After graduating from his role as the first Robin, Dick Grayson made a name for himself as a solo act under the new identity of Nightwing. Utilizing everything he learned during his years as Batman‘s sidekick, the former Boy Wonder has proven himself to be a capable vigilante over the years.
Just a few universes (and one massive media conglomerate) away is Marvel’s Earth 616, which has more than its share of evil geniuses, costumed mercenaries, and super-crooks who have seen (and battled) heroic vigilantes of all shapes and sizes. Even with his acrobatic expertise, batons, and all the know-how he learned from Batman, how well would Nightwing fare against Marvel’s worst? With no further to do, let’s bring on the bad guys!
10 Beat: The Hood
Parker Robbins established his reputation as a deadly crimelord fairly quickly due to his considerable cunning and an assortment of magical gear. He might be a tough customer with plenty of ambition, but at heart, he’s still just a small-time crook.
Nightwing has faced down far worse supernatural foes during his time with the Teen Titans, and while the Hood may have grown more adept at using the considerable dark magic at his disposal, he’s a long way from a fiend like Trigon.
9 Lose: Baron Zemo
He may not be as accomplished as Nightwing in regards to martial arts prowess and acrobatics, but Baron Helmut Zemo still has had extensive combat and weapon training, meaning he could presumably hold his own if it came to a fistfight.
However, someone with the intellect of Baron Zemo would probably utilize his wide array of technologically advanced weaponry (and probably a couple scientific abominations provide by Arnim Zola) to ensure that he would not have to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the vigilante during their battle.
8 Beat: Bullseye
True, Bullseye is one of the most sadistic and remorseless assassins in the Marvel Universe. He’s a scary guy, but his whole “psycho killer” schtick pales in comparison to the lunatics Nightwing has crossed during his illustrious career.
Sure, Bullseye can turn just about anything into a deadly weapon but Nightwing has been beating up crazed villains like the Joker and Victor Zsasz since he was a pre-teen. Bullseye poses as much a threat to him as someone like Deadshot. He’s dangerous but manageable.
7 Lose: Moleman
All by his lonesome, Mole Man would probably get rocked by Nightwing in a pretty short scrap. Unfortunately for Dick Grayson, Mole Man usually doesn’t let himself get caught alone.
Against Mole Man, backed by his army of Moloids and his menagerie of subterranean giant monsters, Nightwing would need to call in the rest of the Teen Titans for backup. Without them, it would be a long, long day for the hero.
6 Beat: The Circus of Crime
This would be a fun fight. The Circus of Crime is a colorful bunch, and while they may have the advantage of numbers, Nightwing wouldn’t have a whole lot of trouble taking them down for the count.
Most of their group are highly skilled gymnasts and acrobats, but as well trained as they may be, Nightwing could make pretty short work of them. He’s been trained as a circus acrobat since he was a child, and coupled with the intensive training he received from Batman, he would flatten them. The Ring Master’s hypnotism might prove a little more challenging, but Nightwing undoubtedly has learned some mental techniques from his former mentor that would prevent him from being mind-controlled.
5 Lose: The Super-Skrull
Nightwing would put up a pretty good fight but Kl’rt the Super-Skrull would come out on top in a matchup between the two. The extraterrestrial champion’s most apparent advantage is his ability to wield the powers of the various members of the Fantastic Four, but that’s not the only trick he has up his sleeve.
Not only does he have the traditional Skrull ability to shift forms, but he also has significant tactical prowess and mastery of both armed and unarmed combat. All of this combined would prove a little too much for poor Nightwing.
4 Beat: Nuke
Nightwing and Nuke would be pretty evenly matched for the majority of their scrap. Nuke’s different medications, along with his blind fanaticism, would allow him to compensate for his being unable to match Nightwing’s speed with a heightened endurance and enhanced strength.
If he could manage to disarm his opponent, Nightwing would win this confrontation and would be to handle Nuke in a way similar to how he would deal with villains like Bane, Killer Croc, or KGBeast: strike at Nuke from a distance, and use the environment to his advantage.
3 Lose: The Mad Thinker
When the top evil geniuses in the Marvel Universe are discussed, one would usually think of Doctor Doom or Norman Osborn rather than the Mad Thinker. This is an unfortunate oversight, as the Thinker’s skill in robotic engineering and AI development rivals that of Hank Pym.
Sadly, Nightwing would be outmatched for the same reason he would probably lose to Baron Zemo. If the Mad Thinker’s Machiavellian planning would fail to subdue Nightwing, then his army of androids would finish the job.
2 Beat: Boomerang
If the two ever faced off, Boomerang would probably try and make a go of it for a minute or two, even if it was only for show. He might hurl a couple of exploding boomerangs at Nightwing to get a sense of what he was up against, then bolt after realizing he’d be facing a skilled vigilante.
1 Lose: Taskmaster
On just about every level, Taskmaster could either match or exceed anything Nightwing could throw at him. Taskmaster is stronger, meaner, and probably has much cooler gadgets at his disposal. Nightwing’s main advantage, the expert martial arts skills that he learned from Batman himself, would actually work against him as after several seconds of fighting Tasky’s photographic reflexes would allow him to copy every move verbatim.
Taskmaster would not only win but even more disastrously, he would then have many of Batman’s fighting skills in his repertoire, making him an even deadlier villain (or anti-hero, depending on who’s writing him.)
Nightwing may belong to DC, but if he were ever to crossover with Marvel, there would be some villains he could beat and others he couldn't.