The Titans replace the Justice League - what you need to know about Nightwing #100

Nightwing #100 art
Nightwing #100 art (Image credit: DC)

DC hasn't made it a secret that in 2023, it is positioning the Nightwing-led Titans as its premiere superhero team, leaving the Justice League disbanded as they rethink their mission statement in the wake of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths.

In real-world terms, that means the publisher is giving the Justice League title a break for a little while before it inevitably returns in a triumphant relaunch sometime in the foreseeable future.

Nightwing #100 variant cover (Image credit: DC)
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But for now, it will be Titans, and DC has also made no secret these plans would be formalized in January 17's extra-sized milestone issue Nightwing #100 by writer Tom Taylor and artists Bruno Redondo, Rick Leonardi, Scott McDaniel, Mikel Janin, and Javier Fernandez.

Newsarama has already covered a related but more personal moment that takes place between Batman and Nightwing in the issue, but how did the Justice League-Titans hand-off go down and what do you need to know?

Spoilers ahead for Nightwing #100

The main story involves new Nightwing/Blüdhaven supervillain Heartless taking over the city's towering private prison-for-profit and releasing its inmates including KGBeast (who shot Dick in the head a few years back), and the somewhat obscure villain Elephant Man. Dick and his partner in crime-fighting and life Barbara (as Oracle) try to contain the fallout. They're later joined by Dick's best friends and the classic Titans line-up of Cyborg, Donna Troy, The Flash (Wally West), Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy, who help him clean up the mess.

Heartless escapes, but the real meat of the issue comes in the next of three key epilogue story sequences.

a panel from Nightwing #100 (Image credit: DC)
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In the first, visiting the empty remains of the destroyed Hall of Justice (which happened during Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths), Wonder Woman and Superman ask Nightwing to lead while they're "discussing the future of the Justice League."

"You want me to guard the planet?" Dick asks Superman, "We do, replies the Man of Steel." After Dick quips "Right, No pressure," Superman responds "We can't think of safer hands for our world to be in."

That scene ends with Nightwing saying he has to think it over because Blüdhaven still needs his help so much. After a much more personal sequence with Batman that we covered in greater detail here, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, and the DCU get their answer in the issue's final pages.

Short story shorter, as opposed to rebuilding the prison, Dick (who's now very, very wealthy thanks to inheriting Alfred's estate), decides to buy it, and in a mission statement that recognizes both his commitment to Blüdhaven and the planetary leadership role he's been asked to fill, he determines that the towering former prison will be symbolically rebuilt into the latest iteration of the T-shaped Titans Tower (which frankly seems to get destroyed and rebuilt very frequently), and instead of taking over as a new Justice League leader, Blüdhaven will become the Titans' new home.

a page from Nightwing #100 (Image credit: DC)
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Nightwing is joined at a press conference announcing these details by the same Titans line-up that joined him earlier in the issue, so it appears as Newsarama predicted early last year, that classic and deserving Titans line-up will indeed replace the Justice League … though as we say, likely for just a brief time being.

But for the immediate future, the remaining questions are will the Titans get a new series in the new Dawn of DC era befitting their elevated status quo; and if so, will there be any additions or changes to their line-up?

More answers may come in next month's Nightwing #101, or perhaps as early as DC's April 2023 solicitations, due later this month.

Dick Grayson is one of the best legacy superheroes in comics.

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.