Nightwing (aka Dick Grayson) has always been the best and brightest of the Bat-Family, the proverbial light of Batman’s darkness. However, in Future Country: Gotham #13 (by Dennis Culver, Geoffo, and Troy Peteri), Nightwing’s behavior is becoming increasingly unsettling. After a recent overdose of his medication diaphragm, he started using a delivery system in Pat’s new wetsuit to automatically dose himself. The drug gives him enhanced abilities, but it may also impair his ability to feel emotions.
Brin gave Nightwing insight into the past, present, and future. He has seen visions of a coming catastrophe for the world, and also learns about the whereabouts of long-lost family members, as well as discovering that allies he thought were dead were alive. Despite all this, he has shown no emotional reaction to any of them other than a resolute determination to avert any looming disaster.
Obviously, there are risks involved in overdosing on the membrane. When Talia al Ghul and Nightwing hatch a plan to discover Damien Wayne’s fate, they learn that there is a good chance Nightwing will die. Fortunately, he survived, but it seems that neither of them were prepared for the after effects. The ability to perceive what he might not be psychologically aware of has always been an advantage for Brin, but it seems to come at the expense of Grayson’s emotional response.
Within a few hours, Nightwing realized that not only had Damian been suffering alone in Hell this whole time, but that Bruce Wayne, the man he considers his father, was actually alive. Presumably, at least one of those discoveries got Grayson emotional, but he didn’t blink an eye.
Instead, just tell Talia how to find her son, without going into too much detail about what happened to him. He then immediately set out to become the newest Batman, and embarked on an unknown mission to save the world. The idea of having to become Batman again to protect the world should have caused some kind of backlash from him, considering he was never happy working in the role.
However, despite all these significant changes in his life, Nightwing has captured everything without missing a single thing. This suggests that the unexpected consequence of the overdose was that it limited Grayson’s ability to feel emotions in a healthy way. This certainly traces the nature of medicine, with the mind prioritizing over the heart in a figurative sense.
Despite all the benefits brane gave him, it might have cost Nightwing in the long run. While his plan seems to end with his family reuniting, he doesn’t even seem to have the ability to experience joy even if his mission is a success. In an attempt to fix the problems in his life, Grayson may have permanently damaged his ability to feel love.
There is another equally troubling possibility. Nightwing likely had no choice but to be emotionless. Everything he saw coming in the future was bad enough to force him to take back his cloak and hood. Perhaps it was so terrifying that he had to drug himself just to be able to function. However, it might cost everyone to think about how important Grayson’s heart and feelings were to his successful operation as a hero.
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