Spoiler warning for Nightwing #93
The newest accessory in Nightwing's wardrobe is a hidden—but touching—tribute to one of the character's creators, Marv Wolfman. The current creative team on Nightwing has been revising and expanding Dick Grayson's look and arsenal of gadgets. In the latest issue, the hero debuts a biker jacket that doubles as a nod to Marv Wolfman and his own Nightwing-themed jacket.
Dick Grayson debuted as Robin, Batman's child partner, in 1940, but he was reinvented as the independent vigilante Nightwing in 1984's Tales of the Teen Titans #44 by Marv Wolfman and the late George Pérez. Nightwing established himself as a major hero in his own right, far from Batman's influence, in Gotham and in his own home base: Blüdhaven. Dick Grayson has cycled through many iconic looks over the decades—from short pants to tall collars—but few are more beloved than his original Nightwing costume, fondly known by fans as "Discowing," from the pages of Wolfman and Pérez's New Teen Titans. Most recently, Dick's 90s-era "fingerstripe" costume has made its return, along with a series of costume and gadget upgrades.
In Nightwing #93 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbott, Nightwing runs from a squad of corrupt cops, who have been ordered to apprehend the hero by the villainous Blockbuster. As Dick flees the scene of his "crime" (cleaning graffiti off a statue of Alfred), he runs behind a bush and emerges with a motorcycle—and a spiffy new Nightwing-themed jacket. This same design has been seen before in the "real world;" pictures of Marv Wolfman wearing a Nightwing biker jacket circled online, including in a quote-tweet by current Nightwing artist, Bruno Redondo. The original tweet features a picture of George Pérez and Marv Wolfman smiling together. Redondo quote-tweeted the image with the caption "Love these two so much."
Knowing that Redondo has seen this picture of both Pérez and Wolfman, it's easy to make the leap that Nightwing's new biker-friendly costume accessory is a tribute to Marv Wolfman and his own striped jacket. This tribute to the character's creators comes as no surprise to fans who have been following the current Nightwing run, which has featured numerous tributes to Wolfman and Pérez, including a cameo in Nightwing #92. Nightwing is a major force in the DC universe largely in part due to Wolfman and Pérez's work with the character, so these many nods to the two in the current book are more than welcome and always a delight to spot. There are certainly more metatextual Easter eggs to come in Nightwing, especially after the recent passing of legendary artist George Pérez.
The current Nightwing run is successful in part because of how the creative team honors the character's past while looking towards Dick Grayson's future. Part of that honoring has come from the reimagined costume design, including fun details—like Dick's new biker jacket in the style of Marv Wolfman.
Nightwing fans can hunt for similar cameos and tributes in Nightwing #93, available now from DC Comics.