berganaza, and Assistant Editor Jeanine Schaefer.
DC: The ending of this issue really hit a lot of people hard, with the death of Superboy.
GEOFF: We originally talked about killing Nightwing. That was always Dan’s plan.
EDDIE: But we didn’t want [Nightwing] to die.
GEOFF: We wanted to have issue #6 be about bringing the Trinity back. Dan focused on offing Nightwing, but we all felt it was just the wrong character.
PHIL: Though I can’t think of a character who would have a greater impact than Nightwing dying.
GEOFF: True, but it’s Dick Grayson. My mom knows who he is. Nightwing would’ve been a mistake. Superboy was the best choice.
PHIL: Just in terms of links to other characters, though. Dick has so many connections to other characters. In many ways, even more than Superman or Batman, Nightwing is the soul, the linchpin, of the DCU. He’s well respected by everyone, known to the JLA, the Titans, the Outsiders, Birds of Prey – everyone looks to him for advice, for friendship, for his skills. He’s the natural leader of the DCU. His loss would devastate everyone and create ripples through the DCU. If it wasn’t him, it had to be a hero that really impacted so many.
GEOFF: Well, what other character? Not Wonder Girl. Enough women have died in the DCU. Superboy was my favorite Titan. And I literally had to offer him as a sacrificial lamb.
DC: You killed your favorite Titan? That must have been hard to write.
JEANINE: I literally had tears in my eyes when the pages came in.
GEOFF: I really fought to have Conner in TEEN TITANS. He gave the title a dynamic the book never had before.
JEANINE: It’s one of the reasons [his death] worked so well and became such a powerful scene. I remember talking to Geoff when the decision was made, and he was, correctly, really adamant that it matter.
GEOFF: And Phil did such a great job with facial expressions there, depicting everyone’s sorrow.
EDDIE: We were hoping to save both Nightwing AND Superboy. But at the end of the day, if we were going to do something really impactful, we really had to go all the way. It just worked for the whole story.
JEANINE- “Deaths are meaningless.” But you couldn’t not care about this.
Friday, September 15, 2006, Newsarama has now posted a second article, this time on DC’s One Year Later panel.
Q: Why didn’t you kill Nightwing in Infinite Crisis?
Waid: Because Geoff Johns and I took turns holding a big club over Dan once we learned he wanted too.
Perez: And speaking for guys who actually earn residuals off of Nightwing, we like him too.
Q: Why was it even considered?
Waid: Yeah Dan, why?
Wayne: And don’t say again, “Because Bob said it would sell.”
Busiek: Have you ever drunk a lot of Scotch? Dan has.
Waid: Yeah, what has he ever done to you?
Didio: We were looking for the big death in Infinite Crisis – the big moment. We were looking for something that would have equal import and merit and weight in this story. One of the things I’ve been proven wrong about is that I had felt that Dick Grayson was a redundant character – Tim Drake had filled his role as Robin, he would never be Batman, so where could he go?
My big fear was that Nightwing would get older than Batman. The thought was that if we removed Dick form the equation that would allow Bruce Wayne to stand alone as Batman, and to firmly establish Tim Drake as Robin. So now – Marv is showing us why we like him, his place in the DC Universe, and more importantly, his potential in the DC Universe.
Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since.