Nightwing tried to prove Batman wrong by following his heart, by Dick Grayson just learned that his mentor may have been right about love all along.

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Nightwing #76, by Dan Jurgens, Ronan Cliquet, Nick Filardi, and AndWorld Design, on sale now.

Nightwing has always been different from Batman, especially when it comes to their views on love. The two allies recently clashed over the issue, and Dick Grayson openly defied his mentor’s stance. Grayson chose to be happy and tried to keep building a relationship with his girlfriend, Bea.

But in Nightwing #76, Grayson backtracks, as he realizes that Batman’s belief that superheroes can’t be traditionally happy might be correct after all. Grayson responds to this realization by breaking up with Bea.

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nightwing with his arms around bea

In the latest issue of Nightwing, the downfall of Grayson’s relationship with Bea is catalyzed by the return of the hero’s original persona and his attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy. Earlier in the series, Grayson seemed like he was happily in love with Bea, even after his memories returned. But as he sorts through the restoration of his old life, he realizes an upsetting truth. The memories of his time with Bea are still there, but his warm feelings towards her are not.

When Nightwing defeats the KGBeast, it seems like he’s on top of the world. But as he celebrates his substantial victory with Bea, Grayson realizes that their relationship isn’t part of the future he envisions for himself. Ric Grayson is gone, and so too is Nightwing’s love for Bea. He wishes her the best, but he knows that trying to make the relationship work wouldn’t be fair to either of them.

While Grayson doesn’t consciously shift his thinking so that it aligns with Batman’s philosophy, it’s hard to ignore the parallels. Nightwing even recalls the aforementioned conversion with The Dark Knight. “Happiness, certainly if it’s of the house with the white picket fence variety, is not an option for us,” Batman told Grayson. Nightwing narrates that he never believed that argument and that he thought he could always have domestic bliss, until this fateful night with Bea.

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Batman Nightwing Lonely

After he breaks up with Bea, Grayson returns to his talk with the Caped Crusader. Though Nightwing tried to defy Batman by saying that he refused to let his career as a crime-fighter drag him into the abyss, The Dark Knight didn’t budge. “It doesn’t work that way, for anyone,” Batman firmly stated. Back in the present, Grayson sheds a tear for his failed romance with Bea, but he quickly swings off into the night. Here, Batman’s influence is quite clear, as Grayson prioritizes his crime-fighting duties over his personal life.

Grayson’s recent defiance of Batman’s philosophy takes a new direction in Nightwing #76. The hero realizes that the Dark Knight might be right in his belief that masked crime-fighters can’t be happy. Grayson breaks up with his girlfriend because he knows that the return of his memories leaves no room for Bea in his life. This development could shake Grayson, a character known for his loving heart, to his core, and fans will have to wait and see where the hero goes from here.

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