WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel by Michael Moreci, Sas Milledge, Phil Hester, David Calderon and Steve Wands, available now from DC Ink.
Not much is known about Dick Grayson’s life before he lost his parents and became Bruce Wayne’s ward. He was a circus performer in his family’s act, the Flying Graysons, who performed for Haly’s Circus. Dick’s life was largely defined after the death of his parents, when he became the first Robin, Batman‘s crime-fighting partner. After Dick joined Bruce’s crusade, the Bat-family kept on growing. Eventually, Barbara Gordon suited up as Batgirl and the two teenagers fell for one another.
It’s not exactly been all sunshine and rainbows for Dick and Barbara. In fact, throughout the years, the two have had an on again, off again relationship. Despite their ups and their many downs, the two characters are a fan-favorite couple. Dick has had other women in his life, but none are as important to him as Barbara. Until now.
In the DC Ink original graphic novel The Lost Carnival, readers learn about Dick’s life before he met Batman and it turns out there was another super-powered girl he loved, long before Barbara Gordon.
The Lost Carnival introduces a teenage Dick Grayson who has yet to become Robin. He’s still performing with his parents in Haly’s Circus and their latest stop on the road isn’t exactly filled with attendants. Part of the reason is that another rival circus called the Lost Carnival has set up shop right next to them. This Lost Carnival is a massive attraction and it’s stealing away all of Haly’s potential guests.
In the DC Ink graphic novel, Dick is growing tired of life on the circus road and he’s already looking ahead at the possibility of leaving the family business behind. While he’s in the midst of figuring things out, he meets Luciana, a teenage girl who performs as a magician for the Lost Carnival. The two teenagers quickly hit it off and they develop a very strong bond. Theirs is a relationship that is rooted in honesty and understanding and it quickly blossoms into love.
Unfortunately, there are bigger forces at work that eventually pull them apart. In truth, Luciana is no simple magic performer — she truly has magical powers. What’s more, her life is a lot more complicated than Dick realizes: The Lost Carnival hails from another time period. One night, there was a terrible fire and in order to preserve the lives of everyone, Luciana moved them to a parallel dimension. From time to time, they then visit the real world for a small taste of their old lives. Luciana is the tether between the two realities.
As Dick and Luciana grow closer, a sinister plot leads to the two of them working together to save the life of Dick’s best friend. However, it comes at a terrible cost: The Lost Carnival disappears back into its own dimension and Dick and Luciana barely have enough time for a teary goodbye. As the Lost Carnival fades away, so too does Luciana and Dick faces the fact that he will never see her again. It’s a truly tragic ending to the young couple’s relationship and a difficult loss for Dick — especially knowing what lies ahead for him.
As The Lost Carnival comes to a close, it’s clear Dick has been greatly affected by his relationship with Luciana. Through his time with her, his outlook on his life and his relationship with his parents has changed. She truly had an effect on him and it’s clear he carries his love for her even after she is gone. Due to the tragedy that pulls them apart, Luciana might be Dick’s greatest love after all.
DC's The Lost Carnival reveals a great love story between Dick Grayson and a girl he met before he became a superhero in Gotham City.