7. Batman: Black Mirror
Wait, a Batman story? But I thought this was a Nightwing list! Not only is this an amazing story that showcases Dick Grayson at his best, but it’s also the start of Scott Snyder’s epic Batman run that is set to finish this year.
At two different points in DC continuity, Dick Grayson has stood in for Bruce Wayne as the Batman. While in many ways it’s exactly what he’s been training for his entire life, it also forces him to abandon the unique identity he has developed for himself. Dick Grayson isn’t a dark and brooding person, but when he has to take on the Bat mantle he has to present a different version of himself. Watching him deal with the stress of protecting Gotham and deal with his uncomfortable new life living in Wayne penthouse makes his version of Batman a more relatable character.
The story line follows the return of Commissioner Gordon’s psychotic, murderous son. Dick finds himself in the middle of a family crisis as he tries to end a murderous rampage and stop a secret criminal network operating in the city. While he’s always been tough, Dick really shines as the sole protector of Batman. As Nightwing, he is always second fiddle in Gotham city. But in this story Dick proves himself as worthy of being Bruce’s heir and capable of protecting Gotham from evil.