Nightwing: Why Future State Gives Dick Grayson a New Mentor

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Future State: Teen Titans writer Tim Sheridan revealed that DC’s Future State will introduce a surprising mentor for Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Future State: Teen Titans #1, by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, Alejandro Sanchez and Rob Leigh, on sale Jan. 12, 2021.

Future State: Teen Titans #1 brings forth some grim twists in the lives of DC’s younger generation of heroes. One of the central characters in the issue is Nightwing, whose relationship with his old enemy Deathstroke takes an unexpected turn. In this dark future, Slade Wilson becomes Dick Grayson’s new mentor.

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“After the big event that led to the world as it is now for the Titans, Dick Grayson found a kinship with Slade, essentially swapping Batman for Deathstroke,” Future State: Teen Titans writer Tim Sheridan told CBR. “If there’s anybody we were sure wasn’t going to go to the dark side, it was probably Dick Grayson, yet look where we are!” The big event he teased has apparently cost the lives of many of Grayson’s close friends and Titans colleagues, judging by the beginning of Future State: Teen Titans #1.

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Nightwing is usually seen as a beacon of hope among his superhero peers. Since Future State allows writers to explore new paths for classic characters, Sheridan wanted to see what would happen if Dick Grayson finally let the dark side of the vigilante life get to him. The comic also includes Deathwing, an amalgamation of Deathstroke and Nightwing.

“My image of Nightwing is of someone who has been through it all, yet manages to do this very difficult job without being affected by the darkness. I thought, let’s see what happens when he does get affected by the darkness, and surprisingly, it’s not Batman who influenced him to get to that point. What we see here is that it’s Deathstroke’s influence that has done the damage,” Sheridan explained.

Future State: Teen Titans #1 is on sale now from DC.

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