Titans Gives Dick Grayson His Own Version Of Batman’s “No Guns” Rule

Batman is famous for adhering to a strict “no guns” rule while fighting crime, but Titans season 3 gives Dick Grayson’s Nightwing his own version.

Dick Grayson’s Nightwing shares many traits with his mentor in Titans – and that apparently includes a version of Batman’s famous “no guns” rule. Compared to other DC superheroes, Bruce Wayne’s Batman is renowned for blurring the moral lines of vigilantism in Gotham City. While the Caped Crusader might sometimes let rage and vengeance cloud his judgement, however, almost every iteration of the character refrains from using guns. This is entirely due to his parents being shot in a dark alley, and though some depictions are less firearm-phobic (looking at you Batfleck!), a refusal to carry guns remains a core Batman trait.

With Bruce Wayne skipping town in Titans season 3, the protection of Gotham City falls to Dick Grayson’s Nightwing and his Titans supergroup. As episode 6 (titled “51%”) begins, the gang are desperately hunting Scarecrow and Jason Todd before the imminent city-wide distribution of a lethal anti-fear drug. Starfire and Blackfire wisely deduce that Scarecrow can be tracked through the Gotham gangsters he’s strong-arming into cooperation, and pay a visit to Valeska Knox. The veteran mob boss is seriously fired up about helping the Titans remove Scarecrow from play, and the two sides strike a deal.

Related: Titans’ Nightwing Repeats A Classic Christian Bale Batman/Joker Moment

And it’s during Titans season 3’s Valeska sequence that Starfire reveals a fascinating detail about Dick Grayson. Even in the direst of circumstances, Dick will staunchly refuse to cooperate or cut deals with mobsters, because it was gang violence that caused the deaths of his Flying Graysons family. Though the story has occasionally changed (Two-Face is responsible in Batman Forever), Dick’s family were murdered due to a feud between Haly’s Circus and the Gotham underworld, with the lycra-clad acrobats unjustly caught in the crossfire. Dick’s rule is very much like Batman’s aversion to guns – both were inspired by their parents’ deaths, both men would rather fail than break their code, and both are strange moral boundaries to draw considering everything else Batman and Robin do in the name of justice.

Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson and Savannah Welch as Barbara Gordon in Titans

Weirdly, Dick and Bruce don’t always seem to follow each other’s sacred rules. Though far from trigger-happy, Titans‘ Dick Grayson isn’t afraid to at least use the threat of a gun. During his recent abduction of Scarecrow, for example, Dick kept a pistol close, ensuring his prisoner wouldn’t make any sudden moves. The same goes for Batman and mobsters, in a sense. Though he would rarely (if ever) cooperate with the mob, Batman did use them as informants, sneaking into the Gotham underworld via his “Matches Malone” identity. Just as Titans‘ Dick Grayson isn’t totally against gun use, Batman hasn’t always kept gangsters at arm’s reach.

But giving Nightwing his own variation on Bruce Wayne’s “no guns” rule carries a deeper meaning. More than ever before, Titans has been drawing parallels between Dick Grayson and his mentor. Barbara Gordon scolded Dick for acting too much like Bruce during a strategy meeting, and before his mysterious disappearance, the Dark Knight himself told Dick to “be a better Batman.” It remains to be seen whether Grayson will actually don the cowl in Titans (he does in the DC comics for a time), but season 3 certainly wants fans to notice the increasing similarities between this pseudo father-son duo.

Dick’s rule also serves as a reminder of his tragic origin story. Through every iteration of Batman, the Wayne murders hang heavy over the hero’s every move, but with Robin, the Grayson incident is usually nothing more than a flashback. Titans season 3 is making Nightwing’s trauma fully present, first by revealing how Dick doesn’t travel by plane, and now by confirming his refusal to negotiate with mobsters.

More: Robin’s Wayne Manor Training Makes Titans’ Batman Even Darker

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