In Nightwing‘s ongoing series, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon are becoming closer than ever. The couple has been an on-again-off-again item for years now, with their relationship going through numerous peaks and valleys. As prominent members of the Bat-Family, they always put duty before their personal lives, but their connection is undeniable.
The Dick-Babs ship has numerous ardent supporters, now more than ever. They are among DC’s most iconic couples, and while their popularity is considerable, there are multiple things about their relationship only known by the most loyal and passionate fans.
The Original Age Gap
Batgirl debuted in Detective Comics #359, meeting Batman and Robin for the first time and quickly becoming one of the most important members of the ever-expanding Bat-Family. At the time, she was a college student, and the Boy Wonder was still in high school. The two shared no romantic connection whatsoever, favoring a sibling-like dynamic instead.
Years later, Dick, now a college student, would get a job as an intern for the then Congresswoman Barbara Gordon. The two team up, and Batgirl even kisses Robin to get him to shut up about how superhero-ing was a man’s job. The two would continue sharing a flirtatious relationship without ever acting on it.
Dick And Barbara First Get Together In The Animated Series
Surprisingly, the Dick and Barbara relationship began not in the comics but in Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero. Unlike in the comics, Dick and Babs were of the same age in the animated universe; in fact, they were college classmates.
Their relationship went on for a while, but “Old Wounds,” arguably the best Robin episode in Batman: The Animated Series, reveals that the two broke up after Dick quit being Robin and became Nightwing. The animated romance didn’t last, but the idea was already there and it wasn’t long before the relationship went from the screen to the page.
First (Real) Kiss
Dick and Babs’ first kiss happened in the ’70s, during one particularly bonkers storyline that involved them fighting the ghost of Benedict Arnold. The end had Barbara plant a smooch on the Boy Wonder to literally shut him up; not a particularly romantic first kiss.
Years later, during the acclaimed Nightwing run in the ’90s, the two finally give in to their passion and share another kiss after Dick arrives gravely injured in Babs’ footsteps. Thus, their relationship became canon and quickly gained massive popularity (enough to retcon years of Batman continuity).
Robin & Batgirl’s Year One
Both Robin and Batgirl’s respective Year One storylines rewrite Batman continuity, presenting Dick and Barbara as something akin to soulmates. Robin: Year One declares that Dick fell in love with Barbara at first sight, while Batgirl: Year One further develops his crush and her eventual reciprocation.
At this point, their age gap is minimal and would become non-existent in future years. The question of whether Starfire or Batgirl is Nightwing’s true love remains to this day, but Robin and Batgirl: Year One make a compelling case as to why Dick and Babs are indeed perfect for each other. From endearing interactions to an outright unforgettable first date, Dick and Barbara’s connection really flourishes on these seminal storylines, cementing them as one of DC’s most iconic ships.
Dick And Barbara’s First Break Up
Dick and Babs stay together for nearly fifty issues (forty-nine to be exact). However, their blissful life comes to a halt when the villain, Tarantula, manipulates them, causing an argument between them that leads to a break-up. Dick would try to win her back, but eventually, Barbara ended things for good, telling him he needed to figure himself out as a person before giving their relationship another go.
Tarantula’s involvement is particularly frustrating. Comic book fans know her as one of the most loathsome characters in the DC mythos, responsible for many of the most messed up things that happened to Nightwing during the 2000s. Luckily, she’s been dead for a while now and DC is all the better for it.
Dick And Barbara Get Engaged… Then Break Up
Infinite Crisis is one of the best storylines of the 2000s and a turning point in DC’s long and convoluted timeline. In the moments leading up to the event, Dick and Barbara, once again, acknowledge their feelings for each other and he proposes (she happily accepts).
It seems like their impending doom is always the catalyst for Dick and Barbara to take things to the next level. However, once the danger passes, the two return to their respective corners, and this time wasn’t the exception. Indeed, they both admit that they rushed things and got engaged for the wrong reasons. They part ways amicably without closing the door on a potential reconciliation.
Dick And Barbara Get Married
During the acclaimed mini-series, Dark Nights: Death Metal, Dick and Barbara actually get married. The scene is as sweet as fans would expect, with both Dick and Babs well aware that they might be living their last night on Earth. He confesses his love, but she rebuffs him, thinking it’s best to focus on the upcoming fight than worry about silly love songs.
It’s up to the Dark Knight himself to calm down the lover’s quarrel, and he does so by marrying them. The two acknowledge that their union is effectively void, but they also admit their love for each other. Dick also assures Barbara that he’ll “win (her) back,” no matter in which reality they find themselves in.
Dick And Barbara Are Back Together… For Now
Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo’s current Nightwing run reunites Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon and hints that things might become intimate between them again. For a brief moment, it seemed like Nightwing would be once again caught in a love triangle between Babs and Kori, thanks to the current runs of Nightwing and Teen Titans Academy. However, Kori made it clear that her relationship with Dick is over for good, allowing him and Barbara to explore their lingering feelings for each other.
Thanks to its resonant and compelling themes, the run is fast-becoming one of Nightwing’s definitive versions. Dick and Babs are also benefitting from this, with the two exploring their connection throughout a series of issues rather than jumping straight into the romance portion of the relationship. Currently, the two seem to finally be in the same place emotionally, but only time will tell if their bond will last or if they’ll break up again.
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