Warning: spoilers ahead for Future State: Nightwing #2!
In DC’s Future State, Dick Grayson is leading Gotham’s resistance as Nightwing, and he just turned one of his worst moments into a major win against the Magistrate regime that’s taken over in the near future. Initially, the Next Batman thought that Nightwing was setting himself up for a meaningless suicide mission against the Magistrate’s forces. However, it was later revealed that Nightwing was preparing to sacrifice himself in order to ensure that the Magistrate’s illicit activities were exposed, effectively repeating a terrible past experience in DC’s Forever Evil as a means to create some lasting positive change in Gotham’s dark future.
Thus far in Future State: Nightwing from writer Andrew Constant and artist Nicola Scott, Grayson has confessed to the next Batman Tim Fox that he can’t take any more of the Magistrate’s oppression of Gotham. He’s done with the city’s gradual decent into darkness, and for all intents and purposes it looks as though he’s ready to go down swinging, especially considering that he allowed himself to be tracked and surrounded. Now, Grayson has drawn all of the Magistrate’s forces to his secret base hidden in the ruins of Arkham Asylum for a major fight he may not walk away from.
Despite Nightwing’s determination to face the Magistrate, the next Batman isn’t about to let him fight alone. As the Magistrate prepare a misleading news report on the siege that they’ll later pretend is being broadcast live, Batman has the time to call Grayson’s allies in the resistance to lend a hand, allowing Nightwing and Batman to make their escape in a new version of the Batmobile, with Peacekeeper-06 in hot pursuit. The new Dynamic Duo take down the peacekeeper as she raves about her hatred for costumed heroes and the Magistrate’s intention to unmask and kill Nightwing, at which point Grayson reveals his true plan, which goes much deeper than just throwing himself at the enemy with little chance for success.
With a legion of nano-swarm camera drones, Nightwing was planning on sacrificing himself, so long as his cameras got footage of the Magistrate’s operations for the world to see, providing un-doctored and genuine footage of their true dark nature. That Nightwing is willing to make this sacrifice is staggering considering that when the Crime Syndicate captured him in DC’s Forever Evil event, they brutalized and unmasked Grayson on live television to make an example, effectively ruining his life in some very devastating ways. While his battle with the Magistrate goes far better than he was expecting thanks to the assistance of Batman and the resistance, Nightwing was still willing to spend his final moments reliving his greatest defeat to expose the Magistrate for good.
While the Teen Titans side of Future State‘s larger narrative has turned Nightwing into an uncharacteristically dark version of himself, this story sees him at his most heroic, willing to lose everything for the sake of creating some big, lasting change, even if he didn’t expect to see it happen with his own eyes. However, it seems as though Tim Fox’s Batman and the rest of Nightwing’s allies care about Grayson too much to let him fall to the Magistrate, ensuring that he distributes the already incriminating footage without becoming a martyr. Even so, Nightwing‘s plan was a true act of sacrifice, showing that Future State has seen him become as fearless and dedicated as his mentor ever was.