Ki Hyun Ryu’s Nightwing Designs For A Cartoon That Never Was
Batman has been a pretty constant presence in the world of cartoons since 1992 — even longer if you count re-runs of Super Friends — but his extended family of sidekicks and assorted hangers-on have never really been able to grab the spotlight for their own adventures. Sure, we’ve seen assorted Robins and Batgirls on the screen, but they’ve had to share their shows with Batman or their own teams of teenage heroes. Back in 2009, however, that almost changed with a proposed cartoon involving Nightwing and Raven featuring character designs by Ki Hyun Ryu.
Unfortunately for fans of Dick Grayson, a show using these designs never manifested, but the designs by Ryu — an artist, producer and director on Legend of Korra, with additional experience working on Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Boondocks and Batman: Year One — are still well worth checking out. Take a look at Nightwing and Teen Titans mainstay Raven after the cut!For Nightwing, Ryu went with a logo that’s a little closer to the one seen on The New Batman Adventures rather than the more stylized one from the comics, and a more armored look for the costume:
Nightwing’s alter-ego, meanwhile, sports clothes that are baggy enough to hide the more armored costume underneath, though c’mon, Grayson, those stripes on the sleeves are a dead giveaway:
It seems Raven would’ve played a role in the show as well, with a sweatshirt giving her a similar look to the hooded cloak she sports in the comics (and on the Teen Titans cartoon):
It’s easy to see why a Nightwing cartoon would’ve been considered. As a solo character, Dick Grayson is the source of the the same “younger, slightly happier Batman” idea that they had so much success with on Batman Beyond. Then again, there was already a Batman-related show in production at the time with Brave and the Bold, and Young Justice gave creators a larger sandbox to play in that could hit many of the same themes while bringing in other aspects, so it’s equally easy to see why Warner Bros. would’ve passed on it, no matter how great the designs were.
Fortunately for us, the success of Korra means that there’s no shortage of Ryu’s work to enjoy. Check out more amazing art — including an awesome animated battle against deadlines — at Ryu’s DeviantArt page!