BAD ORIGINS #1: THROUGH THE GLASS
By C. W. Blaine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: All characters contained herein are the property of DC Comics Inc and are copyright ©2000 by DC Comics Inc. The characters are used without permission for fan-fiction non-profit entertainment only and no copyright infringement is intended. This original piece of fiction is copyright © 2000 by C.W. Blaine. Questions and comments may be directed to the e-mail address above.
When his parents were murdered before his eyes while performing their circus act, young Dick Grayson was taken in by millionaire Bruce Wayne as his ward. When Wayne revealed to young Grayson he was secretly the Batman, the youth decided to join the cause, first as the Teen Wonder Robin, and then later as the unstoppable Nightwing.
A lonely child lost in a fantasy world of comic books and super-heroes, young Wally West was delighted to finally meet his long time idol, the Flash. As the Flash, secretly Barry Allen, Wally's Aunt Iris's fiancé, explained how he received his powers, a bolt of lightning crashed through a window and spilled electrified chemicals on Wally. Wally soon discovered he had the ability to move at super-speed and adopted the name of Kid Flash. Later, when Barry Allen sacrificed his life to save the universe, Wally honored him by taking up the mantle of the Scarlet Speedster for himself.
But, I ask you, why didn't the creative team at DC Comics give Dick Grayson an origin similar to Wally's? Read on to find out….
He was nervous, shaking slightly as he and this new found protector walked through the musty halls of Wayne Manor. Bruce Wayne was tall and muscular, with jet black hair and sharp eyes that twinkled when he was thinking. The face of this man was relaxed at the moment, as he slowly and quietly recounted the story of his parent's deaths.
Dick had recently lost his parents as well, and he felt a strange kinship to the reclusive millionaire who had opened his home and heart to him. Bruce's generosity went far beyond the millions he donated to worthwhile charities or political lobbying groups he supported; he was also a man who shared his pain with those closest to him. Dick felt as if he and Bruce were getting very close.
The night before, Bruce had revealed a wonderful secret, a secret that Dick would have to take to the grave with him. That secret, though, would help him overcome hi grief, allow him to focus it into something positive he hoped.
Bruce had told him he was the Batman, the dark protector of Gotham City and scourge to criminals everywhere.
Bruce continued in his narration as they entered the library. "…and on that night, I went out, using only a cheap mask to hide my identity and I searched out criminals. I came upon some thieves and ordered them to stop. They laughed at me in my ridiculous mask and proceeded to give me a beating that I barely escaped from."
Alfred, Bruce's loyal butler and closest friend entered the library behind them. He said nothing, but moved to a corner, offering silent support for his employer.
"I made my way back here to the manor and came into this very room, to sit and bleed slowly to death," Bruce said as they walked up to the huge windows that encompassed an entire wall of the library. He reached into the pocket of his smoking jacket and produced a pipe. Bruce very rarely smoked, but the pipe had been his father's and he would light it up every now and again when he thought about his parents. "I prayed to my parents that night; not to God, because he had taken them from me. I begged them to forgive me for failing in my oath to their spirits."
Dick nodded, but said nothing. In his mind, he relived the death of his own parents and the feelings of helplessness threatened to overcome him. He had not been able to prevent it from happening, just as poor 8-year old Bruce had been forced to stand by and watch as a common mugger shot his parents in cold blood.
"Then, as I slowly began to bleed to death, my parents sent me a sign. A bat flew through this window, shattering it and filling me with fear, even though I was willing to die. At that moment I knew what I had to do…I had to become a bat!"
Dick smiled, knowing that he was being given a trust that few people in the world had been able or would be able to gain. He started to say something when Alfred suddenly gasped.
Dick only heard the shattering of the glass and immediately jumped back. Through the window, a winged creature flew through. "My God! Just like what happened to me!" Bruce cried out, reflexively shielding his face from the falling shards.
Dick was not so quick and soon it began to rain glass down upon him. The glass cut into the silk pajamas he was wearing and soon small stains of blood formed on the fabric.
The bat, confused, circled around, screeching above human hearing, and then dove down. It's small mind registered the object in front of it as a threat.
"Jesus Christ! Get it off!" Dick cried as the bat attacked him, getting tangled in his dark hair.
"Oh my, Master Bruce!" Alfred called, retrieving a fireplace poker and rushing towards Dick.
Bruce reached out with his pipe and attempted to smack the bat, but missed and hot tobacco spilled onto Dick's head, burning it. The smell of burnt hair filled the room. "Courage, son," Bruce said.
"Oh God, it hurts!" Dick cried, beginning to run around the room. His bare feet stepped into the veritable lake of glass beneath him, cutting deep.
"The carpet, sir!" Alfred yelled, taking a swing at the bat. He missed, just as Bruce had, and struck the boy in the shoulder, dislocating it and sending Dick crashing into a book shelf.
The bat freed itself and soared again towards the ceiling. Bruce, clad in slippers, leapt to Dick's side. "Hurry, son, we have to get you out of here."
"My @#$&% head," Dick said, tears streaming down his face.
The bat dove again and aimed for Dick's exposed rear. It latched on with it's small teeth. Dick screamed and ran for the doorway leading out into the hall. Blood began to pour from the buttock wound and the bat again flew off.
Bruce retrieved a batarang from a secret hiding place and took aim at the flying rodent. With skilled honed by years of intensive training, he threw. The bat's natural radar sense picked up the batarang and it easily sailed out of the way.
Dick stopped at the stairs leading to the second floor and checked himself over. He realized his hair was still on fire and began to pat it out. When he looked up, his mind just barely registered the bat as it flew directly into his face and grabbed an eye. Dick screamed for all he was worth and began to beat at the bat, which gnawed on his eye until it popped. The foul taste of the optic fluid was enough to send it flying away.
Five years later…
Dick Grayson sat alone in his room, as he always did, fiddling with the computer, searching the internet for porn involving women with disfigured faces and one eye. There were sad pickings tonight.
Bruce entered the room with….him.
"Dick, son, Jason and I are going out on patrol; be a good lad and tape COPS for us."
Dick raised a hand with only the middle finger displayed. "Get Fancy-Pants to do, Rat Man!"
"Alfred is busy tonight," Bruce said, turning to walk out.
"Oh, yeah, Dick," Jason said, putting emphasis on the name, "make sure you tape my X-Files tomorrow 'cause I got a date with that Gordon chick and I may be late!"
Batman laughed and slapped Jason on the back. Dick responded with his favorite hand gesture.
Now, we know why Wally's origin won't work for Dick.