Re-design for Project Rooftop. Apologies for the crudity of the coloring and scanning, this was done away from my equipment, so the scanner was a typical office scanner and the coloring...all by mouse. The coloring was deliberately simple. I actually have a lot of renditions of this and other designs in my sketchbook. Funny thing - the moment I heard about the Battle of the Cowl, I did a load of re-designs of characters, some as the new Batman, some as just re-designs of their current costumes. This was the one that I was most satisfied with at the time.
Here's what I sent to the PR people by way of explanation:
Dick Grayson is not Bruce Wayne. This is the basis of my design - Dick Grayson is an entirely different individual than Bruce. Bruce is feared, indomitable, an unstoppable force of neuroses and childhood trauma, and it figures into his design. He is utilitarian, dark, brooding. His very design is meant to inspire fear. Dick, on the other hand, was once the wise-cracking Robin, wearing bright colors, and who managed to overcome his many tragedies to become a mature, responsible, and still funny adult. Considering his upbringing, this is no mean feat. He became his own man, and his own superhero - Nightwing. So I started from the template of Nightwing. The Nightwing emblem was replaced by the Bat emblem, stretched across and elongated to include the cowl. Nightwing's costume is a full body-suit so I changed the whole underwear thing to become part of the full body suit. I included holsters, straps really, for his Escrima sticks, because this is not just any other person becoming Batman, it's Dick, and he's been using those Escrima sticks for a loooong while. The design is supposed to be stream-lined, lithe, close-fitting, because Nightwing is an acrobatic fighter. Batman tends to be a close-in brawler, really in your face and breaking bones. Look at Jim Lee's design, or Frank Miller's - Batman is heavy set and tough. Nightwing is more like Spider-man, jumping about, using his athletic form to the maximum.
For all the greatness that is Nightwing, however, Dick is *assuming* Batman's mantle, so he can't just get away with being athletic and Spider-man-y; he has to have the same rough shape and form of the Bat, to highlight the fear factor. This is where the wings come in. Now, because I love Batman Beyond, I thought that I would make the cape not the normal cowl that Bruce had but something that could be the intermediate stage between Bruce's cowl and Batman Beyond/Terry's flight wings. (Yes, I realize that BB is not in regular DCU but still!) Thus, a cape that is much more dynamic and, I might even say, more bat-like. The cape starts from the back and wraps around to the hands, where the cape is longest, before going up to the middle, the 'tail' if you will, which is much more like a real bat's wing-design. I didn't show it in this design but the cape is supposed to be detachable, as Bruce's is. Should Dick need to get that cape off, the cape can 'jettison' off, attached as it is to the hands and back, by miniature launchers attached at where the cape and bodysuit meet.
An iconic symbol attached to Batman is his utility belt. As Nightwing didn't have one, I had nothing to base my design off of. I decided to use the Bale/Nolan Batman belt as a template. The belt here is much more sleek, less bulky, and angled slightly to convey a sense of aerodynamic energy. It is magnetic like the movie belt. To take it off, that little button in the middle of the buckle snaps the belt off.
On the left is my new idea for the bat-emblem. Much the same, but more angular, and the center has a 'triangle' of points - again, being a mid-point between Bruce and Terry, with his ultra-simplified design.
Sleek, dynamic, bold - that is the Batman I envision Dick Grayson to be.