Nightwing vs Red Hood: Who Would Win?

Nightwing vs Red Hood is a battle that Bat-fans have been talking about for a long time. Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson, was the original Robin, while Red Hood, aka Jason Todd, took up the mantle as his successor. Though the two got along well enough early on, things have drastically changed since Jason was killed at the hands of the Joker, brought back to life by Talia al Ghul. With Jason now the death-dealing anti-hero Red Hood, he and Nightwing have clashed on several occasions. In any case, let’s take a look at the powers, abilities, and weaknesses of Nightwing and Red Hood and see who would win in a clean fight with no tricks, no shenanigans, and no outside interference.

Nightwing (Dick Grayson) Biography

Nightwing

Richard John “Dick” Grayson was born to John and Mary Grayson. He was an acrobatic prodigy, and the three made up the “Flying Graysons,” a world-famous acrobatic act that worked for Haly’s Circus. Unfurtnoatly, Dick’s parents would be murdered on his mother’s birthday, leaving him an orphan. Investigating the murder of his parents, Dick ran into Batman and the two bonded over their shared trauma. This led Batman to reveal his secret identity to Dick and train him as a crime-fighter with the boy ultimately becoming the first Robin.

Dick would have many adventures with Batman before teaming up with other sidekicks to form the first incarnation of the Teen Titans. As they grew older the team would disband, but eventually, reform thanks to Raven. Dick and Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl, would have feelings for each other during this time, but it never really went anywhere.

Having a falling out with Batman, Dick would leave Gotham and move to Bludhaven. There he would take on a new superhero identity: Nightwing. He would also join the Bludhaven police department for a while as well. As Nightwing, Dick would focus on protecting Bludhaven, but would occasionally go back to Gotham to help the Bat Family, and to mentor the new Robins.

Dick would also briefly take on the Batman identity when Bruce was apparently killed in battle. Ultimately he would go back to being Nightwing and participate in many storylines such as Joker War, Endgame, and the retelling of Death in the Family. While Dick has been through some pretty horrific stuff, he still manages to come out on top thanks to his incredible skills, and his friends in the Bat Family.

Red Hood (Jason Todd) Biography

Red Hood

Jason Todd had a troubled youth, being born to a depressed and drug-addicted mother, and a father who sought to train the boy in the ways of thievery and being a con man. Eventually, his father would be sent to prison, and his mother would seemingly die, leaving Jason on the streets to fend for himself. His first encounter with Batman would be when he tried to steal the Batmobile’s tires to get money for food. Instead of beating up the boy, Batman would offer him food instead. The two would meet again later during the MaGunn incident, and Jason’s brave actions would lead Batman to train him as the second Robin since Dick had recently quit and become Nightwing.

Jason’s stint as the second Robin was problematic, to say the least. Batgirl didn’t like him, straight up telling him to his face that he’d never be able to replace Dick. Jason was also much more violent and headstrong than Dick, often times taking things too far when battling criminals. He was also incredibly reckless as well. Nightwing even showed up to help mentor the boy, and while it did increase his skills, his personality flaws still remained. In the end, Jason would be led into a trap by the Joker where he would be beaten with a crowbar before being blown up and killed.

This wasn’t the end for Jason however, as Talia al Ghul used the Lazarus Pit to bring him back to life. Jason would then be trained by an ancient group of warrior monks known as the All-Caste and the League of Assassins. Though they tried to get the boy to give up his inner rage, Jason would instead embrace it in the guise of a new persona: Red Hood.

Returning to Gotham, Jason would wage a very different war on crime as Red Hood with his philosophy being that crime couldn’t be stopped, but it could be controlled. Using lethal force to achieve his goals, Jason would team up with Starfire and Arsenal to form the Outlaws, an anti-hero vigilante group. Eventually, Starfire would leave and he and Arsenal would rebrand themselves as Heroes for Hire. Jason’s anti-hero activities would bring him into conflict with both Batman and Nightwing on occasion. In the Battle for the Cowl storyline, Jason and Dick would fight each other for the identity of Batman after the caped crusader was presumed dead.

Nightwing: Powers & Abilities

Having been trained by Batman himself, Nightwing is a master crime fighter. With top-tier martial arts and acrobatic abilities, and his trademark Escrima sticks, he is a force to be reckoned with. Here is a quick list of his powers and abilities:

  • Master martial artist
  • Master acrobat
  • Espionage skills
  • Peak human physical conditioning
  • Stealth skills
  • Seduction skills
  • Throwing weapon skills
  • Dual Escrima batons
  • Lockpicking
  • Escapology
  • Multilingual
  • Tactical analysis
  • Disguise
  • Aviation/driving skills
  • Interrogation/intimidation skills
  • Sewing
  • Leadership skills
  • Forensic science skills
  • Bullet proof Nightwing suit
  • Various gadgets
  • Genius-level intellect

Nightwing’s main abilities are his mastery of the martial arts, and the acrobatic skills he learned as a child. Combined with his peak human conditioning and his Escrima batons, he’s a very difficult opponent to deal with in melee combat. He also has many other skills learned from Batman and other sources such as stealth, disguise, interrogation, and forensic analysis that make him an exceptional crime fighter.

As with most Bat Family characters, Nightwing also has access to a variety of gadgets and gear as well. In addition to the previously mentioned Escrima batons, he also has his bulletproof Nightwing suit, a mask that gives him thermal vision and allows him to track GPS coordinates, and gauntlets that can fire out bombs, sonic waves, and grapple lines. He also has a special EMP mask created by Lucius Fox that allows him to disguise his face as anyone he wants.

Red Hood: Powers & Abilities

Also trained by Batman, Red Hood is a master martial artist, but seems to prefer using firearms. On top of this he also has a couple of legit superpowers thanks to his dip in the Lazarus Pit. Here’s a loot at Red Hood’s powers and abilities:

  • Master martial artist
  • Skilled acrobat
  • Magic negation
  • Summoning the mystical All Blades
  • Espionage skills
  • Peak human physical conditioning
  • Stealth skills
  • Throwing weapon skills
  • Taser
  • Lockpicking
  • Escapology
  • Multilingual
  • Computer hacking
  • Disguise
  • Aviation/driving skills
  • Interrogation/intimidation skills
  • Investigation skills
  • Bullet proof Nightwing suit
  • Occultism
  • Dual pistols
  • Various other weapons
  • Skilled swordsman
  • Genius-level intellect

Like Nightwing, Red Hood is a martial arts master, but he’s not quite as adept when it comes to acrobatics or hand-to-hand combat. Though a very capable fighter, Red Hood prefers to use firearms in most cases. This usually takes the form of his trademark dual pistols. Instead of gadgets, Red Hood seems to favor more “realistic” weaponry such as sticky bombs, smoke bombs, a taser, a combat knife, and throwing stars. He also has access to heavier weaponry such as shotguns and rocket launchers as well but typically doesn’t carry them around with him all the time. On top of all this, Red Hood can also summon the mystical All Blades, but only in the presence of “true evil.”

Another legit superpower Red Hood has is the ability to negate magic. Taught a special strike by Talia al Ghul, this technique can only be used by a force of “true good,” and can strip magic users of their mystical powers. This, combined with his knowledge of occultism, makes Red Hood a very dangerous opponent for spell casters and mystical beings.

Nightwing: Weaknesses

Nightwing doesn’t have any outright weaknesses, but he is a normal human that fights battles in a universe full of superpowered characters. If Nightwing doesn’t pick his fights carefully, he can very easily be outclassed and overwhelmed by superpowered foes.

Something else that might be considered a weakness in some cases is Nightwing’s compassion. This can lead Nightwing into unfavorable situations if hostages are taken, or if a member of the Bat Family finds themself in trouble. In fact, Nightwing’s strong desire to protect the younger Robins could definitely be used against him by a cunning opponent. That said, his compassion can also be a strength, such as when he inherited billion in stock options from Alfred and used his newly acquired fortune to fight homelessness, petty crime, and corruption in Bludhaven, making the city a much better place to live for everyone.

Red Hood: Weaknesses

Red Hood’s biggest weakness is the fact that his actual superpowers are extremely specialized and can’t be used in most situations. Like Nightwing, Red Hood is basically a normal person in a world of superpowered people. This means that he too must rely on tactics, strategy, and choosing his opponents wisely to come out on top.

It’s also worth noting that while Red Hood’s use of firearms is a more efficient way of dealing with street thugs, it has led him to become a slightly less capable hand-to-hand fighter compared to top-tier martial artists like Batman and Nightwing. Unlike most members of the Bat Family, Red Hood uses more conventional weaponry rather than gadgets. While this may be just fine against lower-level opponents, it does give him less versatility which can be a weakness in some cases.

As far as psychological weaknesses go, Red Hood can be very impulsive and reckless despite being a master planner and schemer. He’s also susceptible to giving in to his inner rage which can lead him to make mistakes at critical moments. In fact, Batman even left a video after his apparent death telling Jason to give up being a vigilante because Bruce thought he was too mentally ill. Kind of a pot calling the kettle black moment, but Batman does have a point.

Red Hood vs Nightwing: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Okay, let’s just get this out of the way first. If this were real-life Red Hood would just pop Nightwing in the head with his pistols and that would be it. However, Nightwing has shown himself to be more than capable of dealing with opponents who wield firearms using his gadgets, acrobatics, and careful planning. So no, Red Hood just shooting Nightwing in the head and ending the fight before it even starts isn’t going to happen. At least not unless he ganks him from behind and this thought experiment is about fighting, not ganking. (On a side note, KGBeast actually did shoot Nightwing in the head. Dick survived but lost his memory for a while.)

Nightwing and Red Hood have actually fought in various forms of media, but let’s take a look at the Battle for the Cowl storyline since this is probably their most definitive battle in the comics. In their first clash, Dick got the upper hand by ironically beating Jason with a crowbar. However, Jason would take the win by stabbing Dick in the chest with a Batarang. Jason would later attack Dick in his hideout and blow up his cave before the battle ended up on top of a speeding subway train. Dick came out on top when he kicked Jason over the side. Though Dick offered to help Jason back up, Jason refused and seemingly fell to his death. But not really of course.

Despite Jason getting a win over Dick, Nightwing proved to be the superior fighter in the end. In fact, aside from having a better-ranged attack, Nightwing outclasses Red Hood in just about every other area. Thanks to Nightwing’s bulletproof suit, Red Hood’s only hope is to get a headshot before Nightwing closes the gap and engages in melee combat, putting him at a disadvantage. Unfortunately for Red Hood, that isn’t likely thanks to Nightwing’s incredible acrobatic skills and tactical analysis.

In addition to being a superior martial artist and acrobat, Nightwing also has more gadgets to rely upon. This will tip the battle in his favor even further since he can always fall back on these gadgets if things get dicey. Red Hood’s arsenal is more limited and consists of more conventional weaponry such as his sticky bombs and combat knife. While these weapons are great against you’re average street thug, they aren’t likely to be as effective against a skilled opponent like Nightwing. Yes, Red Hood does have assault rifles, shotguns, and rocket launchers too, but it isn’t anything Nightwing hasn’t dealt with before thanks to his decades of crimefighting experience.

Taking all of this into account, we’ve got to give the win to Nightwing. In a straight-up fight, he simply outclasses Red Hood in almost every way. He’s a better fighter, he’s a better acrobat, he has better gear, and he has more experience. Sure, Red Hood could use Nightwing’s compassion to lure him into a trap or ambush, but this is thought experiment is about who would win in a face-to-face fight, not who can out scheme the other.

In the end, Red Hood may be the badass anti-hero Gotham deserves, but Nightwing has proven himself to be the hero with a heart of gold that Bludhaven needs.

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