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Twitter discovered Nightwing’s butt this week, and it was glorious

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A brief history of Dick Grayson’s notable backside

Art of Nightwing through his various costumes and eras. In most cases he is posed facing the camera, except for center front, where he has his back to the viewer, looking over his shoulder. His rear is lovingly rendered. Nicola Scott/DC Comics

The internet is a great connector, a place where small communities can gather and flourish — and also where people who aren’t in those communities can stumble face first into a subcultural norm they were previously unaware of, leading to confusion, and, in the best case scenario, delight.

That is to say, this week, a lot of non-comics reading folks discovered that Dick Grayson, Nightwing, formerly Robin, has a lot of there in his derriére. A bit of a boost in his behind. A healthy chonk in his badonkadonk.

In fact, Nightwing trended on Twitter last night. All in thanks, it seems, to this viral Tweet:

The tweet, from the blog Comics Bookcase, celebrates the completion of a set of four variant covers showcasing some of DC Comics’ oldest and biggest heroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Robin/Dick Grayson. They’re all drawn by veteran DC Comics artist Nicola Scott (Birds of Prey, Secret Six, Wonder Woman), showcasing seven to eight decades of artistic and costuming history in each image.

But one of these images is not like the other, and we’ve put them in a gallery below so you can get a full idea of it:

Like Batman and Superman before him, Dick Grayson, the first Robin, is approaching his 80th anniversary in 2020. In his final pose in his modern costume, it’s clear that he wants the viewer to know that he’s a versatile character with many facets, and also many assets.

This was both surprising and confusing for many folks, and the memes came on thicc — er, thick.

But for every person surprised by Nightwing’s squat-heavy workout routine, there was a comics fan to appreciate the attention to detail.

The idea that Dick Grayson has a great butt is a long-running gag in the DC Universe. He’s a character with a long-standing appeal to readers who are attracted to men, and the fact that his Nightwing costume lacks a cape puts his tightly-clad butt on easy display whenever he’s facing away from the reader. (Not something Batman or Superman can claim.)

Nicola Scott, the aforementioned artist behind this series of covers, is one of the better known contributors to the legend of Dick Grayson’s butt. While it’s by no means the only example of her work in this area, a panel she drew for 2009’s Secret Six #9 is often used as a sort of ur-example of the trope.

Nightwing stands with his back to the viewer, looking over his shoulder, lit by the moon. His butt and back muscles are lovingly rendered, in Secret Six #9, DC Comics (2009). Gail Simone, Nicola Scott/DC Comics

In more recent Nightwing lore, it’s been established that even when his face is disguised by advanced brain-altering nanotechnology, multiple characters in the DC Universe can identify him by the shape of his butt alone.

Midnighter recognizes a disguised Dick Grayson by the shape of his butt alone, in Grayson #6, DC Comics (2015).
Midnighter, above, and also Batgirl.
Tim Seeley, Tom King, Mikel Janín/DC Comics

So if you didn’t know that Nightwing has a great ass, now you do. Use this knowledge wisely.