Dick Grayson's life changed dramatically when his parents died on the trapeze. Killed by a gangster extorting money from Haley's circus as a method of intimidation. Batman investigated and so did Dick, although independently. Boss Zucco was responsible and was arrested before he died of a heart attack. That day Dick Grayson was initiated into a new world, that of the Batman. Dick put the rest of his life into training to become a crime fighter. He became the first Robin and accompanied Batman on many occasions, until he was shot by the Joker. The wound wasn't fatal but it made Batman decide that working with him was too dangerous for Robin. This created a rift between them and Robin left Batman to be a full time member of the Teen Titans.
Although he no longer worked with Batman Dick kept the Robin identity for a short period before changing his costume and name to that of Nightwing. Dick led three teams of Titans before he lost his membership to the team. He went to seek out Bruce Wayne, and the only other home he had. There was bad news waiting for him when he arrived, Bruce had had his back broken and given the identity of Batman to Jean-Paul Valley, a stranger to Dick.
When Valley's grip on sanity wore through, Dick was present to help Bruce regain the Mantle of the Bat. Valley handed Dick a thorough beating but he was eventually defeated by the fully healed Wayne. Though he had just regained the Mantle of the Bat Bruce needed time to find himself and gave it to Dick. As the new Batman Dick joined with the third Robin to prevent total chaos in Gotham at Two-Face's hands. Finding that he wasn't all he needed to be as Batman he was still upset when Bruce turned up and demanded his role back. This was the first reconciliation between them since Dick had left. Dick decided to give up being Nightwing because he felt he had been pressured into becoming a hero by Bruce, but resurrected the identity in order to find out the truth behind the killing of his parents.
Since assisting Batman in stopping Ra's al Ghul from releasing a new version of the Clench that once ravaged Gotham, Nightwing investigated a group of twenty one bodies with their heads twisted backwards, a investigation that has lead him to Blüdhaven where he intends to erase the corruption that plagues the city.
Dick is a very different person from his father and made a conscious decision to be that way. He has a cheerier disposition and isn't as obsessive. He often cracks one liners as he beats criminals into submission something the third Robin never does.
Nightwing carries customized Baterangs that more closely resemble Shuricans. There are compartments in his gloves and boots for holding equipment such as flares, lockpicks, radio equipment and gas pellets. Nightwing's weapon of choice is a pair of escrima sticks that attached to the back of his costume. Nightwing's gloves contain retractable grapnels much as Jean-Paul's batman costume had. The costume itself is bullet proof and light sensitive, the mask has night vision lenses.
Since setting up shop in Blüdhaven Nightwing has taken over an abandoned car factory as his base and built a method of travel, a car with a selection of bodies to allow it to blend in or stick out. The car can disguise itself as a station wagon a "muscle car" or a custom car that resembles the Batmobile. Nightwing's expanded arsenal includes a power boat but his preferred method of transport is jumping across Blüdhaven roofs.
Nightwing is a natural athlete because of his childhood as an aerialist. He is also a skilled detective, possibly the second best in the world after Batman, and a skilled martial artist even if he is no match for Batman, Azrael or Lady Shiva.
Nightwing's recent improvement in relations with Bruce Wayne have reduced his chief weakness, his self doubt and need for approval