Nightwing Invented an Iconic Batman Franchise Weapon (Not Bruce)

There are a lot of cool toys Batman uses to help his war on crime, but one was actually created by his old ally, Nightwing. A look back at Dick Grayson's early days shows how he was responsible for the most shocking weapon in the Bat-Family's arsenal.

Unlike many other heroes in the DC Universe, Bruce Wayne didn't become a hero by being born with powers or by encountering mysterious phenomenon. He did, however, have the drive to train himself to peak physical condition, as well as the finances to launch a war on crime. To aid his mission, Batman created gadgets that would allow him to take his crime-fighting to the next level. From the contents of his utility belt, to grand and high-tech vehicles like the Batmobile, Bruce was able to develop a lot of tools that gave him an edge fighting the evil forces that threatened Gotham.


Related: Batman Confirms His Best Gadgets Are All Low Tech

However, there's one iconic weapon that Batman and his operatives have a tendency to use that amazingly, Bruce did not create. In Nightwing #101 by Chuck Dixon, Scott Beatty, and Scott McDaniel, readers get an in-depth look at Dick Grayson’s final days as Robin to his earliest outings as Nightwing. Batman is fighting Clayface when Robin joins, having just wrapped up other superhero business. Tensions are high between the Dynamic Duo over Dick's efforts of splitting his time between the Teen Titans and his usual Boy Wonder duties. As the two argue, Clayface manages to give the heroes the slip. Dick follows a trail into the sewers where he finds Clayface reconstituting himself. Robin pulls out a weapon he's recently developed with Cyborg that's sure to fell the shapeshifter: an electric Batarang that Dick gleefully calls an "electrorang".

Robin Dick Grayson Electric Batarang Clayface DC Comics

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the electric Batarang was Dick’s idea. Nightwing's escrima sticks aren't just for bludgeoning villains. They're often capable of delivering high-voltage jolts that can bring down Killer Croc-sized foes. Nightwing's tendency to go for electric-based weaponry has also carried over to video games like the Arkham series, as well as other miniseries such as Future State. Knowing that Nightwing created the electric Batarang does shine a light on why this seems to be a consistent theme for his weaponry.

Electric tools seem like a no-brainer for a team of vigilantes. They’re less lethal and can help bring down larger, more intimidating villains. But by Dick’s own account, that’s one of the few gadgets Batman never added to his collection himself. However, Bruce clearly liked the idea enough to make it a permanent part of his arsenal, something Nightwing no doubt picked up on. Making the electric Batarang a standard weapon validated Dick's ingenuity and that success likely inspired the way he made his future armaments. Thanks to Nightwing's idea, he didn't just get a pair of cool nightsticks, Batman got one of the most iconic weapons in his entire armory.